Friday, October 22, 2010

Lewis Hamilton Q&A: I have nothing to lose and everything to gain

He may be 28 points down championship leader Mark Webber, but McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton is not feeling nervous about his chances in the title fight. In fact, with three races still to go, he’s enjoying the challenge and after sampling the newly-built Korean track for the first time on Friday, he’s confident the MP4-25 will be a strong contender on Sunday…

Q: Lewis, first day on a brand-new circuit. What was your impression?
Lewis Hamilton: Well, the first session was quite something. It was the dirtiest track I’ve ever been on. It was so dusty, it was incredible and it was not easy to get going. But the evolution was quite dramatic. People started speeding up and in P2 the track looked pretty good. There is still a lot of dust around - especially off-line - but as I just said the track feels quite good and is pretty fast. You need to have an efficient downforce level and a good car here. I feel quite happy with my car even though we had some small problems in the second session. Overall I feel pretty good.

Q: What were the small problems?
LH: Some minor issues with the balance but I am sure that we’ll fix that for tomorrow.

Q: How much do you think the track will improve on Saturday morning and then again for qualifying in the afternoon?
LH: I think there might be another second in it but I think in general we are almost there. We might see a lot more laps of 1m 37s tomorrow - maybe even in the mid thirties.

Q: Obviously the different sectors suit different cars. Can you talk us through your lap?
LH: At the beginning of P1 it looked like it suited a lot more cars than it seems to do right now. People have dropped a lot of downforce to catch up. For us we are very quick on the straights and seem to be very competitive also on the other parts of the track. Our rear wing is working and also the other new components. That is very positive.

Q: You seem more ‘in the game’ here. Is that correct?
LH: Yes, I think so. We have a range of new bits on the car. We had some of them already in Japan but they seem to work better here as it looks like we can get them working very well. Today we spent a lot of time doing as much running with those new components to get relevant feedback. The overall impression of the two sessions today is that we are quite competitive - at least as competitive as the Red Bulls and that’s a good thing.

Q: That sounds very encouraging for the title fight…
LH: Yes, it is. As I said the car feels pretty good and be sure that we will do all we can with it. But it is not only about us and the Red Bulls. The Renaults looked pretty quick and also the Ferraris. You probably could say that these cars are all pretty evenly matched and it is all about the driver being able to pull out the most time.

Q: You and your four rivals look very relaxed. How come?
LH: It’s just another race and there are still races to go. I have nothing to lose and everything to gain so the pressure must really be on the others.

Q: But there is pressure as you have to gain as many points as possible in every race…
LH: The pressure to score as many points as possible is always there but of course it starts to escalate a bit towards the end of the season. But I have been doing this since I was eight years-old so it’s no big deal.

Q: Watching from the sidelines, the track from Turn 16 and the pit entrance seem difficult. How do you feel about these parts of the circuit?
LH: Well, the kerbs are not on the same level as the track, there is a step of over an inch, but I guess it looks more serious on TV than it actually is in the car. And the pit entrance - well, it’s a bit bumpy there but that’s no big issue.

Q: What do you say in general about this new track?
LH: When walking it yesterday you could see how much work they’ve done over the last few weeks. Even the army was here for support. The track itself is really good to drive and very smooth, even though it’s a bit bumpy at certain parts, but that’s ok. It is very, very high speed with good straights and the race promises to be really entertaining for all the fans - here and on TV.


No comments: