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Hamilton on pole at US Grand Prix

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Last Updated: June 17, 2007, 10:36 IST

Hamilton on pole at US Grand Prix

The 22-year-old had taken the first pole and win of his Formula One career at Montreal in Canada last weekend.

Indianapolis: British rookie Lewis Hamilton seized his second pole position in the space of a week at the US Grand Prix on Saturday to put more pressure on McLaren team mate Fernando Alonso.

The 22-year-old, who took the first pole and win of his Formula One career in Canada last weekend, beat the double world champion to the top slot on another sizzling day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Sunday's race will be the third in a row with an all-McLaren front row.

Championship leader Hamilton, triumphant in Montreal as the first black driver to win a grand prix, leads Alonso by eight points in the championship after six races.

"I'm quite surprised to be honest," he said of his afternoon's work.

"I just had to pull it all out and my two last laps were spot on...so I couldn't be happier. Getting my second pole is even better than last week."

After struggling in the last two races, Ferrari returned to form by sweeping the second row with Brazil's Felipe Massa third fastest and Finland's Kimi Raikkonen fourth.

The Brickyard has traditionally provided a happy hunting ground for Ferrari, having captured six of seven races staged at the Speedway since 2000.

BMW Sauber's Nick Heidfeld was fifth with Renault's Heikki Kovalainen sixth.

German teenager Sebastian Vettel, who will make his Formula One race debut on Sunday in place of Robert Kubica after the Pole failed a fitness test following his big crash in Canada, will start seventh for BMW Sauber.

Video games

Vettel's effort, however, was overshadowed by another brilliant performance from Hamilton.

The Briton, whose only experience of the track before Friday was from video games, quickly came to grips with the 4.1km layout after some early near brushes with the Brickyard's infamous walls.

After dominating all three free practise sessions and topping the first two rounds of qualifying, Alonso appeared poised to shake off his Brickyard jinx.

Indianapolis has never been kind to the Spaniard, the Speedway being the only circuit on the current calendar where he has yet to stand on the podium.

"It's been a good weekend for me, no doubt," said Alonso.

"I was fastest in P1 (first practice), P2, P3, Q1 (first qualifying), Q2 but not the important one, Q3. But being fastest all weekend gives me a lot of confidence for tomorrow. I think for tomorrow we can have a strong race and I'm totally confident."

Ferrari looked sharper but were still not satisfied.

"We are a bit closer but not enough, we should be in front," said Massa.

"The situation looks a little bit better compared to Canada. But it needs a little bit more."

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed - Reuters)
first published:June 17, 2007, 10:36 IST
last updated:June 17, 2007, 10:36 IST