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Hamilton remains optimistic of winning

Championship leading Briton Lewis Hamilton remained optimistic of his chances of winning the Turkish Grand Prix despite missing out on pole position.

india Updated: Aug 25, 2007 19:54 IST

Championship leading Briton Lewis Hamilton remained optimistic of his chances of winning the Turkish Grand Prix despite missing out on pole in Saturday's qualifying session at the Istanbul Park circuit.

The 22-year-old English sensation, who leads this year's title race by seven points ahead of his McLaren Mercedes-Benz team-mate Fernando Alonso said he felt he could still win.

"I lost a bit of time in the final corner, it is a tricky corner, you don't want to lose too much there, but it's good for the team," said Hamilton, after rival and friend Brazilian Felipe Massa of Ferrari had beaten him by a fraction of a second to take pole.

"The car feels very good, we have had three weeks to improve the car and the team has been working really hard, not everyone had holidays. They have been pushing to come here with another step.

"We have a very strong package and tomorrow we stand in good stead for a competitive race with the Ferraris."

Hamilton also made it clear he was glad the so-called 'phoney war' between him and Alonso inside the McLaren team was finished and forgotten.

The team used two separate crews for pit stops to make sure there were no chances on Saturday for another outbreak of the bad feelings that marred their efforts in qualifying in Budapest three weeks ago.

"The team took a decision to revert back to independent pit crews to make sure if we had any problems the decision has to be made before qualifying," he explained.

"They decided it was easier to have two pit crews and it worked out well."

He added: "It was good for me, I was quite pleased with that. I didn't seem to have the pace in Q1 and Q2, but the first times lap in Q3 I felt better but I was still fourth. I wasn't sure if I would be able to do it, but I just hung it out and kept pushing."

Alonso, seven points behind the Briton in the standings, will start the race from fourth place on the gird alongside Finn Kimi Raikkonen who was third for Ferrari.