Lewis Hamilton is confident he can come back strongly in the Australian Grand Prix after his qualifying disappointment, and will not be distracted by his incident with the police on Friday night.
The 2008 World Champion had his Mercedes road car impounded after being stopped by police while leaving the circuit yesterday. Hamilton openly admitted that he had been driving in a "silly" manner. He went on to qualify only 11th – seven places behind his McLaren teammate Jenson Button – but insisted that Friday night's events had not affected his focus, and that they would not disrupt his race either.
"I had to make sure I arrived here without anything hanging over my head. It wasn't easy," said Hamilton. "But the support of everyone in the team has been tremendous. I really did get in the car feeling quite relaxed and I could go out and enjoy the session. I did enjoy Q1, I just didn't enjoy Q2. I will make sure I have a good meal tonight, a good rest and I feel tomorrow we can come back strong."
Hamilton praised the support he had received from McLaren following his encounter with the Melbourne police.
"Today it definitely hasn't been easy, but I've had great support," he said. "The incredible thing in this team is that you have incredible support from each and everyone.
"I didn't walk in here this morning and people turned their backs on me. I had support from [team boss] Martin [Whitmarsh] and every individual in the team, and that is the great thing about being part of the team – we support each other through thick and thin. I put my hands up, I made a mistake and they supported me through it."
He now hopes to at least salvage points from tomorrow's race.
"It is very important. Clearly Jenson had a great qualifying session, he did a great job, but for me, as always, points are key for the constructors' championship and for the drivers'," said Hamilton. "I will do my utmost to score as many points as I can tomorrow, and tomorrow is going to be a tricky day with the start of the race. Possibly, safety cars and the weather [will affect things]."