McLaren boss hails Hamilton as a 'Great F1 champion' after Chinese GP qualifying

PUBLISHED: 18:13 18 April 2009 | UPDATED: 22:26 26 October 2009

Motorsports / Formula 1: World Championship 2009, GP of China, 01 Lewis Hamilton (GBR, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes), 
 *** Local Caption *** +++ www.hoch-zwei.net +++ copyright: HOCH ZWEI / Michael Kunkel +++

Motorsports / Formula 1: World Championship 2009, GP of China, 01 Lewis Hamilton (GBR, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes), *** Local Caption *** +++ www.hoch-zwei.net +++ copyright: HOCH ZWEI / Michael Kunkel +++

HOCH ZWEI / Michael Kunkel

LEWIS Hamilton drove like a true champion in qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix, according to his McLaren team boss. The Formula 1 world title holder from Herts produced some hot laps in qualifying for Sunday s Chinese race. He was fourth fastest in th

Motorsports / Formula 1: World Championship 2009, GP of China, 01 Lewis Hamilton (GBR, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes), 
 *** Local Caption *** +++ www.hoch-zwei.net +++ copyright: HOCH ZWEI / Michael Kunkel +++

LEWIS Hamilton drove like a true champion in qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix, according to his McLaren team boss.

The Formula 1 world title holder from Herts produced some hot laps in qualifying for Sunday's Chinese race.

He was fourth fastest in the first part of qualifying at Shanghai and then sixth best.

The Tewin driver eventually claimed ninth place on the grid as Sebastian Vettel claimed a first ever pole position for the Red Bull team

Motorsports / Formula 1: World Championship 2009, GP of China, 02 Heikki Kovalainen (FIN, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes), 
01 Lewis Hamilton (GBR, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes), 
 *** Local Caption *** +++ www.hoch-zwei.net +++ copyright: HOCH ZWEI / Michael Kunkel +++

Although admitting they are still some way behind the leading challengers, team principal Martin Whitmarsh was delighted with McLaren's progress today.

He said: "Lewis's ninth place marks the first time this season that we have made it into Q3 and also demonstrates the effort we are putting in back at the McLaren Technology Centre to improve MP4-24.

"Admittedly, there is still a long way to go - and we will not be happy until we are back at the front - but this is an encouraging and significant step for the whole team.

"Lewis's laps, particularly in Q1 and Q2, were absolutely tremendous and worthy of a great champion."

The Chinese Grand Prix starts at 8am UK time on Sunday.


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