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Lewis Hamilton says 'pole' was within reach as he laments qualifying near-miss

Mercedes driver will line up just behind Sebastian Vettel on front row

By Pete Gill.   Last Updated: 08/06/13 9:16pm

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Lewis Hamilton has blamed himself for just missing out on pole position for Sunday's Canadian GP.

The Mercedes driver will line up alongside Sebastian Vettel on the front row for the race after setting a time within one-tenth of a second of the Red Bull driver's best effort in the early stages of Q3. However, Hamilton had appeared set to claim a fifth successive pole position for his new employers on his second flying lap before out-braking himself into the slippery final chicane and aborting his lap.

"The pole was definitely there, but that's the way it goes," he lamented. "I am a little disappointed with my last lap."

Speaking to Sky Sports News, Hamilton added: "I was seven-tenths up going into the final corner and then I went straight on. The final corner was quite slippery so generally you would lose at least half of that, but I only needed a tenth. So that's a bit of a shame, but it's good to be up here for the team."

Earlier, Hamilton's body language during the post-session press conference spoke loudly of his frustration, with the former World Champion a picture of irritation despite out-qualifying team-mate Nico Rosberg - who will start from fourth on the grid - for the first time since China in early April.

Asked if everything had gone to plan, Hamilton simply answered: "No." When it was suggested that this was the reason for his unhappy demeanour, the Mercedes driver offered no reply.

Hamilton was, though, a little more forthcoming - if still guarded - about his prospects of claiming his fourth career victory in Canada.

"It's good to be on the front row, that brings up the chances [of victory], but it is going to be a tough race. Sebastian is obviously very quick, and the Ferraris are very quick on their long runs, but it all depends on the conditions," he said.

"If the conditions are going to be changeable then it should be fun and interesting, but I hope it is dry.

"As you know, I love it here. We still had a great crowd despite the weather being not-so great, and I'm sure we'll have even more people tomorrow so let's hope we can put on a great show for them tomorrow."

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