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Lewis Hamilton Q&A: Weekend of surprises in store 24 May 2012

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd6, Monaco Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Thursday, 24 May 2012 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4-27.
Formula One World Championship, Rd6, Monaco Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Thursday, 24 May 2012 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd6, Monaco Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Thursday, 24 May 2012 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4-27.
Formula One World Championship, Rd6, Monaco Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Thursday, 24 May 2012

In a world championship that spans several continents, being able to simply walk down the road to work is quite a luxury. In that respect Lewis Hamilton has already hit the jackpot this weekend. On the track, his Friday running wasn’t quite so smooth. However, McLaren team mate Jenson Button showed that either of the Woking team’s drivers could be in for a Monte-Carlo win, leaving Hamilton confident that things could just go his way…

Q: Lewis, so far you seem to be finishing either third or eighth, but that cannot really satisfy you. No doubt you want to change that this weekend…
Lewis Hamilton:
Of course I want to change that. But I have to confess that it is also great to wake up in your own bed, to only drive down the road and you are at work. I run around the circuit here quite often so I know almost every inch, which makes me hope that it will be a good weekend for me and the team. Sure, finishing eighth is not exactly a dream result, but on the other hand we have finished in the points at every race, so the first step has to be to continue with that. A win would be a bonus.

Q: So far it has been a strange season, but of course an entertaining one for the fans. How do you feel when you look around and see some rather unfamiliar names as race winners - and some of the prominent ones still without a victory?
LH:
Yes, it is in fact an unusual season with winners you would have never guessed. And, yes, it is great for the fans as every race translates into a thriller. As a team we have shown great performance. Unfortunately we couldn’t translate that into multiple wins. Be sure we will try something this weekend.

Q: So what were your first impressions today? Were you satisfied with how it worked out? Even if your afternoon didn’t seem all that lucky…
LH:
Well, it was in fact not such a great afternoon. We’d done some set-up changes, but with the ever-changing conditions it was hard to make them work. But despite that it was mega fun out there. It was slippery - especially when it started to rain - but that is Monaco. Sure, here it is much better when it is dry - the track already holds enough excitement in the dry - so we don’t ask for wet conditions.

Q: This track, as it is a street circuit, develops over the weekend. But we didn’t see much development in the course of today’s two sessions…
LH:
…because it was wet. Had it stayed dry we would have most likely seen a different result. My guess is that if it stays dry on Saturday we will see much faster times - so fingers crossed that it stays dry. There was very little running today - we haven’t managed to do any proper long runs - and I doubt that we will be able to do that on Saturday morning, so my guess is that we are going blind into qualifying in terms of tyres - and probably even blind on the tyres for the race. I guess this weekend will be a box of surprises for us all.

Q: So then what did you learn today - something about your car and the pace of your rivals?
LH:
Yes, I think today we got a bit of an understanding of how quick people are. The Lotus looks pretty quick and I am not quite sure what Red Bull is up to. Ferrari looks fast and so do we. So first you have the usual suspects, but we have seen before that it would be dead wrong to underestimate all others. It will be key to get the tyres to temperature and for qualifying to get out for your fast lap at the right moment as traffic can be deadly here.

Q: The super-soft tyres were used today for the first time this season. How did it go?
LH:
I am not sure because the moment they put them on my car it started to rain and that was the end of it. My guess for Sunday is that if it will stay dry the super-softs will make the race even more exciting - if this is at all possible here in Monaco. For sure we will have another of these mouth-watering races - and hopefully we will be in the centre of the sensation! (laughs)

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