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Hamilton poles apart

india Updated: Oct 18, 2008 23:41 IST

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton put title thoughts to the back of his mind on Saturday despite clinching pole position for Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix.

The 23-year-old Briton could become Formula One's youngest champion in Shanghai but he said he would be happy to win as many points as possible and take the title race on to the season finale in Brazil.

"You can't think about it (the title) because however exciting, however amazing it could be, it's never done until it's done," said Hamilton, who leads Ferrari's Felipe Massa by five points with only the Sao Paulo race left after China.

"I can only dream of what it would feel like to be world champion and so I work every day towards it and hopefully one day I will be world champion.

"I can only guess that especially my country would be extremely proud. My family would be and that would make me happier than ever."

One reason for his cautious approach is the sloppy start he made from pole position at last weekend's Japanese Grand Prix, where he lost the lead to Kimi Raikkonen and incurred a penalty for obstructing the Finnish world champion.

The Ferrari driver will again line up alongside the Briton on the front row in Shanghai but Hamilton said that would not change his attitude.

"Obviously, I have to take the last race into account and I'll put that into my memory bank to make sure we don't make that same mistake again," he said. "But I have to approach turn one the same way as I've approached every race that I've done in Formula One and hopefully it will be a bit more straightforward than it was in Fuji."

Hamilton said he was in good shape to take on the Ferraris of Raikkonen and Massa, who starts in third place.

"For sure they'll be very competitive at the start and it will be hard to beat them off the start but we're in a better position to at least attack," he said.

Kubica expects tough race

Shanghai: BMW-Sauber's Robert Kubica faced an uphill struggle to stay in the Formula One title hunt after qualifying only 11th. The Pole, who briefly led the championship after winning in Canada in June, trails McLaren's Lewis Hamilton by 12 points and Ferrari's Felipe Massa by seven with only 20 still to be won in the last two races of his second full season.