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China GP: Qualifying notes - McLaren

NEWS STORY
06/10/2007

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton will start from pole position in Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai, the penultimate round of the 2007 Formula 1 World Championship. In an exciting qualifying, Lewis set a time of 1min35.908 and achieved the sixth pole in his 16th Grand Prix. It is the eighth pole for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes this year. Team mate Fernando Alonso qualified fourth with a time of 1min36.576.

Lewis Hamilton: A very good qualifying for me and the team. I was pretty confident that we were fast enough to beat the Ferraris here; however, they looked very strong, particularly in the fast corners. I made my first run on the prime Bridgestone Potenza compound, which had been the more consistent tyre so far, however we opted to do the final run with the option tyres and luckily this worked perfectly for us. I still expect a very close fight for tomorrow's race but we have a strong strategy and I am optimistic.

Fernando Alonso: This was not an ideal result for me to be honest, I really thought I made no mistakes with my laps, but I am still starting on the second row and the forecast for tomorrow is possible rain, so perhaps that could help. Anything could happen in the race, so I have not given up and I will be pushing 100 percent for the win.

Ron Dennis: Both drivers did a very good job. We expect it to rain tomorrow, and the best place to start in those conditions is near the front, so it should be exciting. Our competition are still going to be strong, but hopefully with our strategy we will have a good clean race and a great fight for the championship.

Norbert Haug: A first class job of Lewis's at the right time. Fernando will start from the second row and still has all the chances in the race. With rain predicted for tomorrow it will be crucial to be at the front of the grid, but of course we are sure to face strong competition. This is the team's eighth pole position in the last 12 races which shows that our performance is heading in the right direction.

To check out our Shanghai qualifying gallery, click here

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