• British Grand Prix - Qualifying

Hamilton 'disappointed' but hopeful for race

ESPNF1 Staff
July 9, 2011 « Massa: "I will be stronger tomorrow" | »
Lewis Hamilton ran on used soft tyres before rain prevented him improving © Sutton Images

Lewis Hamilton couldn't hide his disappointment at qualifying a lowly tenth for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone - but insisted his McLaren could still play a large part at the business end of Sunday's race.

The 2008 world champion struggled in Q3 after poor tyre choices left him playing catch-up before a rain shower ended his chances of a leading grid position. Team-mate Jenson Button made a credible fifth place, and Hamilton said that the decision to do his first run on used tyres ultimately cost him but that he was hopeful more rain would play in to his hands tomorrow.

"I enjoyed the changeable weather conditions today, but it's disappointing to have ended up so far behind," Hamilton said. "For Q3, we fitted a used set of Options for our first run when the others ran new tyres, and that hurt our performance. Then, when we fitted new tyres for the final run, it started raining so I couldn't improve my time.

"I think there are a couple of guys in front of me who ought to be slower than me, so I'll do my best to make progress in the early laps even though overtaking here is difficult. I hope we can still have an exciting race, but it'll be tricky. I guess I'll be hoping for rain tomorrow to increase my chances of getting a good result. Nevertheless, the fans here are the best in the world - they're sensational in fact - and they'll spur me on in the race. I really hope I can do something special for them tomorrow."

Hamilton's team boss at McLaren, Martin Whitmarsh, was equally frustrated after a qualifying session that seemed to promise so much but ended poorly.

"Clearly, we'd intended to qualify better than fifth and 10th for our home grand prix, so inevitably today's qualifying session was a disappointing one," he said.

"It's been a difficult day, blighted by a lot of to-ing and fro-ing in relation to the regulations, and compromised by equally changeable weather conditions.

"That combination made things difficult for everyone, and the shape of tomorrow's grid was always likely to be tricky to predict as a result."