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Lewis Hamilton Q&A: McLaren competitive, wet or dry 06 Jul 2012

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd9, British Grand Prix, Practice, Silverstone, England, Friday, 6 July 2012 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4-27.
Formula One World Championship, Rd9, British Grand Prix, Practice, Silverstone, England, Friday, 6 July 2012 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd9, British Grand Prix, Practice, Silverstone, England, Friday, 6 July 2012 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4-27.
Formula One World Championship, Rd9, British Grand Prix, Race, Silverstone, England, Friday, 6 July 2012 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren with fans.
Formula One World Championship, Rd9, British Grand Prix, Practice, Silverstone, England, Friday, 6 July 2012 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4-27.
Formula One World Championship, Rd9, British Grand Prix, Practice, Silverstone, England, Friday, 6 July 2012

Lewis Hamilton clocked Friday’s fastest time at Silverstone in conditions that no sane driver - or fan - would relish, but a least it gave the McLaren star a rare chance to take a leisurely stroll down the pit lane to check out his rivals. And he seems confident he has the measure of those rivals, even if the rain does disappear over the weekend…

Q: Lewis, it was a tough day for everybody here at Silverstone. How did it go for you - despite the fact that you did the fastest time?
Lewis Hamilton:
Well, of course it wasn’t so easy. And as the prediction show that it might be the same conditions on Sunday, we have all been cautious about our tyres as we don’t all have enough to entertain the fans, so I felt a little bit sad about them. There have been so many of them - in fact I have never seen so many of them on a Friday.

Q: So what is your message to the fans?
LH:
To stay warm and still appreciate to be here.

Q: Was getting enough temperature into the tyres still the biggest challenge today?
LH:
Yes, and I would say that we did a pretty good job at that. (laughs) But I would say that being at the top of the time sheet today isn’t a big issue. Saturday afternoon is what counts - and then Sunday afternoon. So it is then when you should keep your fingers crossed.

Q: Would you say that the track was safe in the afternoon, as we saw a lot of cars spinning?
LH:
Yes, it definitely was safe, but there is a lot of aquaplaning here - a lot of standing water in some parts where it looks that there is no drainage. That would be a good improvement for next year.

Q: You took a walk during the session. Was this for the fans?
LH:
No, actually not. I was bored and it’s very rare that I have time during a session to walk down the pit lane and have a look at other garages and see what other cars have compared to mine. It is good to see it once in a while first hand.

Q: There is a rumour that you like rain at Silverstone. Is that true?
LH:
Well, I don’t mind rainy days - we all have them once in a while. I grew up racing in this environment, so I feel pretty much at home. (laughs)

Q: Would you say that rain is a chance, as all seem to agree that the driver makes more difference under such conditions?
LH:
Yes, I think it is true, the driver does make a difference here. Probably it will open up the window a little bit more - particularly as we don’t know if we would be quickest in the dry - so, indeed, I do see some opportunities in the wet.

Q: Can you explain what it’s like to drive in such conditions?
LH:
It is exciting. You probably hold on to the steering wheel a bit stronger than you normally do - just to make sure that you are fully in control of the vehicle and that all your senses are right there. More so than other times! (laughs)

Q: So no frustration about today from your side?
LH:
Not at all. As I said before, I just felt sorry for the fans that we couldn’t go out more, as we didn’t have enough tyres to do so. Maybe that could be looked at in the future.

Q: Can you push more tomorrow?
LH:
I am always pushing - you don’t have to tell me that. But I am really looking forward to Sunday. In whatever conditions I am sure we will be very competitive. Let’s keep the fingers crossed!

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