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Q&A with McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton 13 May 2012

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Race Day, Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, 13 May 2012 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4-27.
Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Race Day, Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, 13 May 2012 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren with his race engineer and Andy Latham (GBR) on the grid.
Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Race Day, Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, 13 May 2012 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4-27.
Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Race Day, Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, 13 May 2012 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Race Day, Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, 13 May 2012 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4-27.
Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Race Day, Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, 13 May 2012

When McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton secured pole position in Barcelona on Saturday many believed he’d become the fifth winner of the season come Sunday. But after being penalised by the stewards for having insufficient fuel on board his MP4-27 to comply with the regulations, Hamilton had to start the race from the back of the grid. The Briton, however, bounced back on Sunday with plucky aplomb and eventually finished in eighth. Hamilton discusses his Spanish round…

Q: Lewis, after the huge disappointment of Saturday, you bounced back spectacularly with eighth place. Will you leave Barcelona satisfied?
Lewis Hamilton:
Well, under these circumstances I am quite satisfied. It was the best I could do. I was the only one running on a two-stop strategy. People always say how aggressive my driving style is compared to my team mate but I think I proved them all wrong in the race. I was surprised myself, when I was moving through the field, that the options lasted so long. So yes, I had a good race after all.

Q: You proved yourself again…
LH:
I don’t think that I have to prove anything. What happened today I’ve done many times in my racing career. It was probably just reassuring that I can pull it off whenever it is needed. To be fair I really enjoyed this race. And the team did a great job. So for me we are on an upward curve.

Q: So do you hope to overcome your problems there?
LH:
I only had one problem this weekend. But my belief is that once everything goes right we will be in a great position.

Q: Even after this weekend you are only eight points behind Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso in the drivers’ standings. So it didn’t damage your championship aspirations too much…
LH:
Well, this afternoon was damage limitation, so I really cannot complain.

Q: How difficult was the start for you. You are not used to starting the race from the back of the grid?
LH:
Well, after I put yesterday behind me and cleared my mind I was ready to take up the fight. Just like in my old karting days.

Q: Would you have been on the podium today were it not for the stewards’ decision on Saturday?
LH:
I am not living with the’ ifs’ and ‘maybes’. We did a great job today and, of course, had I started the race from pole position it would have been a completely different race. But as I said before, I really enjoyed the race even though I started from last place.

Q: What conclusions have you and the team come to about Saturday?
LH:
It was a subtle mistake and a very big punishment but that is motor racing and we made the best out of it.

Q: Do you think that it was a fair punishment?
LH:
It is what it is, and I’ve tried to make the best out of the punishment I’ve got. I must say that it was a great race for Pastor Maldonado and I want to congratulate him and the Williams team. It was a deserved victory.

Q: It was the fifth race with a different winner…
LH:
…and hopefully soon it will be my turn. But yes, it is a fantastic season so far. After five races there is still no clear pecking order, so everything is still wide open.

Q: Next stop is Monaco…
LH:
Monaco is a track I definitely love and for sure I hope that I will have a much better weekend there.

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