Hamilton the History Boy ; BAHRAIN GP. Young Briton on Front Row as He Bids to Go Where No Driver Has Gone Before

By Tremayne, David | The Independent on Sunday (London, England), April 15, 2007 | Go to article overview
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Hamilton the History Boy ; BAHRAIN GP. Young Briton on Front Row as He Bids to Go Where No Driver Has Gone Before


Tremayne, David, The Independent on Sunday (London, England)


In 2004, Lewis Hamilton drove what was then the greatest race of his career to win the inaugural Bahrain F3 Super Prix. Starting 23rd in the Formula Three field, he finished 11th in the first race and thus started the second from that position. By the end of the opening lap in that one, he was running fourth, and went on to win in great style from Nico Rosberg and fellow Briton Jamie Green.

This afternoon, he could become the youngest ever British grand prix winner, having comprehensively outrun his world champion McLaren team-mate Fernando Alonso all weekend and qualified on the front row of the grid for the first time in what is fast developing into an astonishing F1 career.

It remains to be seen whether the fast laps that earned Felipe Massa his fifth pole position, and Hamilton the place alongside him, came because they were running less fuel than their respective team- mates, Kimi Raikkonen and Alonso, who line up on the second row. But Hamilton appears to have had the measure of Alonso since they began running here on Friday morning. They ended that day's morning session third and fourth; the afternoon's second and fifth, and yesterday morning's final practice run first and seventh.

"To come here and be truly competitive, and to go into my third F1 race starting on the front row, is amazing," Hamilton said, wearing a broad smile but otherwise looking markedly matter-of-fact about it all. And then he admitted that his lap could have been better. "To be honest, it was not that great. I definitely had better laps earlier in the session. You need to pull out absolutely everything on that last lap, but I lost a bit of time in Turn One. The rest of the lap was OK, but Turn 13 was a bit hectic as the wind was changing through there. Sometimes you'd get a crosswind, so it was quite tough since the car was on the limit and you had to anticipate what might happen."

Massa aced him by 0.283sec, and the little Brazilian was very pleased about that, especially after blotting his copybook last week in Malaysia after Hamilton forced him into making a mistake.

"It's good to be here," he said with his trademark naughty little boy smile. "Hopefully this time we start a different championship. I'm quite happy with my performance, really happy to be taking out everything from the car.

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