Euro fighter

Lewis Hamilton took a convincing pole at the European GP in Valencia today, confirming that his McLaren is now genuinely fast and that his first win of the year in Hungary wasn’t simply a fluke.

Lewis is running a new version of the MP4-24 that has a 7cm shorter wheelbase to improve weight distribution. The modification hasn’t been made to teammate Heikki Kovalainen’s car, but the McLarens still managed to get their first front row lockout.

Heikki has been told to step his game up or risk losing his seat for 2010, and from today’s performance he seems intent on staying put. However, team boss Martin Whitmarsh has said Heikki must find more pace in the races, so we’ll have to keep an eye on how he performs tomorrow.

The McLarens’ KERS should help him and Lewis to scamper off down the road from the start though, so he shouldn’t have too much to worry about. Unless he crashes…

One driver who does have things to worry about is Jenson Button, who only managed to get his Brawn into fifth place on the grid, behind title rival Sebastian Vettel.

This may not be great news for the Brit, but it should provide great viewing for us as Jenson tries to get ahead of the Red Bull driver. Will Button’s teammate Rubens Barrichello – who starts third tomorrow – be a good sport and hold Vettel up? Or is he going to fight for a win himself?

Romain Grosjean has already done a better job for Renault than Nelson Piquet did – the rookie’s in 14th – but Felipe Massa stand-in Luca Badoer was utterly rubbish and starts plum last for the race.

Ferrari could surely have found someone faster to replace the injured Brazilian, so who would you put in that seat for the next race?

I’m thinking that Ferrari should just let each of us do a lap, because we certainly couldn’t do much worse than Badoer.

Give us your predictions for the race tomorrow, and check BBC Sport for a full grid line-up.

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Kimster,

Hamilton had 3 more laps worth of fuel on board when he did his pole lap – in other words Lewis’s car was actually the heavier of the two McLarens !

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looks good for rubens. hopefully he wont mess the race up. he wont blab off about his team then.

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Let’s not forget Raikonnen is starting on the dirty side of the grid. That will cost him 2 metres of the start line and KERS only kicks in after 60mph for “safety reasons”. He’ll be under pressure from Rosberg immediately and so would defend rather than attack.

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Heikki was far better than Hamilton, imagine him in the same car. Also, Badoer was absolutely pathetic, Ferrari would’ve been better off just getting someone off the street!

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Massa went faster than Badoer, even when he was unconscious in his car………. Yes Badoer is bad,but I think he might make 19th for Spa

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I notice that they used the grid weight of the cars on the BBC F1 site to determine who was fastest. Normally this is correct as most drivers post their fastesdt lap at the end but today Lewis did his fastest lap much earlier and pulled out of a faster one at the end as he already had pole position. Kind of makes a mockery of those adjusted grid times as he would have done it several laps weight of fuel heavier than the comparative value used.

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Has anyone considered the fact that Hamilton could still win the Championship this year.

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Although it’s mathematically possible for Hamilton to win the Champtionship……realistica lly it will never happen.

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Badoer will win!! You watch!!

Seriously though, I think the Mclarens have got a good chance to both end up on the podium tomorrow… But as fr predictions, I would say 1st Hamilton 2nd Barichello 3rd either Vettel or Kovalainen

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Not a fan of McLaren. But I do see their strategy. Fuel light, get on pole, KERS from pole to get some distance, let everyone else fight which should produce a gap.

I expect them to use that strategy for the rest of the season.

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Badoer is the Stig. Mates describe him as “introverted, quiet, mellow and uninterested in conversation.” That’s what another test driver said about him. Basically if you came up to Badoer he would act like the Stig but without a helmet on.

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It would be hilarious if Mclaren came back and won the championship, but Button only has to get a point a race or something like that to prevent that.

Hamilton wasted a lot of fuel after his pole lap, and was going faster when he aborted so that BBC thing means nothing. There is a reason why I prefer the more local channel to them.

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well done to mclaren four getting in the front row but i think that they can’t win it now because jenson button or barichello have either won it.

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@5
Ferrari did hire the Stig. But he had a bad neck remember?

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If Hamilton wins every race left in the season Button would only need 19 points to win the championship or he could finish atleast second in every race then button would need a point in every race to win. Its unlikely but Hamilton could still take it!

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Lewis all the way, he should easily win if barrichello doesnt keep behind him throughout the race

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Captain slow, nows your chance to shine. You’re the best remaining choice for ferrari.

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Sorry, I forgot Singapore. If Hamilton wins every race left in the season Button would need 29 points to win the championship.

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At least Hamilton came second. :/ Shame about the mess up the the tyres… and the commentator was right, after they had told him about his rear brakes he did slow down.
But well done!!

shame about Jenson too.

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Oh, and what do you all think about next years rule of one tank per race!?

i think it will be less exciting to be honest.

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I think even without the pitlane tyre stuff up Barichello would have got Hamilton, Barichello had the super soft tyres for the last stint and as Hamilton said the McLaren wasn’t working as well on the default tyre as well as the Brawns. Sure Hamilton caught up a little to Barichello in the dying stages but I think that was solely down to Barichello using his lead to cruise home. Still good race by all, Raikkonen did well going from 6 to 3rd. Badoer, for me the more worrying sign is not that he was slower, but his lap times were wildly inconsistent. The other new drivers are slow (relative to the leaders of course) but consistent, and it makes me wonder about whether Badoer has the physical and mental fitness for a full F1 race. I have no question that he’s trying his best, given that although he’s Ferrari’s test driver he hasn’t been involved in motorsport for some time. Still I think Ferrari should have gone for Marc Gene, but its probably a national pride thing, picking the Italian test driver.

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@No.21 Willy Hobbs
Your right,Senna was the greatest driver ever.
Well done Rubens,even if you denied Lewis another unbelieveable victory

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Lewis was unlucky with the tyre screw up and should have won, unfortunatly the way it panned out it wasnt the case but well done to Rubens for a great drive

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Hamilton would and should have won

I can’t really say Luca Badoer was not the best choice, I am happy he did come back but why didn’t they get people such as:-
Nelsinho Piquet
Giancarlo Fisichella
Luca Filippi
Nico Hulkenberg
Marc Gene
Valentino Rossi

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