• Korean Grand Prix - Qualifying

Hamilton eyeing victory from second row

ESPNF1 Staff
October 23, 2010 « Qualifying 'close to perfect' - Webber | »
Lewis Hamilton will start from fourth on the grid © Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton insists he is not out of the running at the Korean Grand Prix, despite qualifying fourth and admitting he was baffled by the Red Bulls' pace.

Hamilton, currently fourth in the title race and 28 points behind Mark Webber, will start behind all three of his championship rivals on Sunday's grid. However, he is confident that the car will be quicker in race trim and will have a significant advantage on the long straights at the start of the lap.

"We were very quick in practice, so I don't know where the Red Bulls found an extra half a second in Q3," he said. "Still, it's important to remember that we're still in the fight: we make good starts, and there are some long straights here, which should suit us.

"I feel that we're competitive - the car is the best it's ever been and our long runs are strong. We just need to do the best we can with what we have - we can't ask any more of the guys back at the factory, or the guys here, and I don't think I could have asked for any more from me.

"So, yes, we can still have a very good race tomorrow."

Team principal Martin Whitmarsh said the drop in track temperature between practice and qualifying played into Red Bull's hands but was also very confident for the race.

"The conditions in qualifying today were pretty challenging - low-grip tarmac combined with low-ish track temperatures - and as a result it was difficult to get the tyres up to optimal operating temperature fast enough," he said. "However, we're very positive about tomorrow's race. We've got a very good race car, with strong straight-line speed, and as a result both Jenson [Button] and Lewis will be able to drive attacking races."

Since the Japanese Grand Prix, McLaren has solved the problems it had with its updated rear wing and Hamilton said it had made a big difference.

"The team made a phenomenal effort to get all the new parts to the track for this race, and everybody has done a fantastic job at the track all weekend," he added.