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Lewis Hamilton Q&A: I enjoyed every lap 28 Jul 2012

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren in the Press Conference.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, 28 July 2012 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4-27.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, 28 July 2012 Pole sitter Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren celebrates in parc ferme.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, 28 July 2012 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4-27.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, 28 July 2012 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4-27.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, 28 July 2012

On Friday afternoon Lewis Hamilton said that his McLaren felt great. On Saturday afternoon he proved it, just when it mattered most, storming to an emphatic pole in Budapest. It is no secret that the Hungaroring loves leaders and helps them to protect their position, as overtaking is rather difficult. Hamilton might still fear Ferrari, Red Bull and Lotus, but he is now undoubtedly favourite to take his second win of the season on Sunday…

Q: Being on pole position must be a very satisfying feeling for tomorrow’s race?
Lewis Hamilton:
It is a very good feeling, especially after Jenson [Button] was able to show the car’s real face in Hockenheim. It is good to be able to use this momentum into this qualifying. It is still very tough out there, as the competition is truly big, but I enjoyed every lap. Also the few upgrades that we have brought here worked quite well. Although I cannot tell so far if they will also work tomorrow on the long run, I am very positive that they will make a difference too. We have been fine-tuning the car all weekend long and it seems that we were able to get it right at least for qualifying.

Q: What is the key to completing a successful race tomorrow?
LH:
For sure, to have a good long-run pace, and looking after the tyres. But for some reason the start is the most important, especially because I had a few bad starts this year with some clutch issues. So I hope that none of this will happen tomorrow so that we are able to put our strategy into force. If you are able to maintain the lead from pole into the first corner it makes it much easier to be able to also win the race here.

Q: This is your 22nd pole, and McLaren’s 150th, with the team having taken pole here in Budapest five times in the last seven years. What are your feelings about these facts?
LH:
I am absolutely proud to be able to contribute to the team’s success, especially looking back when I was ten years old, when I told them that I want to be winning races and championships with this team. The Hungaroring is quite a demanding track in terms of downforce, so rather a driver’s circuit. It has a great combination of corners, as it is a track that has different lines at different corners. It is not black or white.

Q: There is quite a bit of a margin to Fernando Alonso. Is it important to be able to make a statement before going into the long summer break?
LH:
It is important, and especially also for the guys in the factory, so that they get it confirmed that we are on the right track in terms of the development. So for them and also for us at the track it is an important fact to stay focused for the development of the car that is still ahead of us. But then on the other hand, Fernando is only on P6 for tomorrow and you can do a lot from there, too. Plus it is a long race, and really anything can happen.

Q: What do you think about the two rivals next to you and behind you, Romain Grosjean and Sebastian Vettel?
LH:
Of course both of them will be hard to contain behind me, as it is quite a long run to the first corner. I am very sure that sometime this year, possibly tomorrow or some stage later, Romain and Lotus will be able to catch a win. And about Red Bull, we know what they can do!

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