Q&A with McLarens Lewis Hamilton 09 May 2010
It looked set to be a good day for Lewis Hamilton, with McLaren closer to Red Bull on pace, and some excellent pit work helping him leapfrog Sebastian Vettel. Then came the problem with the front-left tyre deflating and 18 points disappeared, almost within sight of the flag. Unfortunate - but having delivered a flawless race to that point, Hamilton leaves Barcelona for Monaco with a clear conscience
Q: Lewis, the race was unfolding very well for you - unfortunately it didnt have a happy ending. Dropping out almost at the finish line must have been very disappointing for you
Lewis Hamilton: It was. It was a very good race for me and it was really fun to drive as weve made a real step forward in terms of the Red Bulls. The team worked great and to see that big step forward was great too. To have a podium finish would have been perfect for both championships. But then these things happen. I dont know what it was. I just felt something on the steering and then the tyre blow-out. It was pretty unfortunate to have another tyre blow-out but I am sure we will find out what exactly happened. It was my fourth tyre blow-out in my Formula One career so far - more than other drivers in their whole lifetime!
Q: But up until that unfortunate moment you felt quite positive about the race?
LH: Yes, absolutely. I felt that just had to cruise to the finish line. Obviously I had 40 or so laps on these tyres so to keep up with Mark (Webber) was impossible. I just tried to maintain the pace and keep the spot - and I was absolutely blown away that it was the last two laps that something happened, but thats motor racing. I just keep the chin up and look forward.
Q: Had there been discussions on the team radio about coming in again to change tyres?
LH: No, because the team said they were fine, and I also felt that this was the case. Sure, only up until that moment in turn three.
Q: Was what happened a sort of reality check?
LH: Yes, probably.
Q: Eighteen points slipping through your fingers which would have taken you to P2 in the drivers championship - how hurtful will that be?
LH: Unfortunately Im further back now, especially because I feel that Ive done a good job today jumping to second position in the race.
Q: Obviously during the race there were some issues with backmarkers. Can you say what happened from your point of view?
LH: We lapped the backmarkers five or six times. It was insane. But not only that, the backmarkers were very poor in moving out the way. I know that it is not that easy, as I can remember from last year when I was lapped, but some of them almost stopped on the race line - I almost collided with them. Thats when it gets dangerous because there is such a big speed difference. I dont know what can be done about it.
Q: But looking at Monaco where overtaking is very difficult, do you see a problem there?
LH: I don know how you will handle this situation in Monaco. It will be very tricky. We just have to be aware.
Q: Are you looking forward to Monaco?
LH: Yes, I am. Its always such a special place to race. The track, the atmosphere everything. Hopefully I will have more luck there.