A tough challenge ahead, says Hamilton
20 April 2013 – Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton admits that "a tough challenge" awaits him in Sunday afternoon's Bahrain Grand Prix, with the Briton facing the reality of starting from ninth on the grid while team-mate Nico Rosberg lines up in pole position.
Hamilton, whose Friday struggles were compounded with a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change following final practice, believes his ability to secure a large points haul now hinges on making a strong getaway at the start of the 57-lap Grand Prix.
"It wasn't the best of days for me but big congratulations to Nico," Hamilton explained after qualifying. "Back-to-back pole positions for the team is great and Nico did a really good job out there. I couldn't quite find the pace today and with losing five places from changing the gearbox, we've got a tough challenge ahead starting from ninth place.
"These things happen and I'll do my best tomorrow. The best chance to gain some positions will come at the start and then we'll see how it goes. Tyre degradation will be a huge factor so it's going to be a very interesting race."
Hamilton sits fourth in the championship standings ahead of Sunday's race, a total of 12 points behind current leader and reigning World Champion Sebastian Vettel.