• German Grand Prix

Hamilton writes off pole chances

ESPNF1 Staff
July 22, 2011 « Mercedes is coming good - Schumacher | »
Lewis Hamilton is more optimistic for McLaren's race pace © Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton says McLaren has no chance of challenging for pole position following the first two practice sessions for the German Grand Prix.

Hamilton was fifth quickest in the morning and seventh in the afternoon and in both sessions he was over a second slower than the fastest time. Once all of the teams were carrying out heavier-fuel runs, however, Hamilton's pace was much more comparable, and he said that even though it was unlikely McLaren would be competitive in qualifying he was more optimistic for the race.

"We can't challenge for pole tomorrow, at least that it what it seems from today," Hamilton is quoted by Autosport."In pure pace in qualifying we don't have the pace to run with them (Red Bull or Ferrari) - over a single lap they definitely have about a second on us. We don't know what fuel load everyone is on, so we might be pleasantly surprised tomorrow to find we're heavier than others - although historically that's not the case.

"It's the race where we're able to do the most damage and close the gap for some reason. We might have the chance to challenge at least one of the Ferraris and Red Bulls - obviously they are still massively quick, but anything can happen."

Hamilton also refused to write off McLaren's ability to close the gap on the front two teams during the rest of the season.

"I just have to have faith in my team, in the developments coming through, that eventually we'll close the gap. We've said that we're one of the best teams in turning things around, and we still believe that. Ferrari has passed us but it doesn't mean that it's over yet."

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