MX23RW : Tuesday, September 18 13:56:17

Lewis Hamilton "really grateful" for Russian Grand Prix pole position

Mercedes's Lewis Hamilton admits that he is "very grateful" to be on pole position at the first Russian Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton has said that he is "really grateful" to be starting from pole position at the inaugural Russian Grand Prix this weekend.

The Mercedes driver, who leads the drivers' standings, finished just ahead of teammate Nico Rosberg, while Williams's Valtteri Bottas missed out by running wide.

The 2008 world champion told reporters: "Pole is a great place to start. It's an amazing job done by the team who are constantly improving and moving forwards this year.

"It's great to come here, it's a beautiful place, the weather had been amazing and I'm really enjoying driving this track. Hooking up a good lap wasn't the same as practice of some reason, but I'm really grateful to have pole for first time [in Russia].

"The track surface is great, very smooth but it's got a lot of grip. The kerbs are done nicely and the surroundings, being around the Olympic Park is quite an incredible place. Today we have a good turnout and hopefully tomorrow is even better and we can put on a good show for them."

Hamilton has a 10-point lead over Rosberg in the championship.

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Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain lifts up his winning trophy on the podium after the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix at the Marina Bay street circuit on September 21, 2014
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