Hamilton hails 'best ever' qualifying

Saturday 12-May-2012 15:35

Lewis Hamilton believes his Barcelona pole ranks right up there as "one of the best" however is under no illusion that Sunday's race will be anything but "incredibly tough."

The McLaren driver was easily the quickest driver out on track on Saturday afternoon, posting a 1:21.707 to edge his nearest rival, Pastor Maldonado, by over half a second.

The pole position was 22nd of Hamilton's career, the 150th of McLaren's and stretches his run of front row starting positions to five for the season, three of which were P1s.

"It was a fantastic qualifying session for me, very very happy with it - one of the best I ever had," said Hamilton.

"Amazing job by the guys in the garage and thanks to guys in factory who have brought upgrades.

"The car feels great. It is a great day for the team I think. I really feel fantastic. I feel very, very happy.

"You can normally be happy with a position but for some reason this feels better than other pole positions because you are looking for a perfect position. It is an incredible feeling you have."

If statistics are anything to go by, Hamilton now has a 50 percent chance of winning the 66-lap Spanish GP as throughout the Circuit de Catalunya's history only once has a driver not starting on the front row won the race.

But despite history being in his favour, the 27-year-old is not expecting a stroll in the park come Sunday afternoon.

"I am very much aware that I have incredibly tough race tomorrow with these guys who are massively quick and how tricky it is in general.

"It will mean a lot to me to win in Spain.

"It has always been a good place for me, beautiful weather and people are incredible and the support I have continues to grow year by year and it has become such a pleasure.

"To win where you have such a big fan base will be fantastic."

Hamilton, however, did run into what could yet prove to be a massive problem in the wake of qualifying as the Brit's MP4-27 stopped out on track.

At present the cause of the breakdown is not known. "I stopped out on the track afterwards because I was told to stop. I have no idea why!" he said.

Related Links
Qualy: Hamilton claims first Spanish pole
Saturday's shots from Spain

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