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Hamilton targets super Saturday

The McLaren driver is targeting a top-two finish in qualifying on Saturday in Spain. And he’s not afraid to tell you.

Lewis Hamilton drives in for a pitstop during the Bahrain Formula One GP.
Lewis Hamilton drives in for a pitstop during the Bahrain Formula One GP.
Image: Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

MCLAREN DRIVER Lewis Hamilton believes an impressive result in qualifying will be crucial at Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix.

Hamilton — who sits second on the standings, just four points behind leader Sebastian Vettel — is targeting a top-two finish in qualifying on Saturday ahead ofthe fifth round of the 2012 Formula One season.

The Englishman feels that would give him the best possible chance of winning on a Barcelona circuit that has proved difficult to overtake on in the past.

“I think it’s going to be one of the toughest tracks of the year for overtaking,” Hamilton said. ”I’ll be hoping for a strong performance in qualifying in order to make it as straightforward as possible in the final.

“It’s always been a tough place for passing. I really hope DRS and KERS-Hybrid combined will make it a little easier.”

Hamilton is also hoping that history repeats, with the 2008 world champion impressive in winter testing at the venue as well as in the 2011 race.

“Our performance at Barcelona during winter testing looked promising – but the form of the season is still very hard to read, so it’s difficult to predict who’ll be at the front,” he said. ”Nonetheless, we had a great race there last year – I pushed Sebastian (Vettel) all the way to the finish. I think we have a comparatively stronger car this year, so I hope we can have another strong race.”

Team-mate Jenson Button, who lies fourth in the drivers’ standings, believes that the Catalunya circuit will punish any poor driving performances.

“Barcelona can be a funny circuit,” he said. ”We all test there so regularly that every driver knows it like the back of his hand, yet it can still be an extremely tricky place to get absolutely right.

“You need to have absolutely every box ticked if you’re going to win at Barcelona. It’s a place that punishes poor balance like almost nowhere else — if your car is understeering around here, then you’re going to really struggle.”

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