F1: Hamilton’s phenomenal lap to take Candian Grand Prix pole
LEWIS Hamilton’s sensational, last-gasp flying lap to snatch pole position for today’s Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal has been described as “phenomenal”.
The 25-year-old Formula 1 driver from Herts claimed his third pole position around the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in three attempts with a blistering closing lap on Saturday.
Running on option tyres, he threw his McLaren Mercedes MP4-25 around the Canadian circuit to beat Mark Webber’s provisional pole time with a stunning lap of 1m 15.165s.
Turkish Grand Prix winner Hamilton said: “At the end of my fastest lap, it was such a fantastic feeling crossing the line – the team came on the radio through Turn Two and told me I’d got pole.
“I knew it was a good lap but, when they told me it was the best lap, it just brought back so many memories of my previous times here.
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“It was exactly the same ecstatic feeling as when I took my very first pole position here in 2007.”
Hamilton also thanked the McLaren team for getting his car ready for qualifying after touching the wall in final practice.
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He said: “I grazed the barriers at the end of P3, which meant my mechanics had to change the right-hand-side suspension ahead of qualifying.
“Watching them working so quickly yet so efficiently to fix the car was amazing – like watching an orchestra playing! Really, really impressive.
“Before I went out this afternoon [Saturday], I told them that I reckon I owed them pole position for all their efforts – so I was on a bit of a mission right from the beginning of Q1.”
Jenson Button, the reigning F1 world champion, was in awe of his McLaren team-mate’s performance around the tough, car-breaking Montreal track with its punishing concrete walls.
Button, who will start from fifth on the grid, said: “I was happy with my Q3 lap, but I couldn’t touch Lewis – it was a phenomenal lap from him.
“He’s qualified on pole every time he’s been here, so he’s obviously a specialist around this place.
“Fifth place isn’t where I’d ideally like to be, but I gave it everything and I couldn’t have gone any quicker.”
Martin Whitmarsh, the team principal at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, was also staggered by Hamilton’s red-hot final lap.
Speaking on Saturday, Whitmarsh said: “Today we saw a stunning and dramatic lap from Lewis to snatch pole position in the last seconds of qualifying.
“He loves this circuit – he scored his first ever grand prix pole position and his first ever grand prix victory here in 2007, of course – and, having won in Turkey two weeks ago, he’s very motivated to continue his winning run here in Canada.”
The 2010 Canadian Grand Prix starts at 5pm UK time, with live coverage on BBC1.