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Lewis Hamilton Q&A

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After the troubles of the previous month, Lewis Hamilton fired a message to his doubters with his sensational wet weather victory in his home grand prix at Silverstone.

Speaking to reporters after starring at the Hockenheim test this week, the McLaren ace talked about why there would be no hangover from last weekend and the state of the tense title race; while also dismissing speculation about a possible management change.

Q: After great victories sportsmen often say ‘it still hasnt sunk in. Is that the case with you after your Silverstone win?

Lewis Hamilton: Ive forgotten about it already, sort of thing. Im not living on the [memories of] that weekend; its done and dusted.

It was great to get it over and done with and finish on a high after a troubled weekend, but straight away on Monday I was looking forward to the next race. Im not getting ahead of myself.

Q: But the cheering crowd and the feeling as you crossed the line must be a memory of a lifetime…

LH: Oh yeah, for real it is. I will never forget that day; it was a very memorable day in my career and my life.

But its important that I dont keep on thinking about it. Id rather focus on the next race and try to do the same again.

Q: How did you celebrate on Sunday night?

LH: I was in bed at 11 oclock. My friends that came to watch the race went on to London and went partying for me.

I went back with my dad, my brother, my step-mum Linda and my grandparents. We went for dinner and then went home. I was in bed by 11, and I slept the best night ever!

Q: How would you sum up the two days of testing?

LH: Theyve gone very, very well. Its been very productive and weve not had any problems with the car – as always it has been very reliable.

I think weve really made some big steps forward. Im not saying weve overtaken the Ferraris but weve made good steps forward that were comfortable with and hopefully well be able to challenge them again next week.

Q: Have recent development steps put McLaren ahead of Ferrari?

LH: Its too early to say, but weve made some very good steps.

Q: Do you like the track?

LH: Yeah, Ive always liked Hockenheim. I wish I had got an opportunity to drive the old circuit, but Ive had some good success here in Formula 3. This is my first test in a Formula 1 car here at Hockenheim – its very quick.

Q: Is it a good track for testing? Can you learn a lot about the car here?

LH: Probably not. Its not the best track for testing, thats for sure. You dont have as big a mixture of high- and low-speed corners [as some other tracks], but its not bad at all.

Its still been a really good and very productive day for us.

Q: You tested the new shark fin wing for the first time – how did it feel?

No different for me. We will test it again I think.

Q: All the title contenders are more or less starting from zero now, right?

LH: It depends how you look at it, but yeah, were all on equal paths at the moment I guess. We are definitely into the back nine and its very important that we continue to score points.

Q: Do you think it is an advantage or a disadvantage that Ferrari has two drivers fighting for the championship while at McLaren, Heikki Kovalainen seems to be out of the title race?

LH: I think its an advantage having two drivers competing for the world championship, because at the end of the day it pushes the team towards the constructors championship. It cant be bad for them [Ferrari].

Q: So you arent hoping that Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa will take points away from each other over the rest of the year?

LH: Not really. Im more hoping that Heikki takes more points off them than anything else – or that me and Heikki together take more points off them.

Q: At what point in the season do you think the championship will be decided?

LH: At the last race. I can only guess, but Im sure it will be like last year.

Last year it was just as close between the top three drivers and there was one point separating us at the end. So I can only assume it will be at the last race again. I hope its not, but...

Q: How do you explain the up-and-down nature of Ferrari and McLarens levels of competitiveness?

LH: I think its been magnified a lot. For us I think we have been consistently quick except for two races, Bahrain and Malaysia, where we werent as fast.

But I think without the problems we had in Malaysia we would have been third and fourth.

To be honest I think weve been very, very consistent all year. I dont have an excuse or a reason for why it has been up and down.

But this is racing. You cant just have a perfect year; you dont have perfect years.

There are lots of different things and problems that crop up. As you saw, Ferrari had their problems at the last race, but then weve had our fair share – thats motor racing.

Q: But youve won all the difficult races this year – the safety cars in Melbourne and the rain in Monte Carlo and Silverstone.

LH: Yeah, somehow Ive been very strong in the most challenging races this year.

But even if you look at Montreal, we were blindingly quick there and it was just a shame that we didnt win.

But we clearly had the most competitive car and it was unfortunate. And then having the penalty at Magny-Cours put us in a worse position.

If I hadnt crashed in Montreal then we would have won the race, we would have gone to Magny-Cours without the 10-place penalty, and we probably would have finished in the top three, so the championship points would be different.

But that is just the way racing is and thats what makes thing exciting.

Q: Your first half of the season has been a little bit inconsistent. Can you teach yourself to be more consistent in the forthcoming races?

LH: I dont think I need to teach myself consistency – I think I showed you I could do that last year, when I think I had 15 podiums.

So its definitely possible, but its just the way motor racing goes: you have your ups and downs. But fingers crossed well have consistency from now on.

Q: The title battle is so finely poised heading into the second half of the season; what will be the key to the world championship?

LH: I think great teamwork will be the most important thing. I need to make sure I keep pushing the team and they keep doing a great job.

As long as were doing a solid job we have to wait for the others to fall away.

Q: Having just won your home grand prix, to what extent do you see Hockenheim as a second home race, since you have a Mercedes engine?

LH: People keep saying that to me. For me my home grand prix is my home grand prix, so for sure it has a different value.

But I think its more for the team. Ive been a part of the team for quite some time and Ive always been a part of the McLaren-Mercedes driver support programme, so its a partnership and its great to be back in Germany.

I hope that we can do it here and I just said to Norbert [Haug] today that it would be great to have a 1-2. It would be fantastic for Mercedes-Benz.

Q: There have been some reports that Julian Jakobi might become involved in your management – is there any truth in that?

LH: No.

Q: So you are going to continue with your father?

LH: Absolutely.


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2012 Race Drivers

Sebastian Vettel
Mark Webber
Lewis Hamilton
Jenson Button
Fernando Alonso
Felipe Massa
Michael Schumacher
Nico Rosberg
Kimi Räikkönen
Romain Grosjean
Paul di Resta
Nico Hulkenberg
Kamui Kobayashi
Sergio Perez
Daniel Ricciardo
Jean-Eric Vergne
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Bruno Senna
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Vitaly Petrov
Pedro de la Rosa
Narain Karthikeyan
Timo Glock
Charles Pic

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