Lewis Hamilton believes he can end his current difficult run in F1 with victory in the European Grand Prix after qualifying third on the grid in Valencia.
The McLaren driver goes into the weekend having been involved in on-track incidents in both Monaco and Canada, the latter where he was forced to retire after making contact with McLaren team-mate Jenson Button, who went on to win in difficult conditions in Montreal.
Having run behind both Red Bull and Ferrari in final practice, Hamilton was able to pull a quick lap out of the bag when it really mattered in Q3 to secure his place on the second row of the grid behind Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber, with the Briton confident of challenging the Red Bull pair on race day.
“I'm excited to be in the fight: we can win from this position,” he said. “Of course, we'll need a bit of luck with the strategy and the pitstops, but our guys are on great form. You've got to be fortunate and maximise absolutely everything to get ahead of the Red Bulls – and, hopefully, that can happen tomorrow.
“I tried to push a little harder on my final lap – but it's a very fine line between being too greedy and getting it just
right – and, unfortunately, I locked up into turn one and that's where I lost time and bailed out.
“The team did a great job as always. The guys back at the factory have been working as hard as ever to bring the updates to the track. They're pushed to the limit, but they are delivering, so I'm very thankful for everything they're doing.
“Our race pace has been pretty good over the past three races and we should be fast tomorrow too – so keep your fingers crossed!”
Team boss Martin Whitmarsh agreed with Hamilton's viewpoint having seen both of his cars qualify inside the top six.
“In the last three grands prix – Barcelona, Monte-Carlo and Montreal – we've had the quickest race car, and I'm hopeful that we'll have the quickest race car here in Valencia, too,” he said. “Today, we qualified third and sixth – good but not great – but we feel we can still win tomorrow's race.
“Getting the strategy right will be a challenge for everyone, but we've got a great race car in the MP4-26 and two great race drivers in Lewis and Jenson – and, although ideally we'd prefer to have qualified on the front row, as I say I firmly believe we'll be able to mount a serious challenge for victory tomorrow.”