YEONGAM, South Korea, CMC – At the stage of the season when it mattered least, McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton finally managed to grab pole ahead of today’s Korean Grand Prix.
The Brit, whose paternal grandparents are Grenadian, stormed to the front of the grid in a time of one minute, 35.820 seconds as newly crowned Formula One champion Sebastien Vettel of Red Bull was forced to play second fiddle for the first time this season. For Hamilton, it was his first pole in over a year, breaking a run of 27 events without seeing front row.
Vettel, who was timed at 1:36.042, captured the title last week in Japan, with still three races left on the itinerary.
It was therefore understandable when Hamilton appeared muted despite a superb lap in final qualifying yesterday. “We’ve been working to improve our starts, and I hope we can convert pole into the lead tomorrow,” Hamilton said. “The Grand Prix’s going to be tough, and it’ll be difficult to beat the two guys starting immediately behind me, but I hope to keep the lead and control the race in a responsible way.
I now want to put all my energy into the race.”
Though Vettel has wrapped up the title, Hamilton can still finish second if he wins on Sunday and then carries on for the remainder of the season that ends in Brazil in late November.
He is currently fifth on 178 points, chasing teammate Jenson Button (210), Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso (202) and Red Bull’s Mark Webber (194).
Vettel will occupy front row behind Hamilton, with Button (1:36.126) and Webber (1:36.468) lining up on second row.