Other Sports Lewis Hamilton: Record lap could have been quicker

Lewis Hamilton fired a shot to his rivals, claiming his record lap in Saturday's qualifying for the Malaysia Grand Prix could have been even faster.

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Lewis Hamilton fired a shot to his rivals, claiming his record lap in Saturday's qualifying for the Malaysia Grand Prix could have been even faster.

The Mercedes star twice surpassed Michael Schumacher's previous best around the Sepang International Circuit, with a rapid one minute 32.850 seconds leaving Hamilton on pole.

Team-mate and title rival Nico Rosberg - who leads the drivers' standings by eight points - was four tenths further back and will start second.

"The car felt fantastic today, I really enjoyed it," Hamilton said at the drivers' news conference.

"The lap? It could have been faster!"

In seven previous races that Hamilton has started on pole, he has only led twice at the end of the first lap.

Hamilton blamed technical issues for a sluggish getaway in Monza two races ago which allowed Rosberg to sail to victory and admitted a fix was not in place in Malaysia.

"There are no changes to it [the clutch], but race on race we're trying to understand it more and more and to predict what it's going to deliver," he said.

"We both generally got good starts in the last race, so they are improving it gradually."

Red Bull's Max Verstappen will start third and set quicker long-run race simulation times than any other driver in Friday's second practice session, something that keeps Hamilton on his toes.

"It will be a close race because they [rivals] have very good long runs," added Hamilton. "But I think we were looking pretty good also."

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