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Shortly before posing for photographs after claiming pole position in Spain, Lewis Hamilton could be seen receiving a message from McLaren press officer Steve Cooper. This may have related to the reason why the 2008 Champion was forced to par his car on-track just seconds after seizing the top spot at Barcelona.
Marking the team’s 150th Formula 1 pole position and his first at the Circuit de Catalunya, Hamilton has now racked up three poles out of five in 2012.
“I stopped on-track but don’t have any idea why,” he told reporters after the session, having ground to a halt on the climb to Campsa turn. After the session, Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh confirmed to BBC Sport that the reason for the stoppage was a mechanical issue that is ‘slightly concerning' to the Woking outfit.
“It was a fantastic qualifying for me,” Hamilton continued. “One of the best I have ever had. It was just an amazing job by the guys here and in the factory to get the upgrades ready. The car feels great and I really feel fantastic.
“However we do know it will be an incredible tough race, with these guys behind us who are massively quick! It would mean a lot to me to win in Spain.”
If Hamilton loses his pole for stopping on the slow-down lap, Pastor Maldonado will be handed a career-first pole and Williams' first since 2010 with Nico Hülkenberg.
Hamilton sent to back as Maldonado takes pole
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