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Hamilton surprised by margin of pole success

Lewis Hamilton has said that he genuinely hadn't expected to be so far ahead of the Red Bull cars in qualifying, and isn't sure why the McLaren is suddenly so on the pace in Abu Dhabi.
Lewis Hamilton's joy at clinching pole position for the 2012 F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi was evident from the minute he climbed out of the cockpit of his McLaren and literally bounced his way into the official FIA weighing point. He was no less enthused when he spoke to the media shortly afterwards.

"Very excited, very excited," he said of the prospect of starting from pole for the first time since Singapore in September. "It's the first time for a long time to be ahead of the Red Bulls, and not to be seeing the tail of them at the start of the race."

Hamilton hadn't been expecting to be such a strong contender for pole position, and still wasn't quite sure just why McLaren's fortunes had turned around so dramatically this weekend after a period of such domination by Red Bull.

"The car's felt beautiful all weekend," he said. "I don't know why the car works so well here. We've not really made any improvements to the car since the last race, so I guess it just suits.

"We're always modifying small, little wings but it does very, very little," he added. "The car's felt great from the get-go this weekend and done some fine tuning and every now and then you're fortunate enough to make the right change and it feels even better."

Hamilton ended up with a formidable 0.348s margin over Mark Webber in Q3, having topped each round of qualifying on Saturday. He said that he was genuinely surprised by just how easy pole position had proved to be at Yas Marina.

"They were slower than I expected but we were faster than I expected as well," he added. "Mark did a great lap as well - what's the margin, it is three tenths? I knew that they were very, very quick but I would never have imagined being this far ahead of them.

"But I did do a really really good lap, very happy with the lap. I thought that we would be a match or slightly slower than them this weekend and it's a blessing in disguise to be ahead of them."

Hamilton is hoping that the McLaren also has the pace in race trim to stay in front and keep out of trouble in the Grand Prix itself: "We did a couple of long runs [in practice] and they seemed to be okay. On one of my long runs I had a lot of traffic, but Jenson had a fairly decent long run, which shows," he said. "We should be quite competitive."

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Qualifying: Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27 celebrates pole position
Qualifying: Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27
Free Practice 2: Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27
Free Practice 3: Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27
McLaren MCL32 [credit: McLaren Twitter]
McLaren - Honda MCL32
Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32 F1 launch, [Credit: McLaren]
McLaren MCL32, McLaren-Honda, [Credit: McLaren]
Fernando Alonso - McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32
McLaren Honda MCL32
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes Petronas AMG F1 W08. 
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes Petronas AMG F1 W08. 

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Zelda - Unregistered

November 04, 2012 1:52 PM

Not Lewis! Maclaren prove they truly suck. Mystifying loss of complete power ends his race. I questioned the wisdom of Lewis leaving for Mercedes. Not now. Maclaren simply have an issue somewhere and Lewis needs a new challenge. 3 wins they've written off this year for Lewis! This must have taipan reaching for the Kleenex.

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