Q & A with Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton was a delighted man after scoring his best result of the season so far, with a fourth place finish at the Bahrain Grand Prix

Q & A with Lewis Hamilton

The world champion hailed McLaren's progress since the first race, but has warned there is still a long way to go before the team fights for wins.

AUTOSPORT heard from the Briton after the race.

Q. It was a very good race for you?

Lewis Hamilton: Not too bad, considering we really lacked so much downforce compared to the other guys. The reliability of the car was great, the engine was great and as always the team performed well in the pitstops. We just need to keep working on the car because it's a bit behind.

Q. You had a very good start against Sebastian Vettel?

LH: The start was quite easy. Unfortunately I wasn't able to keep third place, the Brawn was just so fast through all the corners so he was on my tail all the time.

Q. Did KERS help a lot?

LH: I wouldn't say a lot, but it definitely helped.

Q. Are you disappointed not to be on the podium?

LH: No, I'm delighted with fourth. Considering we started fifth, we moved up one place. I had a great start and it was just so hard to keep up with the Red Bull, Vettel was so fast, and the Toyotas and the Brawn are just so fast in the fast corners. We've just got to do a lot more work and keep pushing.

Q. What have you learned about the car that you didn't know before in this race?

LH: Not much! I learned that it can be very hot in this heat, but bit by bit I'm learning more and I'm able to give the team more direction. Throughout the race, when you're behind people, you learn so much.

Q. Take us through that great start.

LH: On the grid it felt great, I got great burnouts to warm up my tyres. The launch wasn't as good as I had hoped, definitely not my best, but better. I got up to third but I wasn't able to hold off the Brawn car.

Q. You were racing Trulli for the podium

LH: It's fairly difficult to follow someone that has more downforce than you. When I'm behind them through the high-speed corners, from turn 4 onwards, they lost me. Then down the straight and Turn 1, I'm not so bad and I can keep up with them. But it's just on the ragged edge each time.

Q. Pleased with another points finish?

LH: It's great points for the team and again an encouraging step.

Q. So it was another good race for you?

LH: Not bad. It was kind of boring towards all the end, but it was quite eventful at the start.

Q. How good does it feel to be fighting back up the front?

LH: Well, we're not really fighting back up there I would say. We have just done a better job than a lot of people. Whilst they make mistakes, we are collecting the points. It gives us a foundation to keep getting better.

Q. Are you confident of being back on top in Europe?

LH: I didn't say that. When we get to Barcelona, I think the gap will be bigger as it's a high-downforce circuit. We have to challenge for the top 10, but maybe a top five will be harder.

Q. How was your race pace on the hard tyres?

LH: On the hard tyres it was very poor. But in general we didn't have fantastic pace. We just don't have any rear downforce to keep up with the guys in front. We'll get there eventually.

Q. How does that rate as one of your drives considering the car?

LH: It was OK. Just another good day. Nothing special, but a strong finish.

Q. Does this put you in a good frame of mind going into the hearing on Wednesday?

LH: I'm not thinking about Wednesday. It's really just a good boost for the team morale to keep them pushing so we can get back to the front.

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