Date: 26th March 2012 at 3:47pm
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Just like in Australia, McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton appeared to be the quickest throughout the weekend.

But once again that speed in practice and qualifying couldn’t be converted into a race victory, with Hamilton once again finishing third.

On Friday, Hamilton topped both first and second practice and on Saturday, he took his second pole position of the season ahead of team-mate Jenson Button, giving McLaren their second one-two finish in qualifying in 2012.

?Qualifying is an intense experience and, as drivers, we all put a huge amount of pressure on ourselves, but it?s probably the part of the race weekend I most enjoy. On my quickest lap in Q3, I lost a little time in the final corner? maybe a tenth and a half – so it?s massively encouraging to still be in the position I?m in. It?s great for the team to have another one-two, too: that?s a huge achievement from everybody, but we just need to make sure we keep pushing because the guys behind us won?t give up. Hamilton told formula1.com on Saturday evening.

Unlike in Australia, Hamilton got a good start in the dampening conditions, getting better traction away from the grid and beating team-mate Jenson Button into the first turn.

Perhaps in dry conditions Hamilton could have dominated the race, but with the conditions ever changing, the track first got wetter, then the race was put on hold, first under the safety car and then under the red flag.

Once the race got back under way again behind the safety car, some drivers were already considering when to switch tyres from the full wets to inters.

But despite getting ahead of his team-mate, the pit-stop calls yet again proved to be decisive and unfortunately for the 2008 Formula One World Champion, his pit-stops once again put him on the back foot.

In Australia, Button dictated when he wanted to pit, maximising the most out of his tyres to get the advantage.

In Malaysia, that call was Hamilton’s to make as he was leading and yet, it was Button getting the call right again, pitting a lap earlier than Hamilton. Then in the pits, Alonso leapfrogged Hamilton into the lead where the Spaniard stayed for the remainder of the race.

After collecting his second trophy of the season on the podium, Hamilton spoke positively: ?This was a tough but fascinating race – firstly, I want to offer my congratulations to Fernando and Sergio – they both drove great races and did a fantastic job. It was pretty eventful race: it was difficult trying to judge the best time to change from Extreme Wets to Intermediates, and we were probably a little late on that – but that?s how it goes sometimes. Today wasn?t perfect – making the call for slicks is always a risk, and the others went a bit earlier than us. In general, we lost some time in the pitstops and I was pushed out of the fight somewhat. But, all in all, it?s been a positive weekend and I?m not too frustrated.’

Hamilton’s 15 points in Malaysia leaves him second in the championship, 5 points behind Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, but 5 points ahead of team-mate Jenson Button.

 

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