Lewis Hamilton Q&A: We will have to limit the damage 28 May 2011
McLarens Lewis Hamilton couldnt hide his disappointment after qualifying in Monaco on Saturday. Seventh on the grid was not what Hamilton had hoped for, and with matters going from bad to worse with a penalty from the stewards pushing him further down the order, the British driver is expecting a tough race...
Q: After seeing one of your colleagues (Sergio Perez) crash so heavily, how difficult is it to get back in the car and head out on track?
Lewis Hamilton: First of all I am relieved to hear that he is well. He was driving so well all weekend and my guess is that this race could have delivered a good result for him. As for me going out for a little over two minutes to finish Q3 - it is always difficult going out again after sitting so long in the car. Youre wondering if the track is safe and if the surface is safe. That is definitely on your mind. But you have to remind yourself that we are professionals and that racing is our job.
Q: We have seen two crashes at the same corner today. Mercedes Nico Rosberg crashed there in Practice Three, and then Perez in qualifying. How dangerous is that spot?
LH: The whole track is dangerous. Thats what we love about it. It is bumpy of course, but it looked like he was going quite wide into it and lost the back end. This can happen to any one of us. This is the fastest part of the track and quick parts of tracks usually tend to trigger accidents. But I have to say the marshals did a fantastic job.
Q: How can you stay focused in those circumstances?
LH: Staying focused is not a problem for us. I said a prayer for Sergio and then you sit there and stay composed. But then when I got out, the track was very difficult. I had quite a lot of understeer and no temperature in my brakes and no temperature tyres. It was one of the worst qualifying I have had in a long time.
Q: How disappointed are you?
LH: If I take everything into account it was the strategy in Q3. Yes, we have been driving so well the whole weekend up until Q3 and I think I had the pace for pole position. Jenson did a very good job. We were advised by the engineers to do a stop towards the end of Q3, but obviously here in Monaco you shouldnt take such a risk. But it is what it is. I will do the best job that I can. You cant win from there, but I dont give up and Ill keep on pushing.
Q: Its so difficult to overtake, what can you do?
LH: Honestly, there is not much that you can do. As you just said it is almost impossible to overtake here and all I can do is try to score as many points as possible. Tomorrow is all about damage limitation. I am sure that Sebastian (Vettel) will walk away with it - its as simple as that.
For tickets and travel to 2011 Formula One races, click here.
For Formula One and F1 team merchandise, click here.