Britain's Lewis Hamilton 'pulled every last drop out' of his McLaren MP4-25 today in qualifying for the F1 2010 Hungarian Grand Prix and speaking after the session he admitted he was 'relieved' to have qualified in fifth place.
Hamilton and McLaren had struggled in practice and so going into qualifying he knew he had no chance to match the Red Bulls or the Ferraris and in the end he trailed pole sitter, Sebastian Vettel by over 1.5 seconds.
It's a massive margin and while he was closer to Felipe Massa in P4, just over one tenth slower, Fernando Alonso was also way ahead in the other Ferrari, half a second quicker in third.
"I'm happy with today's result," said Hamilton, despite the gap to those in front. "I was relieved to get into Q3 – it was very close – and I feel I pulled every last drop out of the car. I'm satisfied with the job we did today.
"Obviously, we'll have to work hard again tomorrow – but, all things considered, it's a good place for us to be starting from: it's on the clean side of the track, which is a positive, and it's a long haul down to Turn One. So anything's possible. As I say, I'm quite happy.
"Our car is the best it's ever been at this circuit. And we'll stay focused for tomorrow: I need to get as good a start as I've been getting for the past few races, stay clean, get around the first corner and keep moving forwards after that.
"It would be great to make up some places off the grid because it's very hard to overtake around here. But we'll do the best job we can. I'm ready for it. Bring it on!"
McLaren team principal, Martin Whitmarsh meanwhile was pleased with Hamilton's form, although he reckoned Lewis could have sneaked into fourth.
"Lewis did a fantastic job to qualify immediately behind the Red Bulls and the Ferraris – and, in fact, had he not lost a little time on the second sector of his best lap, it's just possible that he may even have been able to pip Felipe [Massa] for fourth," Whitmarsh added.
"Having said that though, P5 puts him on the clean side of the track for tomorrow's race, and you can be well sure he'll be his usual precise yet aggressive self on the initial run in to Turn One."