Hamilton in total control

PUBLISHED: 09:33 15 March 2008 | UPDATED: 22:09 26 October 2009

Motorsports / Formula 1: World Championship 2008, PRESENTATION OF THE VODAFONE McLAREN MERCEDES MP4-23 at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, 22 Lewis Hamilton (GBR, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes), 

23 Heikki Kovalainen (FIN, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes), 
 *** Local Caption *** +++ www.hoch-zwei.net +++ copyright: HOCH ZWEI / Michael Kunkel +++

Motorsports / Formula 1: World Championship 2008, PRESENTATION OF THE VODAFONE McLAREN MERCEDES MP4-23 at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, 22 Lewis Hamilton (GBR, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes), 23 Heikki Kovalainen (FIN, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes), *** Local Caption *** +++ www.hoch-zwei.net +++ copyright: HOCH ZWEI / Michael Kunkel +++

HOCH ZWEI / Michael Kunkel

HERTS motor racer Lewis Hamilton made a sensational start to the new Formula One season in Australia earlier today (Saturday). The 23-year-old McLaren maestro from Tewin secured pole position for the Australian Grand Prix following the new-look qualifying

HERTS motor racer Lewis Hamilton made a sensational start to the new Formula One season in Australia earlier today (Saturday).

The 23-year-old McLaren maestro from Tewin secured pole position for the Australian Grand Prix following the new-look qualifying format.

Hamilton will line-up on the front row alongside BMW driver Robert Kubica, a good friend from their karting days together.

Heikki Kovalainen, Hamilton's new McLaren team-mate, was third fastest in qualifying at the Albert Park circuit.

Hamilton was delighted with both his performance around the Melbourne track and that of Pole Kubica and Finnish driver Kovalainen.

Speaking at the post-qualifying press conference, Hamilton said: "Both these drivers here did a fantastic job.

"It is good to see Robert up there with us but also to see Heikki.

"His first race with the team and he has done a fantastic job.

"It was very, very close. Obviously in the first session, Q1, I did not get a very good lap.

"But then the last lap I was able to bridge the gap and put the sectors together."

Hamilton was also fastest in Friday's second practice session and seems to have adapted quickly to the new technical regulations in force this season.

The former Stevenage schoolboy said: "I really do like the new regulations that we have.

"Driving with traction control is slightly different obviously than driving without it, but it really brings out, I guess, the best in all the drivers.

"You really have to push yourself. But you know the feeling in the car is great. The car feels fantastic.

"I think the team have done a fantastic job really to prepare the car this weekend but also to get all the bits out here, so to all the guys back home 'good job'."

Hamilton's pole is the seventh of his 18-race F1 career and he will be looking for his fifth victory in tomorrow's race.

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