Q & A with Lewis Hamilton

Conducted and provided by Lewis Hamilton's official website.

Q & A with Lewis Hamilton

Q. What are your thoughts coming away from the Valencia weekend?

Lewis Hamilton: "It was a great weekend and the team ought to be really satisfied with our result. We can't complain, we're up there at the front and we led most of the race - some you win and some you lose. That's motor racing. As I've said before, we don't have the best car just yet, we've still got a lot of work to do but the positive thing is that I genuinely believe we can catch up."

Q. Is Vodafone McLaren Mercedes a genuine contender now?

LH: "Before the recent upgrades, we'd have been hopeful of getting into the top 10 but now we're regularly hoping for a win or to finish second - and that's a big difference and very encouraging. We're definitely strong again - but we're not fastest. With KERS, we are there or thereabouts but we still lack two or three tenths to the Brawns. Hopefully we can make some further changes to our aerodynamic package - Spa will be an interesting test for us."

Q. What exactly happened during your second pitstop?

LH: "During my second stint, I was saving fuel as well as trying to build the gap to Rubens. I wasn't sure whether I'd actually done enough for another lap but I got the call to do an extra lap just as I was coming into the pitlane. But it was too late: I was committed to coming in and knew I'd lose more time if I aborted my pit entry and continued for another lap. In terms of the procedure with the guys, they never make mistakes at the stops - they are the best - and that's why we win races. And it just happened that the team was expecting me in on the next lap, which is why there was a slight delay in getting the tyres ready. It was a misunderstanding and we did the best job we could. It's very rare that we do things like that but it's not a problem and it didn't ultimately affect our finishing position."

Q. Was it frustrating to lose the race?

LH: "I'm not frustrated. We've been finishing close to last all year so to just finish second is great - it's my first second of the year, so I'm quite pleased. We win and lose as a team - simple as. There are some races where there will be a problem with me on the track and some races where there will be a problem with the car or the pitstop. The fact is that we have been extremely quick - it was always going to be a very tight fight with Rubens, but he just had the overall pace to win. Our car can't match that - at the moment."

Q. What did you think about Rubens winning - it was like seeing two generations of F1 driver on the podium!

LH: "It was a great result for Rubens - he was absolutely on it all weekend. I've got a huge amount of respect for him - he's a driver who's been in Formula 1 for a long time and has seen so much. He was racing back when Ayrton was in Formula 1, which is incredible. He did a fantastic job and drove a stonking race!"

Q. Are you confident ahead of next week's Belgian Grand Prix?

LH: "I don't think we'll be as competitive as we've been at the last few races, because Spa is a circuit where you need a lot of downforce. I think Brawn, Red Bull and even Ferrari will be fast there - it's a high-speed circuit and Ferrari has always been very quick there, so I'm expecting Kimi to be quick. It should also suit the Red Bulls because it's very high-speed and flowing and they have great downforce. But, like most races these days, it's going to be very competitive. For ourselves, we need to ensure that we are competitive without KERS, so that when we use it, it will give us the advantage that we need."

Q. Were you pleased to see that England won The Ashes on Sunday?

LH: "Absolutely, I think it's a fantastic sporting achievement for this country. It's been a great summer of sport for Great Britain - people like Andy Murray, Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish and Jenson have done so well. We should be proud of this country. I recently played cricket when I was in New Delhi with Vodafone and I know how much people are affected by it. Congratulations to the whole team, especially Andrew Strauss, who did a brilliant job as captain. Also, my best wishes to Andrew Flintoff, I wish him a happy retirement from Test cricket."

shares
comments
Hamilton downplays his chances at Spa
Previous article

Hamilton downplays his chances at Spa

Next article

Bridgestone reveals final allocations

Bridgestone reveals final allocations
Load comments
The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race Plus

The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race

OPINION: Max Verstappen has made the 2021 Formula 1 championship. He’s taken the fight to the all-conquering Mercedes squad and its dominant champion, produced driving displays few can match. But he’s been on a controversial course too, and finally crossed a particular line in Jeddah

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An ill-tempered Saudi Grand Prix made Formula 1 more soap opera than sporting spectacle at times, but there were some strong performances up and down the field on the world championship's first visit to Jeddah

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series Plus

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series

The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a race packed full of incident as Formula 1 2021's title contenders repeatedly clashed on track. Lewis Hamilton won out over Max Verstappen to level the scores heading into next weekend's Abu Dhabi finale, as Jeddah turned F1 into a drama series

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance Plus

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance

Dropped by Red Bull last season, Alexander Albon has fought back into a Formula 1 seat with Williams. ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains what Albon has done to earn the place soon to be vacated by the highly rated George Russell

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2021
How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes Plus

How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1
Dec 3, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Plus

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Plus

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Plus

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Autosport's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer explains

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021