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Lewis Hamilton Q&A: What a great weekend 29 Jul 2012

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren on the grid.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Race Day, Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, 29 July 2012 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4-27 on the grid.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Race Day, Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, 29 July 2012 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren on the grid.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Race Day, Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, 29 July 2012 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Race Day, Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, 29 July 2012 Race winner Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren celebrates with Anthony Hamilton (GBR), Linda Hamilton (GBR) and the team.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Race Day, Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, 29 July 2012 Race winner Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4-27 celebrates in parc ferme.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Race Day, Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, 29 July 2012

McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton looked favourite for victory in Hungary from the very start of the weekend and he lived up to that promise on Sunday, even if Lotus made him work for it. Hamilton equalled Ayrton Senna’s record of three Budapest wins, received his trophy from Placido Domingo, and put himself firmly back in the championship fight. What better way to go into the summer break?

Q: Lewis, what a great weekend for you. And you equalled Ayrton Senna’s record of winning three times at this track…
Lewis Hamilton:
…is that so? That is music to my ears! (laughs) But indeed, what a great weekend was that? I am so proud of the team. In fact it was one of the toughest races that I can remember. And to be honest, I loved every single second of it - to be so much under pressure, never knowing how long your tyres will last - and I really made them last! I knew that I was quick, but in the end it was all about managing the gap. I had to make sure that I had a big enough gap in the last corner. And I did. Kimi (Raikkonen) caught up in the middle sector, but the last corner was what really made it. To win on the weekend when the Olympics started I had the feeling that I made my contribution as well.

Q: You are now 47 points behind Fernando Alonso, so this race win meant a huge step forward for you in the standings…
LH:
Yes, we know that we have made a huge leap forward and we still have to work hard in the second half of the season to keep staying ahead of these guys as we did today. Lotus was phenomenally quick today and keeping them behind was a pretty hard job - and we’ve managed it. So we all can sail off to a relaxing summer break without even thinking about racing - just to come back strong again in one month in Spa.

Q: What was key today?
LH:
This track is very demanding - it is a very downforce-dependent circuit. And, as I just said, I was able to manage the tyres to stay ahead of these guys. And, of course, our pit stops have been fantastic. All these factors added up to this win. (laughs)

Q: So let’s recap the race a bit more. Your start in Hockenheim was not really great, but it was great today…
LH:
… yes it was. I was very, very hard on the guys to have a good start this time and I did everything that I could to make it better than last weekend. Actually I wanted to be one thousand percent sure that I did everything perfectly.

Q: You always had a Lotus in your mirror. How much pressure was there from Kimi?
LH:
It was the same pressure from Kimi and Romain (Grosjean). Both have been very late on the brakes and carried a lot of speed into the corners. My feeling is always that when you are behind someone it is very hard to look after your tyres because you have less downforce, so I tried to get them involved in a bit less downforce and hoped that their tyres would go off before mine - but they didn’t. (laughs) So I had to make sure that I didn’t make a mistake.

Q: Were you thinking about changing your strategy during the race as many others did?
LH:
Not really. Of course we had a ‘Plan B’. But I knew how many laps I had to do to make ‘Plan A’ work and when I had seven laps to go to stick with ‘Plan A’ I knew that the tyres would make it so I said to my crew that I’m still fine. Of course the biggest question was the last stint and if I would be able to hold these guys off and keep the pace up - and we did it.

Q: It was said that you raced with both your heart and your head today. Is that fairly true?
LH:
I hope so. As I just said, I didn’t make any mistakes. This is always the biggest worry - to make mistakes. We’ve shown today that we can run flawlessly and it is fantastic to head into the summer break with this feeling. Nothing is as appeasing as success.

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