Lewis Hamilton Q&A: Its the perfect way to bounce back 29 Aug 2010
After qualifying, McLarens Lewis Hamilton was cautiously optimistic the Belgian Grand Prix could work out well for him. And on Sunday the dream became a reality, as Hamilton clinched a formidable victory to move into the lead of the drivers standings. The British driver reviews his Spa race
Q: Lewis, how did it feel when you realised that it could be your race?
Lewis Hamilton: It felt incredible! When I realized that I can control the pace - and the car was feeling better and better - it was awesome! I was able to pace myself and every time I saw that the guys behind me were closing the gap I always had an answer to it. It became a bit more difficult when the conditions changed. And then I had my wide moment! Oh boy, that was scary - and I think all the fans here and back home were at the edge of their seats. But I fortunately came out of that situation well. I then took myself back a bit and carried the car over the finish line after that.
Q: When the conditions worsened and you heard on the team radio that you should stay out, what went through your mind?
LH: It is so slippery out on the prime tyres, so difficult to keep the car on the track and keep the temperature up that I was thinking that it is easy for them to say stay out. Because when you drive at that speed, you really dont know at first if it is only spitting or raining heavily, you just realise water is running down your visor. You really have to go for pure balance in such a moment. I came through all that perfectly and I have to say that it was one of the most exciting races of all time for me.
Q: You must be very pleased with the overall result of the race. Three of the five championship contenders didnt score points and you now lead the standings with a three-point advantage over Mark Webber
LH: We are heading for a great battle for the title. That is for sure I feel really sorry for Jenson, though. He did a great job. I got around Turn One, looked in my mirrors, saw him picking up places, and thought, Thats good, thats good. Then he got up to second, and I thought, thats fantastic - another opportunity for a one-two. But unfortunately he was taken out by one of the Red Bulls.
Q: After your retirement in Budapest, you must be pleased
LH: Yes, it was the perfect way to bounce back. I had a fantastic holiday and then to come back and do it again - it just felt perfect! I felt so blessed today! I was a bit nervous after qualifying, as we had made some changes that in technical terms meant a step back, but hey, it worked!
Q: Would you say it just you and Webber in the running for the title now?
LH: No, absolutely not! There is still a long way to go and we will race at so many different tracks up until the final race in Abu Dhabi that it just would be ridiculous to only count Mark and myself as candidates for the title.
Q: Do you think this result - and your lead in the championship - will make you McLarens number one driver?
LH: No. Our team gives both drivers exactly the same chances and in that way you have 200 percent moving forward.
Q: The Spa racetrack is one of the iconic tracks of the season, and it is obviously one of your favourites - at least today
LH: This track gives us one of the most challenging Grand Prix of the calendar and I was so overwhelmed when I came out after Turn One as the race leader. Despite the 2008 race here today was the most entertaining race for me, as it surprises at almost every corner. My lowlight today was getting into the gravel and the highlight was to come out unharmed. That was the ticket to my race win. When I touched the wall with the edge of my wing my heartbeat must have been around 220. It was going bang, bang, bang