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Home > Sports > Formula One > Reuters > Report


Hamilton takes first pole at Canadian GP

June 10, 2007 01:10 IST

Lewis Hamilton [Images] moved a big step closer to his first Formula One victory on Saturday with his first pole position at the Canadian Grand Prix [Images].

The 22-year-old McLaren rookie produced a superb final lap to pip team mate and double world champion Fernando Alonso [Images] to the top slot in only the sixth Grand Prix of his career.

With one newspaper already dubbing him the 'David Beckham of the pitlane', the Briton kept on smiling as he was surrounded by fans and the media.

Asked by a tabloid reporter whether he considered his first pole position to be better than sex, he replied at first as most Formula One drivers would.

"I think it is completely different. You cannot compare it to sex," he said.

Then he paused, and obligingly delivered a headline on a plate: "You know what? I would say it is better than sex. It is!"

McLaren team boss Ron Dennis, asked if he was surprised by Hamilton's performances, shook his head.

"The only thing I am surprised about is that he put sex behind pole position," quipped Dennis, before conceding that his driver had learnt some lessons about media management in the past two weeks.

Hamilton's comments about team tactics following his second place finish behind Alonso at Monaco whipped up one of Formula One's eternal standby stories -- the internal team rivalry and illegal 'team orders'.

The sport's governing body cleared McLaren of any wrongdoing.

"He is learning quick and becoming very professional at dealing with the inevitable efforts of the media to get the soundbite," said Dennis.

"The small blip on the radar after the Monaco race for me, that is just motor racing," he added.

Hamilton's confidence might be read as cockiness in a sport where newcomers usually have to serve their time before getting a shot at glory, but the results are on his side.

He is the first driver to finish his first five races on the podium and has been second in his past four. Yet despite the success and the attention, he remains a 22-year-old.

"I am just trying to take it in my stride. It is all a really new experience for me," he said. "This is my sixth Grand Prix and already there has been a lot of attention.

"But I get to race a Formula One car around the track, and it is just an amazing feeling. And anything else that comes into it doesn't matter," he said.

Provisional starting grid:

1. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren
2. Fernando Alonso (Spain) McLaren
3. Nick Heidfeld (Germany [Images]) BMW Sauber
4. Kimi Raikkonen [Images] (Finland) Ferrari [Images]
5. Felipe Massa [Images] (Brazil [Images]) Ferrari
6. Mark Webber (Australia) RedBull-Renault
7. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Williams-Toyota
8. Robert Kubica (Poland) BMW Sauber
9. Giancarlo Fisichella (Italy [Images]) Renault
10. Jarno Trulli (Italy) Toyota
11. Takuma Sato (Japan [Images]) Super Aguri-Honda
12. Vitantonio Liuzzi (Italy) Toro Rosso-Ferrari
13. Rubens Barrichello (Brazil) Honda
14. David Coulthard (Britain) RedBull-Renault
15. Jenson Button [Images] (Britain) Honda
16. Scott Speed (U.S.) Toro Rosso-Ferrari
17. Anthony Davidson (Britain) Super Aguri-Honda
18. Ralf Schumacher (Germany) Toyota
19. Alexander Wurz (Austria) Williams-Toyota
20. Adrian Sutil (Germany) Spyker-Ferrari
21. Christijan Albers (Netherlands) Spyker-Ferrari
22. Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) Renault

© Copyright 2007 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.
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