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Although he just missed out on a third pole from four 2012 races in Bahrain on Saturday, Lewis Hamilton remains massively excited about the overall prospects of the new Formula 1 season. Like Red Bull drivers Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber, he is yet to win a Grand Prix this year.
“This season is shaping up to be very interesting - it’s anyone’s for the taking at the moment,” Hamilton said after qualifying at Sakhir.
“I’m very happy with how qualifying went and the job the team has done so far this weekend. I’ve put the car on the front row at every race this year and I feel this was one of my best qualifying performances so far. Both my laps in Q3 were very good and I feel I got everything out of the car. Fingers crossed for tomorrow!
“Both Red Bull drivers will be very hard to beat in the race, but we’re less than a tenth behind on race pace. The start could be key – we’ve had good launches all season so I expect us to be able to challenge Seb down to Turn 1.”
Two places behind, McLaren team-mate Jenson Button - who won in Bahrain for Brawn GP in 2009 – shares the second row with Webber.
“Fourth wasn’t quite what I’d been hoping for, but it’s not too bad,” he reports. “It’s always a horrible feeling on your final Q3 lap when the balance isn’t quite where you want it. I couldn’t get the best from the car so I pitted early to save the tyres.”
Not only have today’s top three qualifiers not yet won a race in the 2012 F1 season, but a Bahrain Grand Prix victory also eludes Vettel, Hamilton and Webber.
|1.||S. Vettel||Red Bull||01:32.422||18|
|3.||M. Webber||Red Bull||01:32.637||17|
|6.||D. Ricciardo||Toro Rosso||01:32.912||17|
|9.||F. Alonso||Ferrari||no time||11|
|10.||P. di Resta||Force India||no time||15|
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|16 May||Photos: Honda, McLaren announce partnership|
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|2012 Bahrain Formula 1 Grand Prix|
|26 Apr '12||Ricciardo not yet refreshed after disappointment|
|25 Apr '12||Di Resta hails Force India’s best performance|
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|11 May||Button questions tyre pressures in Q2|
|11 May||Video of the Day: Button on race preparation|
|10 May||Button unsure over extent of McLaren gains|
|20 May||Hamilton enjoys Le Mans MotoGP visit|
|19 May||Hamilton: We must keep focusing on races|
|12 May||'We have a lot of work to do' – Hamilton|
|21 May||Whitmarsh: Lowe release the right thing to do|
|21 May||Video: Mégane Red Bull RB8 limited edition|
|21 May||Kristensen gets steward role in Monte-Carlo|