Lewis Hamilton Q&A: I can't stop smiling 04 Jun 2010
The Turkish Grand Prix saw a one-two victory, but not from the team that most had expected. For McLarens Lewis Hamilton it was his first win of the year and pushed him to within nine points of current championship leader, Red Bulls Mark Webber. Hamilton discusses his Istanbul Park win and the joy of battling with his team mate Jenson Button
Q: Congratulations - your first win of the year and the second one-two of the year for the team. How does it feel?
Lewis Hamilton: Looking back on the weekend, it was such a great achievement for the team and for me to finally get a win this year. I have been working hard all year for that win, so for the opportunity to finally arrive I felt it was a blessing. It felt good. I felt strong all weekend and knew I could challenge the Red Bulls and I did. So it was wicked. The team did a solid job as they always do throughout the weekend and without their continued hard work - both on and off the track - we would not be in the position we are to compete with the Red Bulls. So for this I am extremely grateful and I want to congratulate them on our success. It was almost 10 races since I had won a race, but it's all good. I think most drivers would be happy with that. For some its 20, 50 or 100, so I remain grateful to be in the position I am. I have no doubt at all that with this approach we can win more races this year.
Q: You didnt mention the battle with Button - did that affect the winning feeling?
LH: Not at all, I think it added to the win if anything. To finally have a race with my team mate - wheel to wheel - was a great feeling and to come out on top was a bonus. I am looking forward to many more races like that where we have fun, hard battles yet fair in our race to the championship.
Q: What is it between you and Button that manages to keep it amicable?
LH: Firstly, Ive known Jenson for a very long time, and I think we have a lot of respect for each other, and what weve achieved as drivers. Were both world champions, so we have a certain amount of pressure removed from our shoulders too. And Ive really got to know Jenson well over the past six months. Weve been working hard, weve spent a lot of time together, at the circuit and at events arranged by Vodafone and our other partners - its funny, but I think that, because weve spent a lot of downtime together during filming days or appearances, that weve actually got to know each other better than if, say, wed only been working together at the track. He brings a lot of positive energy to the race weekends, and hes made our team stronger, so these are all positives. But look, I think its inevitable that well be battling again on the track sooner or later. There are 12 races left, and Id be surprised if we werent racing each other again at some point soon. Of course, well both work hard to make its fair, but our eyes are open to the fact that it will happen again - and, actually, I think thatll be cool, because hes a good guy to race with.
Q: Whats the status of the team heading to the next race in Canada?
LH: I cant keep the smile off my face - we are absolutely on it! Last year, you saw what we could do when we came from behind - we started the season at the back of the grid, but we were back at the front halfway through the year, and were still able to win two races. This team is just an incredible development machine - it never stops. We live and breathe racing, and we are just churning out new parts, working harder than Ive ever seen the team work to try and help us win these world championships. I think its something that has really surprised Jenson - but in a good way; just the intensity and determination with which we push forward. I think the result in Turkey was the perfect motivation we needed, and I know the whole factory is working flat-out to bring forward the new parts. We go to Canada feeling pretty highly motivated, and I can just sense theres a momentum building within the team - I felt the same feeling in 2008, and I know that we can achieve great things together over the next six months, so its all good.