Lewis Hamilton Q&A: The Red Bulls dont scare me 09 Sep 2011
This season McLarens Lewis Hamilton has had more than his fair share of bad luck. But while Hamiltons found the going tough - and criticism in the media tougher - hes determined not to let anything, even Sebastian Vettels pace in Practice Two in Monza, distract him from making the most of the final seven races of the season
Q: Lewis, how was Friday in Monza for you. You dominated Practice One, but Red Bulls Sebastian Vettel had the upper hand in Practice Two
Lewis Hamilton: Yes, it was going pretty well, but Ill say it again and again that this was Free Practice. Saturday afternoon and Sunday are completely different. I am not too worried about the Red Bulls in qualifying. Weve been working on the wing set-ups and it looked as if the other guys had more downforce - or slightly more - but once we used our DRS we started to look pretty good. I think Jenson (Button) and I are pretty happy with the car and it looks as if we are in a strong position. So lets hope that this weekend will see me smiling a bit more.
Q: Your 2011 season has been tough
LH: Well, I still aim to make it a season to remember. There are still some races left!
Q: So, even with two wins, its not a season to remember with fondness - yet?
LH: Its another year of my life where I am fortunate to be here in Formula One and competing on the highest level. It probably isnt my best year, but I continue to look at the glass as if its half full - not half empty.
Q: Your collision with Saubers Kamui Kobayashi at the last race - a lapse in concentration or a racing incident?
LH: I wouldnt call it a lapse in concentration, but it definitely was a mistake. I thought that I had passed him and so didnt think that he was there. What happened was obviously the classic wrong place, wrong time problem, which I often find myself in lately. But that is the way life goes and you move on from it. I came to this weekend in a very positive spirit and I hope it will pay off. The guys in the factory have been working very hard to improve our downforce situation - and fingers crossed - we will be very competitive this weekend. I havent had a good result here for quite a while, so you can be sure that I plan to change that!
Q: Have you got the car for a good result?
LH: I havent had the best car for quite a while, but we have a car that is competitive. And I know that we can win with this car. Jenson proved in Spa that the pace is there, so we should have a good weekend.
Q: Can you bounce back in Monza?
LH: Of course it is important to bounce back. I think we had a couple of not so great races, but here we have another chance to turn things around. I feel very positive about this weekend. I have had massive support from my guys. And I have had huge support from the fans. I didnt have the best of support from the media, but thats life.
Q: The media have criticised you for enjoying the celebrity lifestyle too much
LH: They dont have a clue what I do with my personal life. They might see some bits and pieces and then construct stories from that. The fact is I live a very normal life. I dont live a celebrity life. I am in Formula One so the cameras are around me, but when I go home I live a normal life and do normal things. Nothing that distracts me at all.
Q: With Vettel so far ahead in the standings, your championship hopes are almost over for this season. So how do you want to spend the next seven races?
LH: Ha, I want to finish the next seven races! That is obviously my target. I believe that if I finish the races it will be in very good positions. The paramount thing is to avoid trouble. At the moment I feel that I am a sort of magnet for trouble so I definitely want to break that spell. If I could win the next seven races then mathematically the title is in reach! We will keep on pushing and keep on driving aggressively, but whilst being more cautious. Doesnt that sound logical?
Q: Why is Monza so special?
LH: Because its an historic track and its the fastest track on the calendar. I guess these two points make it so special.
Q: You just mentioned that its the fastest track on the calendar. How does it feel to race round here?
LH: It is fascinating. Everything happens so much faster here than at any other track. That heavy accelerating and then heavy braking to go into a chicane is racing! Your adrenalin runs higher here than anywhere else. To enjoy it you have to have confidence in your car - and I definitely do!
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