Lewis Hamilton Q&A: We can turn our fortunes around 13 May 2009
Nine points from five races is a far from the ideal scenario for a reigning world champion aiming for a second consecutive title. But thats the situation McLarens Lewis Hamilton has been forced to accept so far this season. With his MP4-24 struggling against the might of the Brawns and Red Bulls, Hamilton has failed to qualify higher than fifth and is yet to grace the podium.
For the British driver, however, there are positives, not least the teams watertight reliability. And speaking to his official website, hes hopeful that the unidentified issue which he believes is damaging the cars pace will be rectified soon
Q: A tough race and no points in Barcelona - were you satisfied with your drive?
Lewis Hamilton: We're unfortunate that our car is not quick enough at the moment, but that hasn't stopped me from pushing hard in all the races. Even though I didn't finish in the points in Spain, I pushed like crazy throughout the whole race, didn't make any mistakes and got the maximum from the car. As a racing driver, you have to be satisfied with that, and I was pleased with my performance. To finish ninth at a circuit we knew wouldn't suit us wasn't the end of the world. Most importantly, it's a big improvement for the guys in the team. I just want to say that the whole team has done a fantastic job - they really have, since I've been in this team I've maybe had one or two reliability issues with the car in 40 races. And touch wood that will stay the same.
Q: You finished in the points in Bahrain but struggled to get into the top-eight in Barcelona - which result do you feel is more representative of the car's performance?
LH: We knew the Spanish Grand Prix was going to be tough for our car given the results of the test a couple of months ago. We're hoping that things improve greatly from this point onwards as Barcelona is one of the toughest circuits on the calendar for our car. Bahrain was always going to be one of our better races because we could exploit KERS and the car's handling through the slower corners. I think we can finish in the points regularly but we'll continue to struggle at some of the faster circuits. But hopefully we can introduce the necessary performance upgrades to make us competitive everywhere.
Q: Given the pace of the frontrunners, what are your thoughts on retaining the title?
LH: I'm pushing as hard as ever when I drive the car, the are working like crazy to develop the car but the car is just not where it needs to be for me to defend the title. But that won't stop us all from fighting hard and pushing to the absolute maximum at every race - because that's got to be our motivation now.
Q: Is the team confident about improving MP4-24?
LH: The whole team is working as hard as it can to improve the car and we have some more upgrades coming for Monaco next week. I definitely think we can turn the corner with this car - I don't think the whole car is wrong, I think perhaps a small issue is triggering a bigger problem somewhere else. And that's encouraging because it means we could hit a breakthrough at any stage. We've definitely taken some big steps forward and we've learnt from some of our mistakes too - we're all optimistic for the next few races.
Q: So what about Monaco next weekend?
LH: I hope our new modifications give us a huge chunk of downforce. I know the guys will keep pushing, I'm pushing like crazy, we're all pushing like crazy: when we start winning again, we'll deserve it more than anything because we'll have been through so much to get back there. There is a great feeling of solidarity and optimism in the team at the moment, we'll never give up.