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Lewis Hamilton Q&A: Title still up for grabs 12 Oct 2012

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Korean Grand Prix, Practice, Korea International Circuit, Yeongam, South Korea, Friday, 12 October 2012 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4-27.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Korean Grand Prix, Practice, Korea International Circuit, Yeongam, South Korea, Friday, 12 October 2012 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Korean Grand Prix, Preparations, Korea International Circuit, Yeongam, South Korea, Thursday, 11 October 2012 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4-27.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Korean Grand Prix, Practice, Korea International Circuit, Yeongam, South Korea, Friday, 12 October 2012

Just 10 points from the last two races is not the best way to stay in the title running. Nevertheless, McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton still counts himself still among the contenders - and mathematically he is absolutely right. With 125 points available from 2012’s last five rounds, the drivers’ championship remains wide open. Hamilton showed that he knows how to handle the Yeongam track in Friday’s first session, and even though the second didn’t go quite as well, the Briton is still looking to score big come Sunday…

Q: Lewis, after the rather disappointing last two races, what is your view of the championship?
Lewis Hamilton:
I would say that it is still up for grabs, but obviously it’s become a little bit tougher for us and a little bit brighter for Sebastian (Vettel) and Fernando (Alonso). But there are still 125 points available, so anything is still possible.

Q: Does that mean that you are still hopeful?
LH:
Yes, I am still in the game. It is still possible - theoretically in any case. And even if it weren’t theoretically possible any more, I would keep on pushing, trying to get up as high as possible.

Q: So how do you like this Korean track?
LH:
I like it here. They’ve got great facilities and the track is fun. So far we’ve always had great races here.

Q: Is it a track that suits your car?
LH:
I hope that we will be able to make some improvements over the weekend. We have found out that we had some mechanical problems on the car from qualifying through to the race at the last race, which is positive for me to know because I thought that I felt something. So let’s hope that this weekend will be better. The first session today was fine and then in the second we struggled. We’ve made some set-up changes between the sessions, but nothing too serious, just the rear ride height, and then I wasn’t able to get the option tyres working. We will again make some set-up changes overnight, so hopefully it will work better tomorrow.

Q: So is your car quick enough to win here - which is all that matters?
LH:
Well, the Red Bulls seem to be very quick here but believe me, we keep on pushing and in fact haven’t been too far off the pace. So everything will depend on if we get the set-up right. And if we do I would say yes, we should be competitive.

Q: When you say that the set-up changes did not deliver, is there anything in particular that did not go as planned?
LH:
Not really something particular, just the whole change. But don’t get me wrong - the first session was fantastic and it will be up to us to find out what change in set-up caused the setback.

Q: You set the pole time here last year - can you do it again?
LH:
I am not sure. But for sure I will try.

Q: Sebastian Vettel said that your long runs looked pretty competitive…
LH:
I hope he’s right, (laughs) as I haven’t done much of it.

Q: How do you approach this race, given that you’ve just said that you still count yourself among the title contenders? And who would you say is ‘hot’ and who is not?
LH:
Well, when looking at last year’s race, yes I started here from pole position and ended in P2, so I would be happy to clock pole again and carry this position all the way to the chequered flag. Will that happen? I don’t know. Who will be hot here? I, of course, hope we will be, no matter what happened this afternoon. (laughs) Then for sure the Red Bulls, and I would say that Lotus should do pretty well too. They have still to win their first race, but they have shown great performance at many tracks so you have to count them in on Sunday.

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