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Hamilton: Red Bulls out of reach in qualifying

Oct 12, 2013, 9:45 AM EDT

AUTO-PRIX-JPN-F1 Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton has said that he is pleased to have qualified in the top three for this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix, believing that both Red Bull drivers were out of reach at Suzuka on Saturday.

Hamilton will line up third on the grid after finishing just three-tenths behind pole-sitter Mark Webber with Sebastian Vettel finishing second in qualifying despite suffering from a KERS failure. For Hamilton, the result is the best that he could have wished for given the pace of the Red Bulls.

“I am really happy with P3 on the grid and the team has done a great job this weekend, so thank you to everybody for their hard work,” Hamilton said. “It seems to me that we have a better package here than we’ve had for a while and the car felt awesome to drive. Third place is a strong result from qualifying but the Red Bulls were just out of reach today.”

Hamilton had expressed his concerns about tire management on Friday in Japan, with the problem persisting throughout the season for Mercedes. However, the Briton is hoping for a good start to aid the life of his tires.

“Managing the tire degradation will be key tomorrow so hopefully we can get a good start from the clean side of the grid, then see what we can do from there against the guys in front.”

The British driver has won just one race so far this season, but he will be looking to add to his tally as well as picking up his second victory in Japan this weekend.

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