Q & A with Lewis Hamilton

Conducted and provided by Lewis Hamilton's website.

Q & A with Lewis Hamilton

Q. Lewis, an amazing victory and an incredible change of fortunes for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. What does this win mean to you?

Lewis Hamilton: "It's been a huge turnaround. At the start of the season, I said that if anybody could do this it would be Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. And you've seen ourselves and Ferrari stepping up our game - and, for sure, if we'd had this car at the beginning of the season I reckon we'd have won more races. But we always said we were six months behind the top guys and, sure enough, six months later we're back at the front!"

Q. When did you first start thinking you'd have a chance to win a race this season?

LH: "To be honest, it was only as recently as the last race in Germany when I felt I had a good enough car beneath me. I remember I got a little bit excited over the radio, forgetting I'd not switched it off, and the whole team heard me - and then they played it to the guys back at the factory! But hopefully it was a sign of motivation to everyone.

"Our target was just to get a podium in Hungary but the car just felt incredible. When the team told me I was on the final lap, I felt like asking them to double-check because it felt like ages since I'd last been at the front! I just hope my fans, my family and my team feel the same excitement and satisfaction as I did."

Q. It's incredible to think that this is your first win since China last October!

LH: "It's been almost a year - such a long time that it felt surreal to win again. I'd been waiting a long time for this day and I couldn't believe how well it all went. I was able to control the pace at the front. It's normally very hard to achieve that, but on Sunday I was able to use my tyres, fuel and engine perfectly. I felt like we balanced everything and I felt really comfortable in the car. But I was still being pushed by Kimi - and made sure I could never back off."

Q. How much of a benefit was the Mercedes-Benz KERS Hybrid in the race?

LH: "I love my car right now - the overall package is fantastic. But, I have to say, Mercedes-Benz has continued to improve our engine and I think it's by far the best in Formula 1. And our KERS is fantastic - it played a big part in allowing me to get closer to the front on the opening lap and to pass Mark in the early laps of the race."

Q. Is it too early to talk about this being a turning point in your season?

LH: "Things can only get better for us, I think. The updates we've introduced have made a huge difference and we've now got a massive downforce improvement and the car is a pleasure to drive. We've still got quite a few improvements to make to the car - there are still areas that we haven't yet explored and we've got some more changes coming for Valencia that will hopefully move us even closer to the front.

"We're going to continue to try and push - but let's not get ahead of ourselves - it would be fantastic to get to Q3 again in the next race. But this is a great reward for everybody back at Woking, Brixworth and Stuttgart. I know they're all completely knackered and I hope they get a good break over the next couple of weeks so we can be ready to come back and get some more podiums!"

Q. Finally, do you have a message for Felipe Massa after his terrible accident on Saturday?

LH: "My thoughts go out to Felipe and his family - in particular to his wife and baby that's on the way. I was so shocked about what happened on Saturday and there wasn't one moment in the race when he wasn't in my mind. It was a very unexpected accident and none of us can imagine what pain he was feeling. Fortunately, the car and the safety barrier did their job - the improvements we've made to safety over the past few years mean he's still around to see another day.

"Felipe and I have been quite good friends for several years so I have huge respect for him, especially after last year when we had some fantastic battles. I sent him a message and tried to call him on Saturday but, clearly, he still needed to rest and recover from his operation. I was so sad that he couldn't race with us on Sunday but I'm happy that he's safe. I want to wish him a very speedy recovery and look forward to competing against him for many more years."

shares
comments
Hamilton: More to come from McLaren
Previous article

Hamilton: More to come from McLaren

Next article

Valencia tells FIA to think of the fans

Valencia tells FIA to think of the fans
Load comments
How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits Plus

How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells STUART CODLING about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Plus

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at
 Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as BEN ANDERSON discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren  Plus

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren 

From being lapped by his own team-mate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Plus

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing windtunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that’s made Hamilton’s title charge tougher Plus

The invisible enemy that’s made Hamilton’s title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles at a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1’s inconvenient penalties have to stay Plus

Why F1’s inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021’s title fight climax Plus

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021’s title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
Qatar Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Qatar Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Qatar was a virtual unknown for most as Formula 1 made its inaugural visit to the Gulf state, and tyre management quickly emerged as an even more critical factor than normal. Perhaps then it should come as no surprise that two of the championship's elder statesmen produced standout drives

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021