Lewis Hamilton Q&A: McLaren closer than ever to Red Bull 12 Nov 2010
McLarens Lewis Hamilton was the only driver to dip below the 1m 41s mark in Abu Dhabi on Friday, setting a best lap of 1m 40.888s. Whether the inspiration came from P Diddy urging him to go for the big thing again or not, it certainly did the trick. And if theres one thing Hamilton needs this weekend its inspiration - as nothing but a win, and his rivals enduring poor results will see the Briton take his second title...
Q: Lewis, it must be a nice way to start your weekend, setting the benchmark for the other three title contenders
Lewis Hamilton: Yes, it is. I am really, really happy. The guys managed to improve the rear wing - it has not been working since Suzuka and finally it is! We knew that it would hold some potential and today weve got proof of it. The car felt really great and I am very hopeful for qualifying and I will give 120 percent. It will be tough as I see the Red Bulls are still quick but from what we have seen today we are closer than ever before.
Q: What is your strategy entering this last battle? Do you really think you have the car to do it?
LH: As I just said the car feels very good and strategy-wise, there is no real strategy. We are trying as hard as possible, like we do every weekend. The exception is that this weekend I really need to win, more than ever before. That means taking more risks than I have probably taken all year. And this is very exciting for me, because it might, or it might not work. We have everything to gain and nothing to lose.
Q: Do you think that Yas Marina is a good place to host the last race of the year?
LH: Yes, it is a beautiful place to be. I have been here since the beginning of the week. The weather has been superb every day and the people are really fantastic. I have been on the golf course a couple of times. The track itself is just spectacular, and it is definitely one of the best Grand Prix to come to in the year.
Q: What is it going to take for you to win this race?
LH: A lot of things have to come together at the right time. I dont know what I can do to make things happen, except try to give the best that I can. If I can take the right risks, and not go over the limit, then I am doing a good job. If I can win the race, then I can only hope that the ones behind me have their issues. But no one can guarantee that this is going to happen.
Q: What has been your best moment in 2010?
LH: It was most probably Montreal. I loved the car, it was a great weekend, with great weather and atmosphere. So that was probably the best weekend I had this season, and I am definitely looking forward to it next year.
Q: What has counted against you more this year - the DNFs or the fact that the Red Bull and Ferrari cars were better than the McLaren?
LH: Definitely the DNFs in Singapore, Monza, Barcelona and Hungary, but also the points that we lost in Suzuka. At the end of the day it is a mixture of things - as a team we win and we lose together. Sometimes the car has not been perfect and sometimes I have not been perfect. Our goal at the beginning of the year is always to have a competitive car, and not be trying to catch anyone up. So Jenson (Button), myself and the rest of the team are working on this very hard already for next year.
Q: If you dont win the title, who do you think deserves it most?
LH: They are all fantastic drivers, and all of them have worked very hard. The one that I feel is maybe a little more deserving of the title would be Mark Webber. He has really done a great job for Minardi at the beginning of his career, worked his way up and most probably only got his hands on a car that could win the title now. He has taken a lot of negative feelings in his team, and he has come out knowing that his team mate is favourite. So I guess he has done a damn good job.
Q: What is your gut feeling about Sunday?
LH: I wouldnt tell you that, would I?
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