Lewis Hamilton Q&A: McLaren can break frontrunners stranglehold 19 May 2010
No victories, two podiums and seventh place in the drivers championship - the 2010 season may not be going quite to plan for McLarens Lewis Hamilton, but it hasnt been for want of trying. Indeed Hamilton has been dealt more than his fair share of bad luck over the six opening races, and the British driver is optimistic things are finally looking up. With new developments for the MP4-25 and circuits that should favour the cars strengths on the way, Hamilton is certain he can wrestle the title from the grasp of Red Bull team mates Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel, as he explained to his official website...
Q: How do you look back on your fifth position in the Monaco Grand Prix?
Lewis Hamilton: Obviously, I wouldve liked better, but I think the result showed that its just so difficult to overtake around Monaco. Its no narrow, particularly when youre running with cars of a similar pace, so its not really a place where you can race; because you cant really attack. So the second half of my race was mainly about keeping the car away from the barriers, and just looking after it until the finish line. Anyway, we knew our car wasnt going to be perfectly suited to Monaco, so to finish fifth and get some more points was pretty useful.
Q: Was there any reason why the MP4-25 wasnt that well suited to Monaco?
LH: Our car is better suited to faster, sweeping turns than to the tighter corners you get at Monaco, where you need quite a nimble car. So while we didnt have a pace-setting car around Monaco, we always knew that would be the case, and we were still quite pleased with the pace we showed. I think weve already demonstrated that itll be a different matter at some of the high-speed circuits - places like Silverstone, Spa and Suzuka - where the car should be perfectly balanced.
Q: Youre seventh in the world championship - were you expecting more?
LH: I think you can look at it two ways, you could say that we had some good opportunities in some of the early races and that we maybe didnt make the best of those chances. You could also say weve done a good job overall, got a great deal of performance out of the car and possibly exceeded the expectation of what the car was ultimately capable of. I think the reality lies somewhere between those two areas: maybe I should have scored more points, but I know that Ive raced to the best of my ability on every single lap of every single race, and that I got the maximum out of the car, so Im satisfied with my performance, even if Ive been a bit unlucky. It would be nice to have more points, yes, but I dont think its something we should be too concerned about right now - there are plenty more races, and we have lots of opportunities to close the gap. Its more important that we plan to break the stranglehold at the front than look back at what might have been. And thats exactly what this team has always done, and what were doing now. Were confident that we know what needs to be done to get back to the front.
Q: and that is?
LH: Wouldnt you like to know! No, seriously, weve got some developments in the pipeline - they wont be immediate, but we think we know what we need to do to close the gap to the leaders. In any case, were a lot more confident about what our pace will be like at tracks like Istanbul, Canada and Silverstone - we think our package will be a lot more competitive at those places, particularly in race pace, which has always been our strength. The important thing is to stay focused - one of the greatest strengths of the team is our ability to keep developing and refining our car during the season, and Im confident that were heading in the right direction.