• Canadian Grand Prix - Qualifying

Hamilton 'on the ragged edge'

ESPNF1 Staff
June 11, 2011 « Alonso eyeing victory | »
Lewis Hamilton was pushing hard in pursuit of Red Bull and Ferrari © Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton said he was "right on the ragged edge" during his qualifying lap for the Canadian Grand Prix, but hopes the car will be quicker in race trim after qualifying fifth.

Hamilton had taken pole on all three previous visits to Canada, and was hopeful of challenging Red Bull's dominance this weekend again. However, McLaren was slightly off the pace of Red Bull and Ferrari as Hamilton qualified 0.5s behind Sebastian Vettel, and he said he had to push to the absolute limit just to get close.

"Personally, I was very happy with my lap: I don't think I've ever driven a car as hard in my life as I did this afternoon. I was right on the ragged edge and I think I even touched the wall at one stage. But, even so, I managed only P5; that was all I could do. Nonetheless, I'm still hopeful that we'll bring further improvements to the car soon - it's just a matter of time."

Hamilton also said he was hoping McLaren would be more competitive in race trim as they have been at most circuits this year, and that the car setup was geared towards Sunday's grand prix.

"I hope our race pace will prove to be stronger tomorrow than our qualifying pace was today: we're losing a couple of tenths along the back straight, which hurt us in qualifying. We've got a long seventh gear - a bit too long for qualifying perhaps - but that should be good for overtaking and will be a help when I'm slipstreaming as it means I won't be on the limiter. That should enable me to challenge the guys in front of me, in fact.

"It's going to be a tough afternoon tomorrow, but it's always a long and unpredictable race here and we're definitely not out of the fight."