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Pos Driver
1 Lewis Hamilton
2 Nico Rosberg
3 Fernando Alonso

Hamilton buoyed by Heikki's pace

Friday 5th June 2009

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Hamilton buoyed by Heikki's pace

Hamilton buoyed by Heikki's pace

Lewis Hamilton will continue to 'hustle and grind' on Saturday in a bid to cause a qualifying surprise ahead of the Turkish Grand Prix.

The reigning World Champion and McLaren team-mate Heikki Kovalainen perhaps raised a few eyebrows in Friday's practice sessions at the Istanbul Otodrom.

Hamilton was second quickest in first practice, knocked off the top in the dying embers by the latest showboating performance from Nico Rosberg as the Williams driver put in another low-fuel late blast.

Then in the second 90-minute run, Kovalainen set the fastest time of the day with a lap of 1:28.841, although it is fair to suggest there is more to come from pre-race favourites Brawn GP, Red Bull and Ferrari.

Nevertheless, Hamilton was happy with his day's work, in particular as McLaren were not expected to be running anywhere near the top.

"I was quite surprised by the pace of the car," reflected Hamilton, who spun twice in the space of seven minutes in the second session.

"We definitely have better pace here than we anticipated, but every little bit that comes adds up bit by bit.

"I am not saying we have the speed of the other top guys, but we're getting closer.

"Heikki certainly did a great job and seems to be fast enough, so for this weekend's race we look like we may have the pace to be in the top 10, and that's a great step for us.

"It's been a complete hustle all year to get into the top 10. We're hustling and grinding to get every bit out of that car as possible.

"I feel we get a little more out of the car every time, and that's why I am happy with the work we have been doing.

"If we had been a lot closer at the start of the season we would have caught up by now, but we were a long way away.

"We'll get there eventually. We're working hard as we can. We know it's not a quick fix and it just takes time.

"We're churning away at it, still focusing on this year but keeping an eye on next year."

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