Bahrain Blitz; Hamilton Ready to Make History in the Desert
Byline: CHRIS POWER
LEWIS HAMILTON is within striking distance of an extraordinary first win today in only the third race of his maiden Formula One season after passing another milestone in Bahrain.
Hamilton will start the Grand Prix in Manama from the front row of the grid for the first time, having also eclipsed teammate and double world champion Fernando Alonso in qualifying.
Hamilton, who was born in Tewin in Hertfordshire, is poised to triumph within three races after finishing behind Ferrari's Felipe Massa, who demonstrated how quickly the British rookie has won the respect of his rivals by trying to play mind games ahead of another first-corner clash.
F1's first black driver, Hamilton has already been compared with Tiger Woods for the impact he could make on his sport and, with history beckoning today, he is happy to take the mantle.
'Tiger is a sensational athlete and it is an honour to be compared to someone of such great calibre,' said Hamilton, 22, the son of a former British Rail clerk whose grandparents arrived in Britain from Grenada.
'I hope I can have a similar impact to what he has had in golf. But I am not Tiger Woods, I am Lewis Hamilton. F1 is completely different and I am here to win and do a job.
'But it is just getting better and better for me and to be on the front row in only my third race weekend is an amazing feeling. Now I want that win. I am in a really good position but I know it is going to be a tough race.'
Unlike in Australian and Malaysia, where he finished third and second respectively, Hamilton has previous knowledge of the desert track at Sakhir, having won an F3 race in 2004 from the back row of the grid.
'F1 is a bit different,' admitted the McLaren driver, also poised to become the first man in history to finish his first three races on the podium. 'I definitely feel more confident here.
'I am more at home with the circuit and know where you can overtake. I feel relaxed about everything, although my last lap wasn't that great. …