Q&A with McLarens Lewis Hamilton 07 Sep 2012
Lewis Hamilton brushed off speculation about his future as he set the fastest time around Monza on Friday. Ironically, being quickest - ahead of McLaren team mate Jenson Button and the two Ferraris - is probably the best argument he can put on the table in any negotiations with his employer
Q: How does it feel to drive the Monza track, and what are the conclusions from todays result?
Lewis Hamilton: It is a beautiful circuit, absolutely stunning to drive, especially in this great weather. Incredible high speed, and once you get the flow of the track right it is an amazing feeling. The track itself looks very simple if you take the birds eye view, but it is very technical, and quite bumpy, and therefore it is difficult to find the bits of time that you need to be fast here. One thing that you really have to be careful with is that you do not get any flat spots on your tyres, as then everything is vibrating and will leave you with no proper visibility in the many high-speed sections. From the result we cannot make any particular conclusion as of yet. There were a few cars out there that had very good long runs. So anyones guess is as good as mine. At the moment we are still doing a lot of fine-tuning, as there is still a bit time to find, especially in the first sector.
Q: What is the outlook on the tyre situation for this weekend?
LH: There is a different working range between the two different tyre compounds. The prime compound has a lower working range, so it doesnt particularly like the heat, and it will be very interesting to see which of them will last longer during the race. Hopefully we get the strategy right and will not start from too bad a position.
Q: Do you have any special new parts for this track, as you do not seem to have any updates since last weeks race in Belgium?
LH: That is right. We have amended original parts for this track, as we need to lose downforce and drag, so we have trimmed and cut away parts that we dont need here. So the guys in the factory have done an amazing job to pre-tune the aerodynamic set-up. For sure, it is very close between us and the Ferraris, Lotuses and Mercedes.
Q: There is much speculation about where you are going to be the next season. Is this a big distraction for you?
LH: I try to let other people worry about this during the racing weekend, but of course it pops into your mind now and then. But then it is more important to keep your eye on the ball.
Q: Coming back to Spa, where you were a victim on the first lap. It is the first time in 18 years that a driver has received an unsuspended ban for a race. How much of a warning is this to any racing driver not to overstep the mark?
LH: Of course it is a warning, and everyone is taking this very seriously. The FIA is doing a fantastic job, and we have also asked them to be stricter with incidents. Especially when it comes to single-seater racing, it is also very important for the youngsters to see that there are rules that need to be followed so that they are prepared when they get here.
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