Sun, Sep 07, 2008 - Page 20 News List

F1: Hamilton to start on pole position

AFP , SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, BELGIUM

World championship leader Lewis Hamilton oozed confidence after he secured pole position for the Belgian Grand Prix with a dazzling lap in yesterday’s qualifying session.

The 23-year-old Briton, in a McLaren, claimed his fifth pole of the season and the 11th of his career with a perfectly-timed lap to out pace title rival Brazilian Felipe Massa’s Ferrari.

Hamilton’s supreme lap lifted him clear of Massa by three-10ths of a second and proved he is fully recovered from his sore neck suffered in Spain two weeks ago.

Finland’s Heikki Kovlainen in the second McLaren was third fastest and starts ahead of defending champion and compatriot Kimi Raikkonen in the second Ferrari on the second row. German Nick Heidfeld was fifth for BMW Sauber, ahead of two times champion Spaniard Fernando Alonso in a Renault. Australian Mark Webber was seventh for Red Bull ahead of Poland’s Robert Kubica in the second BMW, Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais in a Toro Rosso and Sebastian Vettel of Germany in the second Toro Rosso.

Hamilton leads Massa by six points going into the penultimate European race of the year and oozed confidence.

“It was a perfect lap, one of my four perfect laps so I was very happy,” he said. “I made no mistakes and the team made no mistakes, so we are looking good.”

Massa said he also did a perfect lap.

“It was as good as I could have done,” he said. “Sometimes you do your best, do a perfect lap, and then you find it is not enough and that is what happened today.”

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