By BBC SPORTS
Lewis Hamilton says he needs to “drive better” in Malaysia this weekend to get his world title campaign back on track.
Hamilton was trounced at the last race in Singapore by Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg, who took his eighth win of the season to move into an eight-point lead.
Asked what he needed to do to get more performance out of the car, Hamilton said: “Just drive it better, I guess.
“More time on track. Hopefully we won’t have any problems this weekend.”
Mercedes said that a hydraulic failure that led to him missing half of second practice was key to his lack of pace in Singapore – where Rosberg out-qualified him by 0.7 seconds – because he had not arrived at a suitable car set-up.
Hamilton said he was aware of the problems he ran into there and said he would “make sure I use every lap” at the Sepang track, where practice starts at 03:00 BST on Friday.
He also again brought up the number of technical problems he has suffered this year – a reference in particular to the engine failures he suffered in qualifying in China and Russia early in the season and which led to grid penalties at the Belgian race in August.
“This year I have had a lot more problems than in any of the other battles I have had in the championship,” said Hamilton, who is aiming for his fourth world title this season.
“So [I’m] fighting with those and just trying to move on with positivity and hoping for positive weekends moving forwards.”
Hamilton has been in Malaysia since the start of the week doing promotional work for his team and their sponsors.
He said it was “a good thing” that he had adapted to the seven-hour time difference from the UK – six from his home in Monaco – but then added: “I don’t actually like being on the time zone.
“That’s why I travel the way I do. I like arriving in a place and being a bit off time – sometimes go to bed late and sometimes early. I like how it swings – sometimes I am up early training at 4-5am, sometimes at 10-11.”
He denied this affected his performance in the car.
“No, because I always have energy and I always manage to sleep but I just like the idea of being able to swing,” Hamilton said.
Rosberg – who has won two more races than Hamilton this season – said he was hopeful of another strong weekend.
“I’m feeling good,” he said. “The track is looking cool. They have laid a new asphalt which I have been liking this year at other tracks when they have done that so it is looking good.
“It is always a big challenge against Lewis. Everywhere we go it is always difficult to beat him, he is the benchmark, he is the world champion, it is an exciting battle.
“I do enjoy beating him when I can so I will try again to do it here.”
SOURCE: BBC SPORTS