Montreal: If there is a silver lining in every cloud, Lewis Hamilton found his on Saturday with the consolation of qualifying on the front row of the grid for the Canadian Grand Prix.
The Briton was furious with himself after making a tiny mistake on his final flying lap, which cost him his chance of grabbing pole position on a wet and wild day in Montreal. Instead, he had to settle for second, just 0.087 seconds behind Germany's Sebastian Vettel but consoled himself in the knowledge he was still in a great position to mount a challenge on Sunday.
"I was doing a pretty good lap, I think I was six or seven tenths up, even so I went wide," he told a news conference. "I don't know whether I would have kept it but all I needed to keep was a tenth or so, a bit unfortunate but I'm still happy to be here for the team."
File photo of Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton. (Getty Images) (Getty Images)
Despite his mistake, Hamilton said he is optimistic about his chances of winning the race at the street circuit where he has triumphed three times before with his former team McLaren.
"As you know, I love it here so," said the 2008 world champion. "Tomorrow should be a good opportunity for us, though. The car felt great yesterday in the dry, so we'll keep our fingers crossed that the rain stays away for the race and hopefully we can give Seb [Sebastian Vettel] a run for his money. We've got a good car and I feel like I'm on it here, so let's see what we can do tomorrow."
Hamilton's team-mate Nico Rosberg was also in a good position to strike after he also had some problems before qualifying fourth. The German had taken pole in each of the last three races, and going on to take the chequered flag in Monaco, but was unable to hear instructions from his team when the on-board radio transmission failed.
"Communicating with my engineers is crucial in conditions like we had this afternoon," Rosberg said. "The biggest issue was not knowing that I had one more lap that was the chance to improve my time. But generally I can be pleased to be starting from the second row and I will hope for a strong race tomorrow. We need to manage the tyres well and then I believe we can get a good result."