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Lewis Hamilton Q&A: Relaxed and ready to attack 05 Nov 2010

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 18, Brazilian Grand Prix, Preparations, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday, 4 November 2010 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4/25.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 18, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, 5 November 2010 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren with the media.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 18, Brazilian Grand Prix, Preparations, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday, 4 November 2010 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4/25.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 18, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, 5 November 2010 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 18, Brazilian Grand Prix, Preparations, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday, 4 November 2010

Friday’s two practice sessions in Brazil mirrored the general balance of power on the grid - the two Red Bulls in front, followed by a Ferrari and a McLaren. Of course, the championship battle is far more complex than that. McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton knows this, hence his belief that the title is still within reach. He’s done it before, so why shouldn’t he do it again.? Perhaps that’s why he seems so relaxed...

Q: Lewis, this track holds fond memories for you, so you must have a quite good feeling racing here, especially with regards to your title chances…
Lewis Hamilton:
Good memories yes, if you mean 2008. Poor memories when you think about 2007 in terms of the championship. But I had a good race here last year and this year’s car is even better, so it looks quite good.

Q: What are your feelings about the title fight? Mathematically you are still in the race, but is it realistic?
LH:
I think so. The team has worked very hard to get new components here and so far it worked pretty satisfyingly for me today. Sure, you have to assume that the others also worked heavily on their cars, so the question is who did his homework best. I feel that we are strong here and my guess is that the conditions will also have an influence on the outcome, as we have seen here in the last couple of years. It will be tricky for everyone and I don’t think that it will be harder for us than for the others. I do feel that we have an equal opportunity this weekend as we did in the last race to get maximum points.

Q: Do you feel that you need a DNF from the other title contenders?
LH:
Ha, it would definitely help! But I would never wish anything negative on the others. My main aim is to get myself into the front. Are we the fastest out there? No. But we have been able to close the gap a bit lately and we have proven more than once that our time is the race and I am confident that it is also the case here.

Q: How were the days between Korea and Brazil?
LH:
Everybody was working night and day to make sure that we have all the components possible. It was a perfect balance between working and developing next year’s car and trying to win the championship. I feel that it has been one of the best balances that we had in the team. It felt great to be in the factory.

Q: There are two races within eight days and you are 21 points down on the leader Fernando Alonso. What is your plan this weekend?
LH:
To be honest I feel quite relaxed. There is some rain in the forecast for Saturday, but dry conditions are predicted for Sunday. My aim is to get on the front row - as it always is, not just this weekend.

Q: Qualifying will be really important here because of the battle for the championship…
LH:
There’s no doubt. We already know that the front row is pretty locked up by the Red Bulls. They seem to have a great car that works pretty well here, as we have seen today. And they must have something - I don’t know what it is - that makes them always find time on the track in Q3. We cannot compete with that, but we have to get into the closest position to go out and fight them with strategy. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t go out there trying to get pole position!

Q: This track is really special and has delivered quite surprising races in the past, with conditions changing faster than anywhere else. Do you feel the pressure of the unpredictable, that it is really crunch time this weekend?
LH:
No, as I just said I feel relaxed. It feels just right. So let’s wait and see how that translates through the weekend.

Q: Does this relaxed feeling come from the fact that you are the hunter rather than the hunted?
LH:
It sure is easier to chase than to defend. Attacking is the demand of the moment - I hope it pays off.

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