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Exclusive Q&A with McLaren's Lewis Hamilton 09 Jul 2009

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, German Grand Prix, Preparations, Nurburgring, Germany, Thursday, 9 July 2009 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, German Grand Prix, Preparations, Nurburgring, Germany, Thursday, 9 July 2009 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 8, British Grand Prix, Race, Silverstone, England, Sunday, 21 June 2009 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren on a taxi ride of the Nordschleife with Bernd Schneider (GER).
Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, German Grand Prix, Preparations, Nurburgring, Germany, Thursday, 9 July 2009

Being the reigning world champion and having scored only nine points at the midseason mark is definitely not to Lewis Hamilton’s taste. He can only agree with the old Jackie Stewart saying that a bad year is a character building time. Winning, however, is a far better feeling and the McLaren star admits that he is misses it…

Q: Lewis, how would you describe your season so far?
Lewis Hamilton:
Well, obviously the year so far hasn’t been fantastic. It’s a learning year and hopefully I can take what I’ve learned this year on to next year.

Q: After winning the 1969 championship and doing poorly in 1970 Jackie Stewart called that year a ‘character building’ time. Is this year yours?
LH:
I believe so, yes. It is a character building year. I must agree to that.

Q: We are midseason. What do you expect the second half of the year to bring?
LH:
I am hoping that we get our first win at some stage, or at least aim for a high points or podium finish.

Q: Winning the championship one year and then tumbling to the midfield or beyond the next: how do you cope with this situation and did you ever imagine something like this could happen?
LH:
I never would have dreamed that the car could be the way it is, simply because McLaren builds great cars. But everyone has bad years and makes mistakes once in a while and has bad times, and this is definitely one of those.

Q: This season is topsy-turvy. Last year’s backmarkers lead the championship and the usual suspects struggle in the midfield. Is that surprising to you?
LH:
It is a unique situation. All I can say is that when you are having a championship where you are competing against everyone - the best drivers that is - that’s a championship. When you don’t have all the top drivers competing with you and hunting you down this is a slightly different championship. Jenson (Button) is a long way ahead - he hasn’t got Felipe (Massa) on his tail, or Kimi (Raikkonen), or Fernando (Alonso), or me. What we see this year is a slightly different championship.

Q: Will this weekend be the turnaround at McLaren? What do you think?
LH:
The weather forecast is pretty bad. I hope we make some improvements to the car and I hope they take us get further up the grid and to be challenging for some points. I could imagine that this could be a good weekend for us.

Q: Do you miss winning?
LH:
Of course! I miss it every single day.