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Last Updated: Saturday, 17 March 2007, 14:35 GMT
Hamilton glee at 'dream' display
Lewis Hamilton
Hamilton has every reason to smile ahead of his first GP
McLaren debutant Lewis Hamilton was a happy man after securing fourth place on the starting grid for Sunday's Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.

"I'm overwhelmed. What a dream to be on the second row for my first Grand Prix," the 22-year-old beamed.

The Briton also shrugged off any worries about folding under the pressure of expectation.

"I've been preparing for this for 13 years. I'll take it in my stride and try to make it a positive," he said.

And when asked if he would be going for a podium place on Sunday, he did not deny it.

"I just want to get a clean start and see how it goes from there. I won't say anything just yet but we're in a good spot."

Team-mate and defending world champion Fernando Alonso was also satisfied with his day's work.


The Spaniard, who has joined the team from Renault, earned second spot on the grid, behind Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen.

"We are second so we are in the second best position to win and I think we can do it," he said.

"I think we have made huge progress and improvement from the last test in terms of the car performance.

"I am quite happy with the qualifying and very optimistic for Sunday."

Jenson Button had fewer reasons to be cheerful after qualifying in 14th place in his struggling Honda.

The 27-year-old admitted that 14th was about as high as he had been able to set his sights on and insisted the car is well behind many of its competitors.

"It's all we could hope for, which is disappointing, but it is where we are and we just have to build on that."

It was a poor day all-round for Honda as Button's team-mate Rubens Barrichello did not make it through the third qualifying session.

Follow live coverage of the race from 0300 GMT on Sunday on the BBC Sport website and Radio Five Live

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