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McLaren ace has Vettel in his sights

HAPPY: Lewis Hamilton

LEWIS HAMILTON will start on the front row for the European Grand Prix after he finished second in qualifying behind Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel.

Hamilton, currently leading the drivers’ championship by two points, clocked a time of 1.38.410 but it was 0.324 seconds off that of current world champion Vettel.

The British driver admitted that he had been surprised to finish so high up the grid, especially after he indicated that there were problems with his car in Friday’s practice sessions.

Speaking after qualifying, the 2008 world champion said: “I expected to be lot further back because we struggled all weekend with the set-up. Going from P3 into qualifying, we had to make a guess with the set-up. It seemed to work OK.

"The guys did a great job to get me a gap, and the car felt pretty good but I think the gap is quite big here."

Hamilton had stated on Friday that he had not been "totally happy with his car" and he again played down his chances and instead tipped rivals Lotus as the biggest threat at the Valencia street circuit: “Looking at the grid, because it's so hot the Lotus duo look massively competitive - they'll be ones to watch out for tomorrow, and Ferrari look quick on their long runs."

Hamilton’s team mate Jenson Button, who had set the fastest pace in the final practice session, will start the race 9th on the grid and was clearly disappointed after qualifying and stated his belief that we will not see a lot of overtaking in tomorrow’s race.

Hamilton has now out qualified his fellow Briton in every Grand Prix so far this season. The other British driver on the grid, Force India’s Paul di Resta, will start in 10th.

The result was Vettel’s 33rd pole of his career, and he is now third-equal on the sports all time list. The German also got pole for the 2011 European Grand Prix and went on to win the race whilst Hamilton finished in fourth.

Prior to that, the McLaren driver had finished runner-up in each of his other three races in Valencia.

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