Lewis looking for a fast start

PUBLISHED: 15:54 15 March 2008 | UPDATED: 22:26 26 October 2009

Lewis Hamilton driving his MP4-23 McLaren in testing Pictures courtesy of www.mclaren.com

Lewis Hamilton driving his MP4-23 McLaren in testing Pictures courtesy of www.mclaren.com

POLE-sitter Lewis Hamilton says the start will be key to his chances of victory in the Australian Grand Prix tomorrow (Sunday). The 23-year-old McLaren maestro bagged first place on the grid in qualifying earlier today and will sit on the front row in Mel

Lewis Hamilton

POLE-sitter Lewis Hamilton says the start will be key to his chances of victory in the Australian Grand Prix tomorrow (Sunday).

The 23-year-old McLaren maestro bagged first place on the grid in qualifying earlier today and will sit on the front row in Melbourne ahead of BMW's Polish driver Robert Kubica.

Heikki Kovalainen sits third on the Albert Park grid alongside Ferrari's Felipe Massa in the second row.

Hamilton, whose family home is in Tewin, knows that he needs to get a clean getaway when the green light signals the start of the 2008 grand prix season.

Speaking at today's post-qualifying press conference, Hamilton pinpointed the first few seconds of the race as crucial due to this season's rule changes.

The former Stevenage schoolboy said: "Everyone starting with the new regulations makes the starts a little bit trickier and I think tomorrow you will see a wide range of good starts and bad starts.

"I think last year it was always the same. This year it will be quite tricky."

Despite clinching the seventh pole position of his 18-race F1 career, former Rye House kart racer Hamilton isn't taking anything for granted.

"It's going to be a very tough race tomorrow and we just have to do the best we can in managing our tyres and hope for the best," he said.

After last season's rollercoaster relationship with Fernando Alonso, Hamilton won't receive any favours from new team-mate Kovalainen, unless the Finn is miles behind.

Heikki said: "If I get a chance, I will go for it but of course, if I can't make a move, then I sit behind.

"It's as simple as that and he will do the same with me.

"He will squeeze and block and do everything to keep me behind. That's just part of it."

Hamilton added: "We're here to race but obviously to bring both our cars home, so we're going to be professional and sensible.

"We want to beat each other, obviously, and I expect nothing but the best from him and I'm sure it's the same with me."

Following Sunday's race the F1 circus moves to Sepang circuit for the Malaysian Grand Prix on Easter Sunday.

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