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Lewis Hamilton Q&A: Red Bull will be stronger here 22 Mar 2012

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Preparations, Sepang, Malaysia, Thursday, 22 March 2012 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4-27.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Race, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, 18 March 2012 Third placed Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren on the podium.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Race, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, 18 March 2012 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4-27.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Race, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, 18 March 2012

Much was made of Lewis Hamilton’s look of disappointment in Melbourne after he failed to convert pole position into victory. But that’s all in the past. This weekend’s 2012 Formula 1 Petronas Malaysia Grand Prix presents another chance to take 25 points, even if Hamilton does expect Red Bull to put McLaren under more pressure at Sepang…

Q: Now that you’ve had a little time to reflect, how would you rate the first race weekend of the season?
Lewis Hamilton:
I would rate it somewhere in the middle, so there is quite a bit of room for improvement. There were a few things that weren’t optimal, most of them not really under my control. But this is motor racing, so I really look forward to the upcoming weekend. Of course I am happy with a podium finish. It is just that I started from pole position and ended up third, which means that I went backwards, which is what I don’t like doing. If you start 20th and you end up 10th, then it is a great race weekend, but if you are starting with such a good qualifying then you expect to also be able to win. But in 2007 I also ended up third and if I look back that was a very decent season, although also quite some time ago.

Q: How will it be this weekend? Will McLaren again be able to lead the way with the others trying to catch you?
LH:
I don’t think so. If you take a look at the last race then you will see that the Red Bulls had very good pace, as did the Ferraris. Of course we will keep on pushing and use all the information that we got from the last race. In general, it should look like it did in the race and qualifying that we had in Australia, as our car has not changed.

Q: This is your fifth race here in Malaysia and only once have you been on the podium. Will you be able to make the podium this year, or maybe even top that with a victory?
LH:
Of course I have another chance to do exactly this, although you never know what will happen. We have had some interesting races here already, and for me personally the first one was the best and after that it was a bit up and down. Looking at the last race one has to say that we have been the dominant team, and this is what I am taking into this race. So I am all positive about my chances for a great race and qualifying.

Q: Taking the Jerez and Barcelona winter tests into consideration with their sometimes rather chilly weather, and then last weekend Melbourne with a warm, late-summer climate, the McLaren looks very competitive in variety of conditions. How do you see this situation? Are you positive about yet another climate zone here in Malaysia?
LH:
Of course I would say that we are doing extremely well compared to last year, but I think that the Red Bulls will do better here than they did back in Melbourne. If this is the case, then we will just have to push even harder to stay ahead of them.

Q: Malaysia is known for an unpredictable race in terms of weather, but it’s also very tough on the drivers in terms of dehydration. Are there any improvements regarding having enough liquids on board?
LH:
That is true that the weather forecast changes every now and then, and luckily that counts for everyone. On staying hydrated, we are constantly getting better drinks, so the development in that field is also extremely good for us and so we are able to sustain a full race distance.

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