Hamilton to 'give it everything'
But McLaren star anticipates "incredibly tough race" after penalty
By Mike Wise in Barcelona. Last Updated: May 13, 2012 9:02am
Lewis Hamilton has pledged to "race my heart out" after his pole position for the Spanish Grand Prix was stripped on Saturday evening.
Having enjoyed what he said was one of his best-ever qualifying sessions, Hamilton was sent to the back of the grid after his McLaren car was subsequently found to be under-weight and the stewards rejected his team's plea that their mistake had been caused by a 'force majeure'.
"This is such a disappointment. Today's qualifying session was one of the best I've ever driven - the whole car was just rolling so smoothly - it felt fantastic," the 2008 World Champion said late on Saturday evening.
"But, on my slowing-down lap, my engineers told me to stop on the track, and I didn't know why. Later, to hear that I'd been excluded from qualifying, was of course extremely disappointing.
"But, now, looking ahead to tomorrow, I think it's clear that it's going to be an incredibly tough race for us. Even so, as always, I'll never give up and I'll give it everything I've got. It would mean so much to me to get a good result here in Spain: it's such a pleasure to come here and the support I get is amazing.
"As I always say, and as I always do, whatever grid position I start a Grand Prix from, I'll always race my heart out."
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The severity of the punishment immediately provoked debate, with Sky Sports' Martin Brundle of the opinion that it was too harsh.
He tweeted: "Suspect clear cut stewards decision on HAM re regulations but feel they should have deleted that lap time only which would have put him 6th."
The decision means that Williams' Pastor Maldonado will start from pole position for the first time in his career ahead of Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.