Lewis Hamilton surprised he managed to qualify as high as third at the Indian GP
However, Brit sitll doesn't feel he can challenge for victory
By William Esler. Last Updated: October 27, 2013 9:52am
Lewis Hamilton is pleased to have qualified in third but says no one will see Sebastian Vettel after the first corner.
Lewis Hamilton admits he was surprised he managed to qualify as high as third for the Indian Grand Prix.
Mercedes were the best of the rest behind Sebastian Vettel, with team-mate Nico Rosberg just ahead of the Brit in second after Mark Webber opted to qualify on the slower medium-compound tyre.
Despite securing a second-row start, Hamilton was still eight-tenths of a second slower than Vettel's pole time, but he feels Mercedes have done well to make the most out of a difficult weekend.
"It has been a tough weekend for us," he said in the post qualifying press conference.
"Congratulations to Sebastian, that is some serious pace that they have, especially with Webber just behind us on the primes.
"We have been pushing as hard as we can and we really want to get a good result this weekend and strategy is going to play a huge part. I was a little bit surprised to be where we are, but generally bit-by-bit we have adjusted the set up and got a reasonable balance and hopefully we can push together to try and stay ahead of the rest."
Despite starting third, Hamilton has ruled out challenging for victory unless he can repeat the start he got at the Japanese GP and nip ahead of Vettel into turn one.
"It is going to be interesting strategy wise," he told Sky Sports F1.
"None of us are going to see Sebastian after the first corner unless we jump him at the start which is unlikely, but we will try our best. You saw in the last race that we got a better start than Red Bull, so hopefully it is something like that again, but then you have the long, long straight down the back so you never know how soon to go.
"The life of the tyre is going to be the big decision to make at the start of the race and other people on other strategies - we will wait and see. I am just going to push as hard as I can and Nico, the team and I really want to get more points than the others."