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Hamilton happy to be back on front row

Lewis Hamilton is determined to convert his first front row start of 2010 into something bigger in the Turkish Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton has warned Red Bull Racing that he is ready to take the opportunity to end its winning streak should the chance come during the Turkish Grand Prix.

Despite a lurid spin in the final free practice session at Istanbul Park on Saturday morning, the Briton continued to be the biggest threat to Red Bull duo Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel on the timesheets, and took advantage of a roll-bar problem for the German to split the pair in qualifying. Although he acknowledges that Webber still holds the upper hand in terms of car pace and the Istanbul circuit favouring polesitters, Hamilton insists that he will be looking for the slightest opening to claim his first win of the year.

"I think we have a good opportunity and it's up to us to do a solid job," the 2008 world champion claimed, "I don't really like the word 'confident', but I'm happy with the balance of the car.

"I think Mark and Sebastian have shown some incredible pace over the last couple of races, and whoever qualifies on pole here and gets into the first corner usually finishes up ahead, but it's not impossible. Anything can happen. We're in the best spot I've ever been in to start the race and, if I can get close enough to Mark then, without a doubt, I will be taking the opportunity.

"But we have to wait and see. We've got to look after the tyres, as we've got a long race ahead of us, but, like I said, it's great just to be there. It's my first time on the front row [this year], so I'm very happy with the position - even if it is the dirty side. You do what you can from there, and I'm looking forward to tomorrow."

Red Bull's decision not to use its version of the F-duct in Turkey may give Hamilton and McLaren the edge, even though Webber has pointed out that the two teams are finding their time in different areas of the undulating circuit.

"You always try to push the car that little bit further," Hamilton commented, "After Friday, I wasn't 100 per cent happy with the balance that I was able to find but, today, I was able to fine-tune it. Understanding the tyres and everything, we were able to put together a good lap. I was very, very happy with that lap, and I couldn't have asked any more from it.

"It feels great [to split the Red Bull cars]. These guys have been untouchable pretty much all year in terms of pure pace, so I think it is a real boost for me and my team just knowing that we have a very good base line pace. Our race pace is even better. It puts us in an even stronger position for tomorrow and I know that we will continue to push We have got some new bits coming hopefully in the future, so hopefully we will be able to continue.

"{Running full tanks through turn eight] I think will be okay [for us], but for these guys it will definitely be better. They are easy flat through there in qualifying and it is incredible. They pull out almost four tenths just in that corner. I think, with full fuel, we will be a little bit closer. It is a point where you can definitely degrade your tyres quite quickly if you don't treat them well, but I think we have got a good balance where, hopefully, it will be okay through there.

"[Turn twelve] is a place where you can [pass] but, like I said, it is very hard to follow these guys through turn eight and to then be able to follow them after that. But it is not impossible and I will be making it as hard as I can for Mark."

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Qualifying, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-25
Qualifying, Mark Webber (AUS), Red Bull Racing, RB6 pole position and Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-25 2nd position
Saturday Practice, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-25
27.05.2017 - Qualifying, Atmosphere
27.05.2017 - Qualifying, Ari Vatanen (FIN)
27.05.2017 - Qualifying, Grid Girls
27.05.2017 - Qualifying, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
27.05.2017 - Qualifying, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
27.05.2017 - Qualifying, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
27.05.2017 - Qualifying, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-17
27.05.2017 - Qualifying, Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
27.05.2017 - Qualifying, Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Sauber C36
27.05.2017 - Qualifying, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
27.05.2017 - Qualifying, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
27.05.2017 - Qualifying, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
27.05.2017 - Qualifying, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
27.05.2017 - Qualifying, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
27.05.2017 - Qualifying, Monte Carlo Atmosphere

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