Formula 1 News

Hamilton glad to win Abu Dhabi pole for McLaren

The Briton collected his sixth 'pole' of the season, an achievement that makes him the leader in that department so far. A victory tomorrow is also very much possible.
Saturday, November 3, 2012

Abu Dhabi, Nov 3, 2012 (AFP) - Lewis Hamilton said on Saturday that he was glad to take pole position for Sunday's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and 'give something back' to the McLaren team that has been his motor racing home for the last 14 years.

The 27-year-old Briton, who joined McLaren as a 13-year-old karting prodigy, dominated qualifying as he ended Red Bull's run of front row domination with a blistering show of pace that carried him to his sixth pole of the season.

He said: "It's always such a nice view when you start from first. You have to appreciate it because there are not many opportunities to do that in Formula One...

"It would be fantastic to do that -- to win for the team before moving to Mercedes -- because these guys have worked so hard. My decision has been difficult for all of us, so to finish on a high would be such a blessing.

"To be able to get pole today is something that I can give them back."

Hamilton admitted he was suprised at how easily he had found his Red Bull-beating pace at the Yas Marina Circuit where he has now qualified on the front row for all four races since it hosted its inaugural event in 2009.

He ended Red Bull-s hat-trick of poles by topping the times by nearly four-tenths of a second.

"It is a great feeling and I am very excited," said Hamilton. "It's the first time, for a long time, to be ahead of the Red Bulls. Normally I see the tail of them at the start of the race!

"I know the race will be tough because they have great race pace. I hope we are strong enough to fight -- and the car has been beautiful all weekend."

He added: "I don't know why the car has worked so well this weekend, we haven't improved it much. Maybe it just suits us here. We always modify small little things, but it does very little. The car has felt great this weekend.

"Red Bull were slower than we expected but I was faster than we expected. I knew they would be very, very quick, but never imagined I would be this far ahead of them. I thought we were either a match or slightly slower than them."

McLaren team chief Martin Whitmarsh said: "Lewis has always been strong here. The car's not bad, but he's been doing a great job this weekend. I'm thrilled for him and thrilled for the team. We'll keep our feet on the ground though ahead of tomorrow, but it's a really great job by Lewis.

"We just want to win the race now. Lewis really likes this circuit so we'll see if we can go out and win the race. Jenson (Button) struggled in this qualifying and with your team-mate doing so well it can be intimidating so we'll see what happens tomorrow."

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