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Lewis Hamilton Q&A: A good start will be vital 22 Sep 2012

Pole sitter Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren celebrates in parc ferme.
Formula One World Championship, Rd14, Singapore Grand Prix, Qualifying, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Saturday, 22 September 2012 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4-27.
Formula One World Championship, Rd14, Singapore Grand Prix, Qualifying, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Saturday, 22 September 2012 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4-27.
Formula One World Championship, Rd14, Singapore Grand Prix, Qualifying, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Saturday, 22 September 2012 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4-27.
Formula One World Championship, Rd14, Singapore Grand Prix, Qualifying, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Saturday, 22 September 2012 Pole sitter Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren talks with the media.
Formula One World Championship, Rd14, Singapore Grand Prix, Qualifying, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Saturday, 22 September 2012 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4-27.
Formula One World Championship, Rd14, Singapore Grand Prix, Qualifying, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Saturday, 22 September 2012

McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton and his MP4-27 have been performing well so far this weekend so it’s not that surprising he enjoyed a great qualifying session on Saturday. But the fact he took pole by almost half a second was a real revelation. Hamilton discusses his Singapore form and looks ahead to Sunday’s race…

Q: Lewis, you clinched pole position with an advantage of almost half a second…
Lewis Hamilton:
Yeah, that is cool, isn’t it! It’s been a good weekend for us so far. But you must remember that there are no points for qualifying so we have to focus on the race and keep cool. There are some quite interesting characters around me on the grid so I will be very cautious! (laughs) My guess is that it will be a tough race.

Q: It also looked like a tough qualifying. But just how tough was it really?
LH:
It is very hot and the humidity is very high so that in itself is a huge task to stay coo. The race top even that in terms of toughness. The comfort is that the car has felt great all weekend long so I hope that I can capitalize on that in the race.

Q: What will be key if you are to win the race?
LH:
Staying out of trouble as always and of course looking after the tyres as well as I can. I know we are still not as good as maybe the Red Bulls have been in the past - or the Lotus - but we are working on it and we are improving. So I hope that tomorrow will be another step forward.

Q: Would you have guessed you would be on pole by such a margin before qualifying?
LH:
No, especially as the Red Bulls have made a huge step forward this weekend with their qualifying pace. But our upgrades did what they were supposed to do and I am looking forward for more to come.

Q: Tyre management will again be crucial. How are the super-softs working here?
LH:
Well my guess is that it will be a two or three-stop strategy for the race. But don’t pin me down on that! (laughs)

Q: You won here in 2009. Can you do it again?
LH:
I know that it’s going to be a tough race so I am approaching it in this state of mind.

Q: What makes this track so difficult?
LH:
Well, it has many corners and short straights. Every lap you have to find the perfect braking point for each corner and as you want to enhance your speed you try to push the braking points even further, which is pretty hard to do. You have to be in the sweet spot of every corner to do a perfect lap and that’s pretty demanding.

Q: Williams’ Pastor Maldonado is starting from P2. Is that a little bit too close for comfort?
LH:
I am happy for Pastor. He’s taken a lot of heat throughout the year. Nevertheless he seems to be a very talented young man and it is great to see Williams doing so well. Of course I want to do well tomorrow. As long as I have a good start I think I am in a good position.

Q: If you win you may significantly reduce the gap to Fernando Alonso in the drivers’ standings…
LH:
Sure I will try to pull points from him as he’s got quite a good lead. But I also have two competitors behind me with a gap of only two points, so I would say that tomorrow is quite an important day. The aim is to have a good start because overtaking is difficult here and defending so much easier.

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