Hamilton aims for lead into the first corner

Lewis Hamilton believes that his KERS boost button will prove vital in his persuit of victory in the Hungarian Grand Prix. The reigning World Champion admitted that his final qualifying run in Q3 had not went to plan, forcing the Briton to settle for fourth on the grid.

However Hamilton is still confident that a good start, using his KERS button could give him the opportunity to fight for victory.

Heikki Kovalainen will line up sixth on the grid for tomorrow’s race. The Finn blaming a lack of grip for his inability to match his teammate.

Lewis Hamilton – 4th: “It was so hard out there this afternoon. Maybe we could have been closer to the front because my final lap wasn’t a great one, but fourth is a good position from which to start tomorrow’s race. We’re still not quick enough and need to keep pushing but, nonetheless, it feels great to be back up there competing for the first few rows on the grid.

“I have a few cars to try and boost past so I hope there’s some good grip on my side of the grid – it would be fantastic to get the lead into the first corner. Finally, I want to send my best wishes to Felipe. It looked quite a big crash so I just hope he’s okay.”

Heikki Kovalainen – 6th: “It was harder to find grip on the track this afternoon, and the car was sliding around quite a bit. It was better on heavier tanks, but it was still difficult to get enough heat into the tyres. At one point, I overcooked them it was tricky to get the right balance, so sixth was the best I could do today.

“The most encouraging thing about today is that we’re much closer to the front. With the same upgrades as Lewis, we’ve made great progress, and it shows the incredible efforts of everybody in the team. I don’t know if any other team in the paddock could have made such a big step. We should all be encouraged by that but the work starts again to get us back to the very front.

“I really hope that Felipe is okay. I really hope he isn’t injured as it reminds me of my accident in Barcelona last year.”

Martin Whitmarsh – Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes: “Both Lewis and Heikki drove solid laps in Q3, and the result was our best overall qualifying performance of the year so far. We believe we have a good race strategy, and we should therefore be competitive tomorrow. Our goal is to have a car, or ideally cars plural, in podium positions by flag-fall and that looks possible.

“Felipe’s accident was very unpleasant to watch on the TV monitors, and we all very much hope that he’s sustained only minor injuries from which he’ll make a full and fast recovery.”

Norbert Haug -Vice-president, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: “First and foremost, our thoughts are with Felipe Massa who suffered a terrible accident in Q2, which was beyond his control. Hopefully he will recover soon.

“After such a shocking accident, it is difficult to go back to evaluating the performance immediately after qualifying, which turned out to be due to a malfunctioning timing system more of a guessing session.

“But Lewis and Heikki did great laps and the team has made big steps forward during the last month. Starting from the second and third rows even if both our drivers will be positioned on the less grippy side is a good basis for tomorrow’s race. I obviously hope that Lewis and Heikki will be able to ‘do a Nurburgring’ on their colleagues ahead of them by making up, in the best case, respectively three or five places to the first corner.”

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