Hamilton to start from second row

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen will start Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix from third and fifth positions respectively.

In Saturday’s qualifying, Lewis set a time of 1m33.292, less than two tenths of a second behind pole position. Heikki’s time was 1m33.488.

Qualifying Session One: Qualifying Session Two: Qualifying Session Three:Lewis: 4 laps, 1:32.750 (4th) 3 laps, 1:31.922(5th) 6 laps, 1:33.292 (3rd)Heikki: 3 laps, 1:33.057 (12th) 3 laps, 1:31.718 (2nd) 6 laps 1:33.488 (5th)

LEWIS HAMILTON“My fastest lap in qualifying was OK, but not perfect. The balance of the car was good, and I think a better time and a position on the front row would have been possible, but the times were very close. Yesterday’s accident was no problem for me, at Turn Five where it happened, I was faster today than Friday. It was just a matter of going for it. I know the guys worked until early this morning preparing the car after yesterday’s accident, so a big thank you to them. I will now analyse the data together with my engineers and look forward to an interesting race tomorrow. We have a good strategy, and I am confident.”

HEIKKI KOVALAINEN“The car felt good, especially on the softer tyre, but the lap time was not quick enough to get higher up the grid. There was little more wind than yesterday, but I don’t think that had any influence. All the times are extremely close. I am positive for tomorrow’s race and believe we can improve some positions. We are close to the top guys and anything can happen tomorrow. I am confident that we have a good strategy, and the most important thing is to keep scoring the points as we have been doing in the first two races.”

RON DENNIS“A troublefree qualifying session for Lewis and Heikki who both did an excellent job. Also the team did a great job overnight in making the necessary repairs to Lewis’ car. The times at the top were extremely close which bodes well for an exciting race. We will now see how the race unfolds and if our strategy will work out as we have planned.”

NORBERT HAUG“We have achieved a good basis for the race with third and fifth positions on the better side of the track for the start. The mechanics did a super job last night to virtually build up a new chassis for Lewis which he drove to third place on the grid – less than two tenths from pole position. Heikki did a great job and has good chances for a podium position tomorrow with his fifth place. Congratulations to BMW and Robert Kubica for their first pole as BMW-Sauber, well done. We expect an exciting race.”