Hamilton braced for tough race
Driver wary despite landing Spanish pole
Last Updated: 12/05/12 4:47pm
Lewis Hamilton has hailed his display in qualifying for the Spanish GP as "one of the best I've ever had" - but admitted he is braced for "an incredibly tough race" on Sunday.
The McLaren driver produced a stunning lap of 1:21.707 to take pole - the 150th in the team's history and the 22nd of his career - ahead of Pastor Maldonado and Fernando Alonso. Yet in the season of the unpredictable, and having failed to secure victory this season despite starting on pole in both Australia and Malaysia, Hamilton remained understandably cautious about his prospects of victory when he faced the press afterwards.
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"I am very much aware that I have incredibly tough race tomorrow with these guys who are massively quick and how tricky it is in general.
"It will mean a lot to me to win in Spain.It has always been a good place for me, beautiful weather and people are incredible and the support I have continues to grow year by year and it has become such a pleasure.
"To win where you have such a big fan base will be fantastic."
Yet there is no doubt that Hamilton has the pace with which to claim victory - his qualifying lap being more than half-a-second faster than anyone else's. No wonder, then, that he couldn't keep a hint of self-congratulation out of his post-session reflections.
"It was a fantastic qualifying session for me, very very happy with it - one of the best I ever had," declared Lewis.
"The car feels great. It is a great day for the team I think. I really feel fantastic. I feel very, very happy. You can normally be happy with a position but for some reason this feels better than other pole positions because you are looking for a perfect position. It is an incredible feeling you have."