Jul.5 (GMM) The packed grandstands heaved a sigh of anti-climax on Saturday as Lewis Hamilton, the overwhelming crowd favourite, failed even to qualify in the top three for the British grand prix.
Having been also outpaced by his McLaren teammate Heikki Kovalainen in the three pre-qualifying practice sessions at Silverstone, 23-year-old Hamilton was eight tenths adrift and just fourth on the grid.Kovalainen, who will start from his first pole position possibly on a wet grid on Sunday, will be joined on the front row by the notably on-form Mark Webber, of Red Bull, who put in his best qualifying effort in two years.The Independent newspaper reacted immediately with the observation that Kovalainen, a 26-year-old Finn, had put Hamilton "in the shade".On Hamilton's first 'Q3' effort, he ran wide and into the gravel, prompting his engineer to plead with him to "not overdrive! Do not overdrive!" he repeated."That warning went unheeded," a writer for The Daily Telegraph said.Hamilton commented: "The last lap I felt was good but I think I did too hard an out lap and used up my tyres. But the fuel load and everything (for the race) is cool and the car felt good."