Lewis Hamilton says finding a set-up balance which suits both qualifying and the race will be key to his fortunes in the Malaysian Grand Prix.
After going fastest in both practice sessions, the 2008 World Champion said he was already happy with the feel of his car on short runs. With tire degradation a major concern due to the humid conditions in Malaysia – and in light of his difficulties matching Jenson Button's pace in Australia – Hamilton said his focus would now shift to long run simulations.
"The car is feeling pretty good, very similar to the last race," Hamilton said. "We made some setup changes which I am much happier with. The downforce seems to be consistent through low, medium and high speed, so I'm massively happy. Now we're just focusing on long run pace. I didn't get too many laps but it definitely feels good at the moment.
"It's incredibly humid, so looking after the tires is going to be a really tough call and it's just about trying to find the right balance. I'm working as hard as I can to get a good setup for qualifying and the race.
"We went out a bit too late on the long run [in the second session], and I went wide a couple of times. Jenson was particularly consistent on the long run though so we have an idea of the balance on high fuel. [It's been a] good day."
After dismissing suggestions that his post-race disappointment in Australia was indicative of a wider issue on Thursday, Hamilton said his reactions stem from the fact he is "on a mission."
"I'm here to keep my head down and keep pushing," he said. "I want to make sure I stay focused for all [19 remaining races]. I'm always on a mission: that's part of the game, you have to stay focused."