Hamilton hoping for clean start

Autosport

Lewis Hamilton says he hopes his Singapore Grand Prix front-row partner Pastor Maldonado does not take an "all or nothing" approach to the start and respects the fact he is among championship contenders.

Williams driver Maldonado has been involved in a number of incidents during the 2012 Formula 1 season, including a late tangle with Hamilton in Valencia.

Maldonado proved to be Hamilton's closest rival in Marina Bay qualifying, and will start ahead of title protagonists Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso.

"I am happy for Pastor, he has taken a lot of heat through the year and he is obviously very talented," said Hamilton.

"I don't want to get in his way and hopefully he doesn't want to get in mine.

"As long as we get a good start we should be OK.

"I am sure he is aware that he has some championship contenders around him so it is not all or nothing and [he should be] getting some points for his team."

McLaren arrived in Singapore having won the preceding three races in Hungary, Belgium and Italy - a run of form that has brought Hamilton up to second in the world championship, 37 points behind leader Alonso.

But despite starting four places ahead of the Ferrari driver on Sunday, Hamilton said he was still wary of what Alonso might achieve.

"We have to pull points from him because he has a good lead and I have close competitors behind me," said Hamilton.

"He isn't that far back and Fernando has shown that he can come from quite far back.

"We just have to worry about our job tomorrow and try to stay ahead."

He added that he was always confident McLaren's 2012 car had the kind of pace it is now showing.

"It is pretty intense but the team is doing an incredible job," said Hamilton. "I have always said that if we can start in the same place as the others then we will be able to pull ahead and you are seeing the true pace in the car."

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