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Q&A with McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton 15 Mar 2012

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Australian Grand Prix, Rd1, Preparations, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, 15 March 2012 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Australian Grand Prix, Rd1, Preparations, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, 15 March 2012 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Australian Grand Prix, Rd1, Preparations, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, 15 March 2012 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Australian Grand Prix, Rd1, Preparations, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, 15 March 2012 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Australian Grand Prix, Rd1, Preparations, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, 15 March 2012

Lewis Hamilton’s 2011 Australian Grand Prix started badly - a prelude to the bad (by his standards) season that followed. But 2012 is another year, and even though having arguably the best-looking car on the grid does not guarantee success, it must boost one’s spirits. Hamilton certainly seems on good form in Melbourne, as he prepares to start his bid for a second drivers’ title…

Q: Lewis, how are you feeling after the winter break at the beginning of the season?
Lewis Hamilton:
I feel great and I am really happy to be here. For me it is a new and fresh start. The team has worked massively hard to prepare a great car for this season. I myself feel in great shape, so we can start competing against the others.

Q: Compared to the last test in Barcelona, is the car any different to back then?
LH:
It is basically the same car, although we have analysed a lot of data, and we have a rough direction where we want to go to with the new updates that are coming. We have a good understanding of how we want to set the car up. So it was just about making sure that we set the car up the best way we possibly could do for the first race. For us drivers it was about making sure that we keep our heads straight and our feet on the ground.

Q: There are now six world champions on the grid. How do you feel about that?
LH:
I feel massively proud to be amongst those great names and great human beings. I think it will be a massive competition amongst the other five and me, and not to forget the other strong racers in the field. I hope to stay much longer in this pack of racers.

Q: The McLaren seems to be the most beautiful car on the grid. Do you think it is amongst the fastest as well?
LH:
This we will find out only in the next couple of days, when we run in similar conditions and on similar fuel levels as well. Of course our aim is very high, as we always want to be the best and the fastest. I am very happy that we have a normal looking car, and everyone else has an odd looking car. Hopefully we do not have a single dominant car in the field, so that no team is dominating the series, which makes it harder for us drivers to show our skills and talents.

Q: What is it that you particularly like about Melbourne?
LH:
I love the circuit, as it is more a street circuit. Also the people and the country itself are massively welcoming. Since I have been watching Formula One it has always started its season in Australia, so also for me this is the place to start.

Q: You said yourself that you had a very difficult year last year. How do you leave all of that behind?
LH:
You always have to keep your head up and never stop pushing. You have to work really closely with the people that can help you bring the results that you need to be competitive in this environment.

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