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Q & A with Lewis Hamilton

Q. Can you see a step forward here?

Lewis Hamilton: We are just continuing in the course that we are going. For sure, we've made a small step but it's nothing. We didn't bring anything new here.

Q. How much fun is racing now that you are not in front?

LH: It's still very challenging and lots of fun for me. I'm enjoying it.

Q. What's your personal goal for this weekend?

LH: We will try to score more points and be higher up. But the main goal is to score points. As many as we can.

Q. It has been difficult for you on and off the track. How do you keep pushing as a world champion?

LH: I can't be defeated mentally. It's not a problem for me focusing. I go home, I recharge, I have my family with me all the time. As long as I have them I will keep fighting.

Q. Do you think you have helped the team in the right direction to move forward?

LH: It's a combination of things. with me and Sheik working very well to push the team forward. For sure with the results we had we have we've been out to give them encouragement and the guys back at the factory are doing a solid job. I think collectively we are all doing a good job to move into the right direction, it's not just one individual.

Q. Can you sum up practice?

LH: Consistent. Very productive. I feel very positive and we'll keep pushing.

Q. There's 1.5 seconds between the top 20. It's very tight, isn't it?

LH: It is very tight. We don't know what fuel everybody's on, but we are definitely improving. But there are other guys who are a bit faster than us.

Q. How difficult is this season for you?

LH: I've had some tough times in my career and even in the last few seasons I've had some pretty tough seasons. This year in terms of my performance I'm a lot happier. I'm focusing very much on my own performance, making sure I'm more consistent than before. And with the team, this happens. You have high and lows. We are in the mid-range now on the way up.

Q. What can you expect from the car this weekend?

LH: I hope we can continue with our reliability, which has been fantastic. We are pushing to win, but we are not quick enough at the moment, but we are getting closer. It's still going to be two or three races until that.

Q. So you are not thinking of the podium?

LH: Top five would be great. That would be our wish.

Q. How do you manage to put the thoughts about next week's hearing out of mind?

LH: I'm not thinking about it.

Q. It's quite a watershed, isn't it? For you as a racing driver and for a team that you have great passion for. How do you avoid thinking about it when you are out of the car?

LH: We have a goal. We have a target, and we are working towards that without distractions.

Q. You've been through a bug personal trauma in recent weeks,do you feel you're putting it behind you?

LH: Yes. I'm working hard and feeling better as every day goes by.

Q. Is that a correct summary ? a personal trauma?

LH: It's just one of those tough times. I wouldn't describe it as anything I've not really thought about it that much.

Q. You seem more relaxed?

LH: I'm happy to be here, I've been treated really well by the people in Bahrain and we're not being distracted. We're just focusing on the car and I'm enjoying it.

Q. Is the world championship still on?

LH: I think it's still on, but the other guys are quite a bit ahead. Anything can happen in 14 races so we remain optimistic and we're just going to keep doing the best job we can and if we can catch up we can catch up. If not, we do the best that we can and focus on next season.

Q. Is it a question of managing frustration until you get a more competitive car?

LH: There is no frustration.

Q. The car looks a bit better ? where do you think you are?

LH: It does feel a bit better here but we've not brought any updates. We're working with the setup, at refining and fine tuning it and it does feel better here. There's less locking and three-wheeling her which is a plus. We don't know what the others are doing but we feel happier with the performance.

Q. Increasingly strong winds and possible sandstorm- what's this circuit like with crosswinds?

LH: It depends where the crosswinds are. If it's around turns 5 and 6 it an be pretty hectic. Up at turn 13 it can be pretty hectic as well. At the moment the weather is perfect, It's hot but the wind is quote low, so fingers crossed it will stay the same.

Q. Fantastic scenes on the other side of the track with you signing autographs for the fans ? what does that mean to you after what you've gone through in the paddock?

LH: It's huge for me. Last weekend wasn't a great weekend in terms of my personal feeling of performance. I went home and had all of these gifts from my Chinese and British fans. I went through the letters and it just gave me a great boost. To see the fans come out waving the union jack is fantastic and I really appreciate it.

Q. Do you feel stronger after what has happened in the past few races?

LH: Definitely. I'm growing all the time. When I met Nelson Mandela he said at 90 years old he is still learning and I'm going to continue to learn every day of my life.

Q. People of the team have spoken of a sense of excitement at a new era in the team. Do you share that excitement?

LH: It's pretty similar to other times. The great thing is that the guys are still very enthusiastic and working harder than ever. They seem better than they ever have been.

Q. How about your long term future ? are you going to be here for five years?

LH: I'm here, I'm enjoying myself and I don't abandon my team when things get tough. We've had bad and good times together and I'm happy where I am. We've gt a long way to go and hopefully I've got a long long time here.

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