Lewis Hamilton is feeling positive ahead of the inaugural Indian Grand Prix, even if he will have to start from fifth place.
Hamilton had qualified on the front row in his McLaren, but slips down to fifth following a yellow flag infringement on Friday [see separate story - click here
]. Despite that though, he was still pleased to have been right up with the ever dominant Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel
and Mark Webber
“To be able to split the Red Bulls on qualifying pace is something that everybody in the team should feel proud about,” Hamilton said.
“In fact, I've been really happy with my qualifying performance throughout the whole year – it's been getting more and more consistent.
“On my last run, I was only a tenth down going into the penultimate corner, but I chose to abort the lap and save the tyres for tomorrow as it's going to be a long race.
“It's a little bit unfortunate to have a grid penalty, but that's life. I think we've got good pace, but it's going to be a long race.
“Still, with the long, wide straights and two DRS zones, overtaking should be easier here than it is at some of the other circuits, so I'm optimistic about what we can do around here tomorrow.”
Hamilton meanwhile also added that the dust off-line at the all-new Buddh International Circuit
isn't something that concerns him. Indeed he thinks it is a positive and he already rates the 5.137 kilometre track as one of the best in the world.
“I think it's cool that you throw up a bit of dust when you go off-line – that's how racing should be: there should be grass and dirt when you go off the track,” he continued.
“I want to say a big thank-you to the organisers. This circuit is smooth, fast and flowing. It's beautiful, in fact; the facilities are fantastic and the people have been extremely welcoming.
“This is one of the best circuits in the world and it's definitely a race people should come to visit.”