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Pole in China puts Hamilton on brink of glory 06 Oct 2007

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4/22 celebrates his pole position
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Chinese Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai, China, Saturday, 6 October 2007 David Coulthard (GBR) Red Bull Racing RB3.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Chinese Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai, China, Saturday, 6 October 2007 Robert Kubica (POL) BMW Sauber F1.07.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Chinese Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai, China, Saturday, 6 October 2007 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR02 leads Jarno Trulli (ITA) Toyota TF107.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Chinese Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai, China, Saturday, 6 October 2007 Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F2007.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Chinese Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai, China, Saturday, 6 October 2007

Lewis Hamilton moved a step closer to his world championship ambition with a run to his sixth pole position of the season here in Shanghai today, leaving principal rival and McLaren team mate Fernando Alonso fourth on the grid.

Quite likely running a lighter fuel load with the intention of escaping into the spray should the expected rain arrive tomorrow, Hamilton pushed round in 1m 35.908s, and neither Kimi Raikkonen (1m 36.044s) nor Felipe Massa (1m 36.221s) in their Ferraris had a reply. Alonso had to be satisfied with 1m 36.576s.

A big surprise in fifth place was David Coulthard, who posted 1m 37.619s in his Red Bull. Team mate Mark Webber also made it through to Q3 and was seventh on 1m 38.153s. Ralf Schumacher sat between them for Toyota, on 1m 38.013s.

Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica are likely running fuel heavy for BMW Sauber, as they were only eighth and ninth (1m 38.455s and 1m 38.472s respectively), while Jenson Button completed the top 10 for Honda with 1m 39.285s

Q2 eliminated Toro Rosso’s Tonio Liuzzi as Jenson Button got his lap in right at the end. The Italian got bumped on his 1m 36.862s via Button’s 1m 36.771s. Sebastian Vettel in the other Toro Rosso was 12th on 1m 36.891s after a late improvement, while disappointing performances left Toyota’s Jarno Trulli, Renault’s Heikki Kovalainen and Williams’ Nico Rosberg out of the picture, together with Super Aguri’s Anthony Davidson.

Trulli lapped in 1m 36.959s to pip Kovalainen, who ran wide in Turn 16 and ended up on 1m 36.991s. Davidson did 1m 37.247s for Super Aguri, while Rosberg was left on 1m 37.483s.

Q1 took some interesting scalps too, as Honda’s Rubens Barrichello (1m 37.251s) and Renault’s Giancarlo Fisichella (1m 37.290s) joined Williams’ Alex Wurz (1m 37.456s), Super Aguri’s Takuma Sato (1m 38.218s), and the Spykers of Adrian Sutil (1m 38.668s) and Sakon Yamamoto (1m 39.336s) on the sidelines for Q2.