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Lewis Hamilton Q&A: Phenomenal to be back on top 10 Jun 2012

Race winner Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren celebrates with Nicole Scherzinger (USA).
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Race, Montreal, Canada, Sunday, 10 June 2012 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Race, Montreal, Canada, Sunday, 10 June 2012 Race winner Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren celebrates with the team.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Race, Montreal, Canada, Sunday, 10 June 2012 Race winner Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren celebrates on the podium.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Race, Montreal, Canada, Sunday, 10 June 2012 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren celebrates on the podium.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Race, Montreal, Canada, Sunday, 10 June 2012

Finally on Sunday it happened for Lewis Hamilton. Five years after his first Formula One win, he did it again at the same track, making the McLaren driver the seventh winner from seven races in 2012. Yes, he was the bookmakers’ favourite arriving in Montreal, but the race still produced an unexpected podium, leaving Hamilton convinced that this year’s unpredictability is far from over…

Q: Lewis, seventh race - seventh winner. Was that a huge weight off your mind when you saw the chequered flag this afternoon?
Lewis Hamilton:
Yes, it is a phenomenal feeling to be back here again - to go out and have a performance like that and when coming back seeing the team in our special tops - that was awesome. It was the place of my first win and to win here today brought back a lot of fantastic memories. And believe me, today it felt just as good as back in 2007.

Q: It looked as if the team were holding their breath when your pit stop again went a bit awry. Was there a feeling of ‘oh no, not again’?
LH:
Well the first pit stop was good - just the launch was not that great as the clutch slipped - and the second was a bit slower on the rear, but it was still a huge improvement compared to previous times, so all was good. When I came across the finish line I just thought ‘finally’…

Q: Did you expect such a result?
LH:
When I came here this morning I knew that it would be a very tough race. I knew that the Ferraris would be very strong in the long runs - and the same goes for the Red Bulls - so I was quite surprised that in the first stint I was able to keep up with Sebastian [Vettel], but I knew that I’m in a fighting position - and it worked. (laughs)

Q: It doesn’t happen every day that you pass two world champions in the closing laps…
LH:
That is so true. That spiced up the win even more. I have to say that I really love this track. You have to be so accurate with your driving to make sure that everything comes together. I knew that I had to keep up my pace as I saw Fernando [Alonso] and Sebastian struggling massively towards the end, and in the end it was just about controlling my pace.

Q: Can you tell us something about the strategy you were on? Was it a two-stop strategy from the beginning or did you change during the course of the race?
LH:
It was a two-stop strategy all along as we believed that two stops would be the best strategy and in hindsight I would say that the best tyre choice was option-option-prime, but we went for option-prime-prime and it still worked out. I was looking after my tyres really well today, so every choice that we’ve made today in the end was a winner.

Q: You are leading the championship as of today - so you are in control…
LH:
I don’t know anything about controlling the championship. (laughs) The first four guys are within nine points, so to use the word ‘controlling’ would be a far cry from reality. All I can say is that I am really happy - happy to go home with that win and that trophy.

Q: In two weeks’ time we will be in Valencia, which very likely will be equally hot. Will we see another winner or will we start to repeat the winners now?
LH:
I think that the championship is still so unpredictable that we very likely could see an eighth winner there. All I hope is that I am there in the fight and having the chance to be among the possible winners again.

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