MOSCOW, September 8 (RIA Novosti)
Lewis Hamilton was surprised to take pole position for the Italian Grand Prix on Saturday because he felt he had driven a poor lap, he has said.
Hamilton’s time of 1 minute 24.010 seconds was good enough for pole, 0.123 seconds ahead of teammate Jenson Button and 0.237 seconds faster than Ferrari’s third-placed Felipe Massa.
“I didn’t think that lap was anywhere near good enough,” he said.
“Nonetheless, I’m happy and I’m really happy for the team because they’ve been doing a fantastic job.”
Traffic had ruined a potentially faster run, he said.
“I was up, I think, a couple of tenths in my second lap but I was in a train of cars: Kimi [Raikkonen] and two Ferraris in front.”
Despite locking out the front row, Hamilton and Button said they would not agree a strategy for negotiating the first corner of Sunday’s race.
“You can't plan turn one,” Button said.
None of the first three drivers on the grid have won at Monza before.
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.