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By Alan Davies
, Formula One correspondent
Sunday, June 10, 2012
LEWIS Hamilton bids to break his Formula 1 win duck this year in today’s 2012 Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal.
* 2011: Q5, R-
* 2010: Q1, R1
* 2008: Q1, R-
* 2007: Q1, R1
The 27-year-old former F1 world champion from Hertfordshire starts from the front row of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve grid.
He was second fastest in qualifying on Saturday behind the Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel, who snatched pole position by three-tenths.
The Stevenage-born racer has twice taken the chequered flag in Canada before – in 2007 and 2010 – and will be looking to complete a hat-trick of Montreal victories in today’s race.
The Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver clocked a time of 1m 14.087s on Options in Q3 yesterday, a result he was pleased with.
“I was very happy with my lap – I squeezed every last ounce out of the car and didn’t expect to be so far up the grid,” said Hamilton, whose family live in Tewin.
“In fact, I struggled a little in Q1 and Q2, and I wasn’t sure about my ultimate pace at first, but, fortunately, in the end, I pulled it all together for Q3.”
Speaking after qualifying, Hamilton said: “Compared with yesterday [Friday], things were definitely a bit harder for us out there today, though.
“It was tough trying to get the tyres to switch on properly – today’s warmer temperatures made that trickier for us, I think.”
* Wins: 12 (1968, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1999, 2005, 2007, 2010, 2011).
* Poles: 11 (1972, 1974, 1976, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1998, 2007, 2008, 2010).
* Fastest Laps: 11 (1971, 1981, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1997, 2000, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2011).
And after going backwards in the Monaco Grand Prix, Hamilton said: “Still, I’m very happy with our performance and very pleased to be on the front row – we can have a really good race from there.
“And, remember, our long-run pace on Friday looked good, so I’ll definitely be looking to go forward in the race.
“Having said all that, I’ll be doing absolutely everything I can to look after the tyres.”
Martin Whitmarsh, the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team principal, expects Hamilton to be battling for a podium finish in today’s race.
“Lewis drove a great lap in Q3 today, and will start tomorrow’s race from the front row as a result,” said Whitmarsh after qualifying.
“And when Lewis is on the front row, you always fancy his chances, don’t you?”
The 2012 Grand Prix of Canada starts at 7pm.