Hamilton: Attack on Turn One
A mere P3. On Friday, Lewis Hamilton was still intending to challenge Sebastian Vettel for pole, yet on Saturday, he found himself qualifying behind team-mate Jenson Button.
"I'm not frustrated, just happy to be near the front," said the McLaren driver insisting that the second row is not a bad position to be starting from, especially as he hadn't been driving at the limit today.
"I sacrificed some performance to have a new set of soft tyres for tomorrow," the McLaren driver said.
With Hamilton, tyres are always an issue. Many expert observers believe that he is too heavy on the rubber.
"It's always good to have a fresh set of tyres for the second stint," said Hamilton who, like all the other drivers, has to start the race on the same tyres used in Q3. "They're saying this could be a two-stop race, but it may run to three again."
That's why he wants to be well prepared with a new set of soft compound for the middle stint and new hard tyres for the final sprint.
"For me it's a positive choice, and it helps with the durability of the tyres. We can catch Sebastian and give them a tough time," he stressed.
However, he is not pinning his hopes on Red Bull having problems with their KERS.
"I wouldn't wish anything bad on anyone. But if they have problems, we will try to capitalise on the situation."
Hamilton sees the best opportunity to mount an attack coming at the beginning.
"We expect a tough battle into Turn One. Jenson and I aim to get there ahead of Vettel. So we'll be attacking. The first corner is a long drawn-out right-hander. It's fairly safe and very wide, so it should be exciting," Hamilton promised. "I hope that I can attack Sebastian; it all depends on how fast he gets off the line."