Lewis Hamilton is optimistic that he will still have a chance to challenge the Red Bulls for victory in tomorrow's European Grand Prix despite Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber sweeping the front row, and Valencia having a reputation as a track where passing is difficult.
The McLaren driver was 0.4sec off polesitter Vettel's pace as he qualified third today, but hopes that he can move forward if the race is as eventful as many 2011 grands prix have been. Asked if he felt he could race with Red Bull, Hamilton replied: "That is always the question, but we are as close as we could be. This is a track notorious for being difficult to overtake on.
"We will see what happens, there will be more pit stops here than we have had in the past. We have seen how other races unfolded [in 2011] so we could still have an exciting race."
Hamilton added that he was pleasantly surprised to get as high as third, having struggled to get this weekend's Pirelli tires working for him so far this weekend.
"I wasn't expecting to be so high up," he said. "After practice three we were struggling a little bit to switch the tires on.
"The guys did a great job to analyse the data into qualifying. My lap wasn't too bad, I tried to improve on last lap,always trying to get a bit more, but I got a bit greedy and bailed out on last lap to try and save tires for the race."