Hamilton relieved to be third-fastest

Lewis Hamilton believes third in Suzuka qualifying was the best result he could have hoped for given Red Bull's pace and his dramas this weekend

Hamilton relieved to be third-fastest

The McLaren driver crashed early in Friday practice, missed most of the second session while his heavily damaged car was repaired, and then lost out on any more dry running due to yesterday's downpour.

Hamilton then received the further blow of a gearbox change penalty, meaning his third place in qualifying will become eighth on the grid, but despite these problems, he was still the fastest driver outside the dominant Red Bulls this morning.

Asked if his third was the best possible result, Hamilton replied: "I think so considering the speed of the Red Bulls. We knew this weekend they would be competitive and it's not been the best of weekends for us.

"The guys back at the factory are working so hard to bring updates and unfortunately one of them we were not able to work with today, it needs a bit more time, but the guys did a fantastic job to get updates here."

Given the issues so far this weekend, Hamilton said he was relieved to at least be starting no further back than eighth.

"It was difficult for me to come here today, I only had five or six laps on track," he said. "I am happy to come this far at least, I'm starting eighth but hopefully we can have a good race."

Hamilton also told the BBC that he considered Suzuka to have been one of the toughest of his 2010 campaign in terms of problems: "It's been one of the worst weekends we've had so far. It feels like it's all come over one weekend as well.

"The mistake on Friday didn't help and then of course the gearbox change was a bit frustrating for us all. The guys did a great job to put the car back together and I am just happy I got out and did a good job in qualifying. I have been fighting this ear infection all weekend and so it has not been the best of times."

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