Formula One: Hamilton confused, Button confident

Lewis Hamilton said he felt confused about his loss of pace in the final part of qualifying for the German Grand Prix after he wound up eighth-fastest for McLaren on Saturday.

His team-mate and fellow Briton Jenson Button, who was seventh-quickest, was less despondent, however, and said he believed they will be aiming for podium finishes in Sunday's race.

It was the first time this year that Button had out-paced Hamilton in qualifying.

Hamilton was the fastest man by six-tenths of a second in Q2, but could not find the same pace in Q3.

He said: "It does have to come together and we have to put in the laps, but I was doing alright for a while and I don't understand what happened in the end.

"It was looking good until it got really wet, but I don't know what happened. I was quite quick and then I don't know if the tyres went off or lost temperature.

"The track was drying up so we should have gone faster, but we didn't. Tomorrow will be a tough race and I plan to hunt down everyone in front.

"The great thing about here is that you have big DRS (drag reduction system speed) down the back so hopefully we will do some big overtaking tomorrow."

Button said: "I definitely think we should aim for a podium and I think we should aim even higher.

"In dry conditions, we have made some good improvements to the car aerodynamically and mechanically and it is just in the wet where we struggle with tyre temperature.

"The car feels good in the dry and I have done a lot of high-fuel running so we have a lot of information that other people don't.

"On Friday we did three long runs and today I did two long runs so I feel we are more ready to race than anyone."

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