Hamilton happy despite missing pole

Hamilton happy despite missing pole

Championship leader Lewis Hamilton insists he is happy with his position for tomorrow’s inaugural Singapore Grand Prix despite Felipe Massa snatching pole in qualifying tonight.

McLaren driver Hamilton had looked on course to take first place after setting the fastest lap late in the final session on the Marina Bay street circuit.

However, Ferrari’s Massa had other ideas as he produced a superb final lap to take first place by clocking a time of one minute 44.801 seconds and finish sixth-tenths of a second ahead of Hamilton.

Kimi Raikkonen, despite having endured a disappointing practice session earlier in the evening, completed a fine qualifying session for Ferrari by claiming third place.

“It was one of those things and I was very fortunate to get through,” said Hamilton. ”But I’m happy with the result.

“We are not worried. We are in a very strong position and I am quite happy with where I am.”

Hamilton, however, conceded that overtaking will be almost impossible on the challenging street circuit tomorrow.

“You won’t be able to overtake here,” he added. “For the quicker cars if there is not much time difference. We will just do the best job we can tomorrow.

“We have just got to play it by ear and give it the best shot we can tomorrow.”

Massa, meanwhile, believes the only feeling that could better that of securing pole tonight will be winning tomorrow.

The Brazilian has won five races this season and is just one point behind Hamilton in the driver standings with four races remaining.

“It was so fantastic,” said Massa. “It is the most incredible feeling you can feel as a racing driver. To achieve what you want is always a great achievement.”

Though generally accepted as a difficult circuit, racing under the lights has on whole been met with a positive response.

And Massa believes tomorrow’s race is an important day for Formula One.

“It is pretty tough, a very difficult track, so to get every corner right is really, really difficult,” he added.

“It is a very important race for F1. It is interesting and a very important race on the calendar.

“If we can win the race it will be an even more fantastic a feeling than after qualifying.”

BMW Sauber’s Robert Kubica will start in fourth place on the grid tomorrow while Hamilton’s McLaren team-mate Heikki Kovalainen is in fifth.

Nick Heidfeld, of BMW Sauber, took sixth place while Italian Grand Prix winner Sebastian Vettel will start seventh in his Toro Rosso.

Toyota’s Timo Glock and Williams duo Nico Rosberg and Kazuki Nakajima complete the top 10.

Honda’s Jenson Button will start in 12th while David Coulthard is two places further back in his Red Bull.

“It is not good to start the race tomorrow in the middle of the pack,” said Coulthard.

“The main factors for this track are getting the right tyre and getting your eye in so that you turn at the right point.

“On a track like this you really need miles to get your hand in.”

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