ROOKIE SENSATION HAMILTON EARNS POLE FOR 2007 USGP AT INDIANAPOLIS INDIANAPOLIS, Saturday, June 16, 2007 -- Lewis Hamilton scored his first career pole at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and led a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes sweep of the front row in...
ROOKIE SENSATION HAMILTON EARNS POLE FOR 2007 USGP AT INDIANAPOLIS
INDIANAPOLIS, Saturday, June 16, 2007 -- Lewis Hamilton scored his first career pole at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and led a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes sweep of the front row in qualifying for the 2007 United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis at June 16.
Hamilton, a Formula One rookie from England, earned his second F1 pole in as many weeks with a lap of 1 minute, 12.331 seconds, 129.643 mph. He was just .169 of a second quicker than his McLaren teammate, Fernando Alonso of Spain, who will start second after posting a fast lap of 1:12.500. Alonso had led the field in both Friday practices and the Saturday morning practice preceding qualifying.
"Yeah, quite surprised to be honest," Hamilton said about his qualifying effort. "Going into qualifying, we hadn't found the optimal setup. But it's great to see that we're so quick and ahead of the Ferraris. Going into that qualifying session, I had to put it all out. I couldn't be happier. I didn't expect to be pole. I thought Fernando would be quicker.
"Getting my second pole is even better than last week. When I came across the line and the team said I had P1, screaming in my helmet. The crowd here has been fantastic. It's great to see. A lot of British flags here. Also, a lot of support from the Americans."
It was the third consecutive McLaren front-row sweep of the season, as Alonso started on pole May 27 at Monaco and Hamilton started second, and Hamilton started from the pole June 10 at Canada and Alonso started second.
Ferrari occupies the second row after Felipe Massa qualified third with a lap of 1:12.703 and Kimi Raikkonen qualified fourth at 1:12.839. Nick Heidfeld continued the BMW Sauber F1 Team's recent surge by qualifying fifth at 1:12.847, and ING Renault F1 Team rookie Heikki Kovalainen will start sixth after posting a lap of 1:13.308. Less than a second separated the top six drivers.
American driver Scott Speed's team, Scuderia Toro Rosso, struggled in qualifying. Speed, of Manteca, Calif., posted a fast lap of 1:13.712 and will start 20th.
The United States Grand Prix starts at 1 p.m. (ET) Sunday, June 17.
2007 USGP tickets: Reserved Race Day tickets for the 2007 United States Grand Prix on June 17 are on sale to all customers.
Ticket information can be found any time at www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com or by calling the IMS Ticket Office at (800) 822-4639 or (317) 492-6700.