Hamilton on front row for European GP in Valencia

PUBLISHED: 12:19 24 August 2008 | UPDATED: 22:15 26 October 2009

Lewis Hamilton in qualifying around the Valencia street circuit Pictures courtesy of www.mclaren.com

Lewis Hamilton in qualifying around the Valencia street circuit Pictures courtesy of www.mclaren.com

LEWIS Hamilton will start today s European Grand Prix in Valencia from the front row. The 23-year-old Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver was second fastest in Saturday s qualifying. Ferrari rival Felipe Massa stole pole position around the Spanish street ci

Lewis Hamilton on track in Valencia

LEWIS Hamilton will start today's European Grand Prix in Valencia from the front row.

The 23-year-old Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver was second fastest in Saturday's qualifying.

Ferrari rival Felipe Massa stole pole position around the Spanish street circuit with Hamilton next quickest.

The Tewin driver posted a fastest lap of 1 minute 39.199 seconds, which put him second.

Saturday's session on the new Valencia street circuit was extremely closely fought, particularly during Q1 and Q2.

In the first part, all 20 drivers were covered by two seconds and in the second, the remaining 15 drivers were within nine tenths of one another.

World Championship leader Hamilton was delighted with the performance of his McLaren though.

"We knew we had a great car and we didn't have any problems during qualifying," he said.

"I felt really comfortable, and I decided to qualify with the option tyre.

"My first lap wasn't perfect, and I lost almost one second compared with my second lap, but on my final lap everything went well.

"Second place on the grid is a good basis for the race."

Hamilton is slightly worried though by Massa's pace in the Ferrari, particularly during the first part of the circuit.

Speaking after qualifying, Hamilton said: "Felipe Massa was significantly faster in the first sector, and I hope we'll be able to improve there tomorrow.

"Our team did a great job, and I'm confident we'll be strong."

Hamilton currently leads the championship by five points from reigning champion Kimi Raikkonen, with Massa three points further back on 54.

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