I did as well as I could, says happy Hamilton


Lewis Hamilton remained upbeat despite missing out on pole to Nico Rosberg by a slender margin at the Japanese Grand Prix.

Reigning world champion Hamilton sits 23 points behind Mercedes team-mate Rosberg in the world championship standings, the former having been disgusted when engine failure forced him to retire from last week's Malaysia Grand Prix when he held the lead.

At Suzuka on Saturday, Hamilton was a mere 13 thousandths of a second slower than Rosberg in qualifying.

However, that was enough to draw a positive reaction from the Briton, who won the 2014 and 2015 races in Japan despite Rosberg taking pole.

"I'm happy with the job I did, that's all I can say," said Hamilton.

"I had to make a big, big change going into qualifying and the car was completely different. It was like night and day difference, so to have done four laps and managed to get back that close [to Rosberg], I'm really happy.

"I did as well as I could. History has shown you don't have to be on pole to get the win but Nico did a great job and has all weekend."

Rosberg was unsurprisingly content after continuing his perfect record of topping the timesheets in every session at Suzuka so far.

"I had a good balance in the car, feeling good, feeling comfortable and that's what allows me to put in a lap like that," he said.

Looking ahead to Sunday's race, Rosberg added: "It's always going to be a challenge, with Lewis and with whoever's behind, always a battle.

"It's just putting everything together. For sure the start is going to be an important one. From then on I have to get the tyre life to do a long enough stint to get the tyres to work."