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Lewis Hamilton Q&A: We'll be back stronger next year 17 Nov 2010

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren with the media.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 19, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Saturday, 13 November 2010 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing and Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren celebrate on the podium.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 19, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Race, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Sunday, 14 November 2010 Robert Kubica (POL) Renault R30 leads Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4/25.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 19, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Race, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Sunday, 14 November 2010 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4/25. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 19, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Saturday, 13 November 2010 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4/25.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 19, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Race, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Sunday, 14 November 2010

For two seasons McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton held the honour of being the sport’s 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 isn’t disappointed he’s lost his place in the record books. Instead he’s 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 I’m 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 doesn’t 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 sport’s 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 he’s 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. That’s really not far down the road!

Q: It wasn’t 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. They’ve done a fantastic job. They had the fastest car throughout the season. They’ve 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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