• Singapore Grand Prix - Qualifying

Hamilton praises McLaren after securing pole

ESPN Staff
September 22, 2012 « Pic hit by time penalty | 'Mercedes offer him much greater freedom on the commercial side' »
Lewis Hamilton: "I was very happy that I was able to pull that time out" © Sutton Images

Lewis Hamilton praised McLaren for giving him a competitive car during qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix after the team took its fourth consecutive pole position.

Hamilton took pole by 0.442s from Williams' Pastor Maldonado after what looked likely to be a close battle with Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel. Vettel ended up third on the grid and Hamilton praised the small updates McLaren had brought to his car for making the difference.

"The guys have done a fantastic job to come here with some small things that have improved from the last race," he said. "Obviously we have high downforce here so we weren't sure where would turn out against the others. Sebastian was incredibly fast through most the sessions, I'm not sure what happened in the end, but nonetheless I was very happy that I was able to pull that time out. A great lap and I'm very happy with it."

Hamilton tagged the wall on his final lap, but when asked if he was worried he might have damaged the car he appeared to be relaxed.

"That means I'm using all the road," he joked. "I didn't mean to and I didn't feel it so hopefully it hasn't done any damage."

Hamilton said monitoring the tyres would be the main concern in Sunday's race.

"It's an incredibly tough circuit for tyre degradation, as we have pretty much at every track, but especially here because it's hot and humid. I think everyone is going to struggle with that and we just have to try to get away cleanly at the start and then try to stick to the strategy that we have planned and be prepared if it doesn't work."