Lewis Hamilton Q&A: Well be back stronger next year 17 Nov 2010
For two seasons McLarens Lewis Hamilton held the honour of being the sports youngest-ever world champion after clinching his maiden title aged 23 years and nine months. In Abu Dhabi, however, an even younger champion was crowned - Sebastian Vettel, who is five months younger than Hamilton was back in 2008. But the British driver isnt disappointed hes lost his place in the record books. Instead hes pleased he ended his season on a relative high with his second-place finish at Yas Marina, and is now targeting his 2011 fight back
Q: You have been fighting for the title all season, but someone else has won it. How do you feel?
Lewis Hamilton: I am happy and relieved that it is over. We gave it our best shot - especially towards the end. I think Jenson (Button) and I ended the season on a high, clinching P2 in the constructors championship, so we all go home quite satisfied. Of course I would have liked to have had a better year and would have liked to have the fastest car throughout the year. But the team have been pushing really hard over the whole season and never gave up and that makes me very proud of them. I am looking forward to next year and Im hoping that our car will be even better, and we will be able to fight with these guys right from the very first race.
Q: Finishing second was a positive end to your season, but could you have caught Sebastian Vettel in the race?
LH: Well, I think I was up with him in terms of speed at the beginning of the race, especially in the first stint. But I would say that they had some help from Renault and then it was impossible to pass. That is the benefit when you have some extra team mates!
Q: Do you think that Robert Kubica decided the championship?
LH: It doesnt really matter now. I only know that I could not get past him and attack Sebastian for much of the race. It was only when they pitted that I was able to get closer, and then it was too late. But that is history. We are all looking forward to next season and, before that, to the winter break and Christmas.
Q: Looking back at the season, was there one moment which you believe cost you the championship?
LH: No, not really. We probably just upped the pace a bit too late.
Q: Everyone seems to agree that the Red Bull was the fastest car on the grid all season long. Were you surprised it took them until the penultimate race to clinch the constructors title and until the last race to wrap up the drivers title?
LH: I think everybody was surprised. Because they had the fastest car all season long.
Q: Vettel has outdone you to become the sports youngest-ever champion. Is that a bit of a downer?
LH: Absolutely not. It just shows that young people are taking over in the cockpit. Sebastian took over the lead within the team and did a phenomenal job. He kept his head, kept his cool - so hes a deserving champion.
Q: It is 15 weeks until Bahrain. Does that make you feel worried or excited?
LH: Is it really only 15 weeks? Wow. Thats really not far down the road!
Q: It wasnt so long ago you were enjoying the feeling of winning your first title
LH: First of all I want to congratulate Sebastian and Red Bull. Theyve done a fantastic job. They had the fastest car throughout the season. Theyve won the constructors championship and have ended on top in the drivers championship. At the end of the day the quickest team won and we will try to do a better job next year.
Q: Will McLaren start on top again?
LH: That is definitely the plan. It will be tough but we want to turn the tables on Red Bull, that is for sure.
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