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Hamilton hoping good times roll in Malaysia
Ossian Shine | March 19, 2008 17:35 IST
McLaren's Hamilton took the chequered flag in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix last Sunday, a performance the 23-year-old Briton described as the best race of his career.
Now he is eager to build on that momentum at Sepang.
"I felt fantastic. I never thought it would have been as physically a breeze as it was," Hamilton said of his victory in Melbourne. "It is great preparation for Malaysia so bring it on, I am really looking forward to it.
"Going into the next few races, we obviously need to try to continue with the momentum that we have. We could have gone quicker, so I am not particularly bothered about the Ferraris' pace.
"I am probably twice as fit this year compared to last year. But also the car was really fantastic to drive and it was quite easy to drive."
For the red cars of Ferrari, the Australian Grand Prix proved a black day.
Neither Kimi Raikkonen [Images] nor Felipe Massa [Images] managed to finish the race, although Raikkonen went away with a point for eighth place after Honda's Rubens Barrichello was disqualified on an afternoon with just seven cars still running at the end.
It was the worst start to a season for Ferrari since 1992 and Massa acknowledged that the team must scratch that poor start from their record and begin anew.
"Our championship will have to start again in Malaysia. We know we have a good car, we have to work to be able to use it as intended," said the Brazilian.
Hamilton is fully aware of Ferrari's pedigree.
"We can't forget that they are a great team and they have a very good car and two great drivers as well. One bad weekend. I'm sure everyone could have had a bad weekend at some point during the season," he said.
"There are still 17 races to go. As a team, my team, we have to work hard making sure these problems don't happen."
Williams's Nico Rosberg achieved his best finish in Australia, a first podium place in third. He told Reuters he now had the momentum heading into Sepang but was remaining realistic.
"What we target when we get to the track is about seventh or eighth place, unfortunately that's the way it is, because there are six or seven cars in front that we can't beat," the German said in an interview.
"Ferrari, McLaren and BMW [Images]? what we can try and do is get close and occasionally beat one of them, but otherwise we just have to hope for them to have reliability problems.
"That's just the way it is in F1, it sucks but that's the way it is.
"Ferrari and McLaren are still going to battle it out at the front, I haven't given up on Ferrari yet, we'll see in Malaysia but I think they're going to come back pretty strong."
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