Hamilton confident starting on softs is ‘right strategy’

2016 Mexican Grand Prix pole sitter Lewis Hamilton says he is confident that starting Sunday’s race on the soft tyre is “the right strategy”, as the Mercedes driver admits the supersoft compound has been “a bit of a mess for us”.

Although Hamilton claimed pole position on Pirelli’s softest available tyre, the Briton will line up on the grid with softs fitted to his W07, having set his fastest Q2 mark on the yellow-striped rubber.

Hamilton will have team-mate Nico Rosberg alongside him and on the soft as well, but the second row will be occupied by two supersoft-shod Red Bulls.

“Q3 was actually the worst session of the whole weekend so far,” Hamilton said despite outqualifying his title rival by 0.254s. “But I’m going into Sunday with hopefully the right strategy. And I think the car is in a good place for the long runs.

“Before Q3 I had a lot of pace, we believed it was possible [to advance through to Q3] on the soft and when we did the long runs in practice we knew the supersoft tyre was a bit of a mess. It may not be for them [Red Bull] but it was for us so we opted for the soft.

“It’s always a tough battle, trying to pull out the perfect laps when it counts is always a difficult thing, particularly with these tyres. Sometimes it’s on the first lap, sometimes it is on the second lap which the tyres are ready.”

With Rosberg mathematically able to clinch the title as early as Sunday, Hamilton was asked about his mindset entering Sunday’s 71-lap contest.

“There is no real tactic, just turning up to do the job and trying to do the same as I did last weekend,” he replied, referring to his win in Austin last Sunday.

“So far, things have gone well this weekend. I’m looking forward to the race. The long runs seem to be good and the car feels great.”

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