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Q & A with Lewis Hamilton

After ending second practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix only ninth fastest, world championship leader Lewis Hamilton says he is still in good shape for the most important race of his life at Interlagos on Sunday

As the realisation of a life-long dream draws ever closer, the McLaren driver told reporters that he is still calm, and trying to approach the season finale like any other race, despite the prospect of a tense title shoot-out with Ferrari's Felipe Massa.

But Hamilton also admitted how much he would love to become world champion to pay back all those people that have made sacrifices to get him to the place he finds himself in this weekend. Autosport.com was there to hear what he had to say.

Q. How was your day Lewis?

Lewis Hamilton: My day was quite good. It was a bit cold but generally it went quite smoothly. I think everyone struggled a bit in P2, but otherwise it was okay.

Q. You had a little mistake in the first corner in the second session, what happened?

LH: Oh I just had a lock-up. It was nothing major.

Q. You are not really in love with this part of the track are you?

LH: Yeah I love Turn One. It is probably one of the coolest sectors of the circuit anyway so it's just that it is... it's kind of banked and it's long, turning, sweeping Turn One, it's quite tough to find the braking point. I haven't had that all day though so it's okay.

Q. How does the car feel generally?

LH: I'm happy. It's not 100% perfect at the moment, we still need to do a couple of things but otherwise it is good.

Q. Felipe [Massa] was talking about how important his faith is to him, can you talk a little bit about that and what it means to you?

LH: I didn't know that was the case for him but I've always been very close to my faith and I think, as I've already said this year, that I've already got a lot closer than I was. And that just means trying to show more appreciation for the fantastic life and family that I have. He is the one that overpowers everything and sees me through all the weekends.

Q. What will be the key factor this weekend, the tyres, the weather...?

LH: I think both. The tyres are very tricky and we have just got to make sure we manage them the best we can.

Q. What did you change during the two practice sessions?

LH: It was pretty much the same as every Friday practice session. P1 is a little bit easier and then in the second one you try different things with your driving and then also people do longer runs.

Q. Are you trying to avoid thinking about the race?

LH: I am really just trying to focus on the job we are doing. We have got to do the same job as we have done in China, and through the whole season, and we are just focussing on preparing the car and making sure we are prepared 100%.

Q. How important is it for you to have your father Anthony always near you?

LH: My dad is the reason I'm here. The sacrifices he's made in the earlier stages of life, that's why I am here. His support, and the advice he gives me, he is the one who helps me keep cool.

Q. What motivates you the most to win this championship?

LH: I think it's the journey we've had as a family and a team together. My Mum and Dad sacrificed so much in the early stages and I would love to do it for them. I would just love to fulfil the amazing experience and opportunity that I have been given.

Q. You set yourself the target of winning the world championship at the beginning of the year, are you pleased to be on target this weekend?

LH: I never assume anything. You can't start the season without trying to win the world championship. I entered the season hoping we would have a chance and fortunately we are still here with the same chance.

Q. Are you having to keep the guys in the team calm, or are they quite chilled out anyway?

LH: I think they are doing a fantastic job and we kind of vibe off each other so... I see them just as cool as they are at every other race, which helps me out as well.

Q. How did you like the track today?

LH: It was good. Especially this morning, the car felt good. I am pretty comfortable. I think we have a good package.

Q. You are not at the top of the times though Lewis, so how is it going so far?

LH: That's generally the case in P2, we were focussing on our long runs and trying to understand the tyres. This morning we had great pace and I am quite confident we can challenge for at least a podium so it's great.

Q. So you have been working on race pace and not trying to get the fastest time?

LH: Yeah. That's what we generally do every weekend. We haven't changed our preparation but we are working on understanding the tyres, they are working a little bit differently than at other places.

Q. But you are feeling positive about the weekend?

LH: Yeah, it is going to be a tough weekend for sure. We don't know what the weather is going to be like, I hope it is either dry or wet, but I'm sure it will be in between so it should be exciting.

Q. Plenty of local people trying to throw you off your focus, how are you dealing with that?

LH: To be honest I haven't really paid any attention to it. So as long as I continue to do that it shouldn't be a problem.

Q. So you are just treating it as a normal weekend?

LH: For my approach, that's got to be the most important thing. Qualifying is going to be exciting again so I will have to see how these tyres last and try and do the best job again.

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