Q & A with Lewis Hamilton
|By Jonathan Noble||Sunday, October 21st 2007, 20:17 GMT|
Q: How are you feeling now?
Lewis Hamilton: "I went into the race thinking, 'whatever happens today it has been a phenomenal year'. Who'd have thought I'd be leading the world championship going into the final race? With a little luck I might have done it, but it's a great feeling to have been in that position.
"The team has done a phenomenal job all year, absolutely amazing. We all wanted to win the rugby world cup and the F1 world championship, but it obviously wasn't to be England's turn. But it's my first year of F1 and next year we'll bounce back stronger, for sure."
Q: What went through your mind when the car was stuck in neutral?
Hamilton: "To be honest I didn't have a great start to the race. I locked up to avoid hitting Fernando [Alonso] and ran a bit wide.
"I was quite relaxed when I came back on because I knew I had the pace to get back my position, but I was downshifting into Turn 4 and the car just selected neutral. I coasted for some time.
"Eventually it clicked back in and I was able to get it going - I don't know how. From then on I had to manage the engine, so I was running quite low rpm."
Q: When did you feel, 'it's over'?
Hamilton: "When I saw the chequered flag. I never stopped pushing and just kept trying as hard as I could to the end. I was told at the start I could still get it and I believed that.
"Pace-wise we weren't too bad - not as good as the Ferraris, but that's down to the way we were running our engine."
Q: Did it feel like eternity when you were coasting?
Hamilton: "I just felt like someone, somewhere, didn't want me to win the title. I've had a few tyre problems, I made a mistake in the last race, and then something happened to me at the beginning today, but that's racing.
"To think I've come from GP2 to be ranked number two in the world is a positive thing, and I know we'll be strong next year. We'll do a better job, for sure, the team will keep pushing, and I've got the experience now and I'll bank that. I can't wait."
Q: Do you feel emotional?
Hamilton: "A little bit, but I just can't deny the fact it's been an incredible season. To finish second in the world championship when the team has been through some very difficult situations...
"But Kimi [Raikkonen] has done a great job all year and drove very well today, so he deserves his success."
Q: You said you'd be a winner whatever happened. Do you still feel that way?
Hamilton: "Absolutely. It's been a crazy year, and I honestly can't say 'I'm really gutted', because I'm not.
"After a year without problems, it's just unfortunate that we had a little one today. The car was phenomenal during the race. Apart from the first lap I think I drove one of my best races, so I can't be disappointed."
Q: Do you feel robbed, though?
Hamilton: "No. Everyone has had their fair share of bad luck, but most of mine has all come at the end."
Q: What will you take from this year?
Hamilton: "Everything - I've learned something at every race, a huge amount. I don't think there's one thing that particularly stands out.
"I've made certain mistakes, though, and won't make them next season."