• Malaysian Grand Prix - Qualifying

Hamilton happy to close gap to Red Bull

ESPNF1 Staff
April 9, 2011 « KERS was crucial for pole - Vettel | »
Lewis Hamilton looked to have secured pole until he was beaten by Sebastian Vettel's late lap. © Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton said his McLaren team could not be disappointed despite being beaten to pole position by Sebastian Vettel in qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Red Bull had been expected to be quickest once again, especially when it was confirmed that it was running KERS on its car for qualifying. But Jenson Button set the quickest time of the second session, and Hamilton held provisional pole for much of the last one until Vettel's final lap. Even though McLaren only missed out by 0.1 seconds, Hamilton said he was pleased the team had closed the gap.

"I don't think we can be disappointed. Going into the last race we did a fantastic job to even be up there with the Red Bulls. And so I feel very proud with the effort the guys put in, especially to be getting some new parts this weekend, and just to be constantly moving forward, so I think we can be happy with it.

Of course we would have loved to be on the front row, I would have loved to have been on P1, but these guys still have the slight edge. We have closed the gap a little bit, or so it seems here, and the lap wasn't perfect so I have to improve on that."

Hamilton said that even when he and team-mate Button topped the timesheets after the second qualifying session, he still expected Red Bull to be able to go quicker on its final runs.

"We always expected they might have a little bit in hand, especially going into the last run, you just never know. They usually tend to pull something out of the bag, which they did, they obviously picked up a little bit of pace and they pulled out a bit of pace towards the end of Q3. I think on my lap we lost a little bit of time, but just in one corner so I cannot be too disappointed. You can never get it that perfect."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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