Hamilton puts on a brave face

PUBLISHED: 12:34 27 April 2008 | UPDATED: 22:17 26 October 2009

Lewis Hamilton climbs into his McLaren car Pictures courtesy of www.mclaren.com

Lewis Hamilton climbs into his McLaren car Pictures courtesy of www.mclaren.com

A DISAPPOINTED Lewis Hamilton tried to put on a brave face after Saturday s qualifying session for the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona. Tewin racer Hamilton was only fifth fastest in qualifying at the Circuit de Catalunya. Vodafone McLaren Mercedes collea

Lewis Hamilton

A DISAPPOINTED Lewis Hamilton tried to put on a brave face after Saturday's qualifying session for the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona.

Tewin racer Hamilton was only fifth fastest in qualifying at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes colleague Heikki Kovalainen will start alongside him today on the third row.

Hamilton was slower than both Ferrari drivers, as well as rivals from Renault and BMW Sauber.

However, the 23-year-old tried to put a positive spin on things.

"Being on the third row is not the end of the world as we are surrounded by good drivers who all want to finish the race," said the Herts hero.

"The key is now to make a strong start and hopefully gain a couple of positions, and I am confident as I believe our race pace is competitive, and we have a good strategy."

Kovalainen also felt he should have been further up the grid.

"I didn't expect to be on the third row as I thought the last part of qualifying wasn't too bad," said the Finn.

"However, the times are very close and with just a tiny bit more I would have been able to gain a few positions, but that is life."

McLaren team bosses were also trying to play up their chances despite being off the pace in qualifying.

Principal Ron Dennis said: "Of course we would have preferred to be higher up the grid, but from row three anything can happen.

"We are well prepared, and I believe our strategy will prove competitive.

"The race will be interesting as there are a number of drivers capable of winning which is great for the fans, and I am sure that Lewis, Heikki and the entire team will put in strong performances."

Norbert Haug, vice president of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, added: "Positions five and six are not our dream result and as less than three-tenths are missing to pole position, we have to wait who of the four or five competitors ahead of us are running how long in the first stint.

"Both Lewis and Heikki feel confident in the car, our long runs during testing produced consistent lap times, so the aim is to get better positions in the race than in qualifying."

Hamilton currently lies third in the championship after the opening three rounds.


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