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Lewis Hamilton Q&A: Victory is possible if our strategy is right 25 Jun 2011

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 8, European Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Valencia, Spain, Saturday, 25 June 2011 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 8, European Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Valencia, Spain, Saturday, 25 June 2011 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4/26.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 8, European Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Valencia, Spain, Saturday, 25 June 2011 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4/26.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 8, European Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Valencia, Spain, Saturday, 25 June 2011 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4/26. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 8, European Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Valencia, Spain, Saturday, 25 June 2011 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 8, European Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Valencia, Spain, Saturday, 25 June 2011

After two of the toughest races of his career, McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton arrived in Valencia for this weekend’s European round hoping for a fresh start. And although the Red Bulls managed to maintain their stranglehold on the front row, Hamilton was pleased to secure third on the grid. He discusses his chances...

Q: Lewis, you will start from third on the grid. How do you feel?
Lewis Hamilton:
Quite happy. This is a good fresh start. In my position I just want to finish - I would be more than happy about that. The team did a great job and I am very thankful for what they are doing. I think from that position we could win tomorrow, depending on the strategy. Our race pace has been very good over the last few races as Jenson (Button) has proved, so let’s see how it goes.

Q: So what could be possible?
LH:
Well, a lot of things have to come together. You need a bit of luck, the pit stops have to be accurate, you can’t get slowed down by traffic and you have to maximize on everything out there to beat the Red Bulls. Tomorrow is another day trying to do just that.

Q: Button was a little puzzled about how his car changed from Q2 to Q3. Did you have the same issues?
LH:
Well, for me it worked out. I tried to push a bit more on my last lap, but sometimes it is a very fine line between being a bit too greedy, and just about getting it right. I locked up in Turn One and lost a bit of time there, tried to catch up somewhere else but it didn’t work out. I think our race should be good.

Q: So would you say that P3 was the best you could do?
LH:
I think so. There could have been potential ways of being faster, but in the end I believe that this was the maximum I could get out of the car. I tried to push again on my second lap - and maybe I could have got one tenth out - but that wouldn’t have been enough to get in front of the Red Bulls.

Q: Could the Red Bull guys make mistakes and you match what Button managed to do in Canada?
LH:
Ha, I hope so! (laughs) But history has proved that this usually is not the case with them, so we will push as hard as we can and rely on our own strengths. As I just said my aim is to finish - at least in the position that I start from. I have had a couple of tough races lately, so third would be absolutely fantastic. Anything more would be a bonus.

Q: After the disappointments of Monaco and Montreal you must be very motivated…
LH:
You bet I am. After some difficult races it is a good feeling coming here, and being quite solid. Third is not a bad position to start from - not at all.

Q: So you could win this race? How would you go about doing that?
LH:
I am going to figure that out tonight. To be honest after Practice Three I thought I would be a little bit further back, so now is the time to look into strategy to try to capitalize on different situations. A good start will be key, and then I’ll need to find the right rhythm. And of course luck needs to be on my side.

Q: Do you need luck to beat the Red Bulls?
LH:
Well, I think people make their own luck - and yes, it would be great if a little bit could be with me tomorrow. On the other hand I have had plenty of luck in my life, so sometimes it can happen that you run out of it. Let’s wait and see.

Q: The FIA changed the engine-mapping rules, but here we are again with Red Bulls on the front row…
LH:
Yes, it’s the same thing - just a different day! But I also think that it will be a very close race. I thought that they would lose a bit more in qualifying, but obviously that was not the case. So we have to try and bend the race a bit our way.

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