Hamilton hails McLaren strength
Singapore pole-sitter credits team's hard work for his improved form and pace as speculation continues about his future
Last Updated: 22/09/12 6:25pm
Lewis Hamilton believes the inherent strength of McLaren is coming to the fore after claiming the team's fourth consecutive pole position at Singapore on Saturday.
After a mid-season lull, McLaren, who had started the season in dominant fashion, have left their rivals trailing in their wake. Since Jenson Button signalled their revival by securing second place at Germany, the team have won three successive races, while Hamilton continued their fine form with a commanding display in qualifying at the Marina Bay Street Circuit.
"I've always believed that if we could start the season strongly, we'd be able to pull ahead. We've been there or thereabouts all season, but now I think we're starting to see the real strength of my team pull through," said a delighted Hamilton as he reflected on the 24th pole position of his career.
"Our guys at the factory have done an incredible job to bring our upgrades to the track this weekend. In previous years, we've often been playing catch-up on development throughout the season, but, this year, we're right there."
Somewhat paradoxically, Hamilton's upsurge in form and pace has coincided with a deluge of reports that his days with McLaren might be numbered.
However, it's now understood that an announcement on his future might be imminent. In any case, the speculation has seemingly not unduly affected Hamilton - in fact, team boss Martin Whitmarsh believes it may have helped rather than hindered his driver's title charge - and the 27-year-old has dropped another tantalising hint that he will ultimately opt to stay with the team in an exclusive interview to be broadcast during Sky Sports F1's build-up to Sunday's race.
"I've got an incredibly talented group of guys who are working very, very hard to win this World Championship and we can't afford to be distracted by anything," Lewis told Sky F1's Simon Lazenby. "We're trying to keep the positive energy here with these guys and I know and believe in them that we can do it."