The Brit suffered a power-unit problem and was forced to retire from the first round of the year in Australia on lap three. It was a disappointing start, particularly as his team-mate went on to dominate the race, but he took plenty of positives from the weekend.
Hamilton has scored three podium finishes at the Sepang International Circuit but has failed to stand on the top step. This is something that he is hoping to change in 2014. “I finished second on my Formula One debut here in 2007 and have been on the podium at the last two Malaysian Grands Prix but I’ve yet to win here,” he said.
“It would be amazing to stand on the top step at one of our home races and I’m looking forward to bouncing back after a tough weekend in Australia. Although it was not the result we were hoping for, every setback is a chance to learn more about this new car, which is important as they’re incredibly complex machines. I know the team at Brackley and Brixworth is pushing harder than ever and I’ll be doing the same.”
Nico Rosberg believes reliability will be crucial in Malaysia and is hopeful that both Mercedes cars can reach the chequered flag. “Sepang holds some great memories for me too as I achieved my first podium for Mercedes here at the start of the 2010 season,” said the German driver.
“Normally the weather is seen as the biggest challenge here but this season is different, with reliability the focus of everyone’s attention. Of course, it will still be hot, humid and probably wet at some stage too, so it should be a fascinating weekend.
“Australia was the perfect start to my season, but it also highlighted that we’re not 100% there yet in terms of reliability. We’ve had two weeks before this race to identify all the things that we can do better, so hopefully we can bring both cars home for a good result this weekend and continue our strong start to the year.”
Image courtesy of Mercedes AMG Petronas