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Lewis Hamilton Q&A: My car felt fantastic today

20 Jun 2014

After registering his second retirement of the season at the last race in Canada, Lewis Hamilton arrived in Austria keen to get his title charge back on track - and he got off to the best possible start on Friday by registering the quickest time of the day. After stepping out of his car, Hamilton spoke to reporters about why he’s confident there won’t be a repeat of the technical problems seen in Montreal, and why he’s not focusing on anything else but his own performance…

Q: Lewis, given the problems that both cars had in Canada two weeks ago, how confident are you that they are now solved?

Lewis Hamilton: We definitely have not lost anything in terms of performance - on the contrary, we’ve gained, as you always learn from experiences like that. A lot of work goes into the understanding of a problem and that lets you come out on top as we will be able to handle similar situations much better (in the future). But in a word, the cars have been fixed - the same thing will not happen again.

Q: How do you like the track here - it’s new to you and that must be a rather unusual situation? And it’s in quite a remote area…

LH: If you follow me on Instagram you’ll see that I love nature, and so I find it very beautiful and unspoilt here. The track itself is pretty cool - the differences in altitude make it a pleasure to drive - but at the same time you must not underestimate it by thinking that it is shorter than many other tracks.

Q: The last two races have been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster ride for you. How is your mindset?

LH: I am alright. I couldn’t be in a better place really. I had a good couple of weeks and this looks like a quite relaxed weekend for us. At least it was a good start to the weekend.

Q: So far you’ve had two retirements this season, whereas your team mate and fiercest challenger for the title - Nico Rosberg - has had none. How annoying is it knowing that any retirement could be one too many?

LH: At the moment I know that we have a lot of races ahead of us, so right now that is not a concern to me. Of course, towards the end of the season things might significantly change from where we are now. On the one hand it is good for me to know that I have done my optimum up until now, but on the other of course there is always room for improvement. Also, for the team it is good to know that we can improve.

Q: Did you talk internally about the Montreal strategy?

LH: We have spoken about it - not necessarily about the pit stop. I think it had more to do with the fact that Nico was in clear air in front of me, so he constantly got cool, free, clean air coming in and by following very closely behind all the time I had dirty, warm air coming in. Therefore it’s logical that you see differences in temperature, and as we were both on the limit, I went over the limit.

Q: Have you ever experienced something like the Montreal situation in a race before?

LH: No, I’ve never experienced losing power like that. But as I said before, we’ve understood the problem and so we have put that issue behind us.

Q: This track is called the ‘Red Bull Ring’. Is there more motivation not to let them win here?

LH: I come here not even focusing on them at all. I am focusing on my own performance. And it’s a bit strange because they say it’s their home Grand Prix, but in reality they are a British team. It’s just a name.

Q: Do you think that Red Bull will come even closer here?

LH: No, I don’t think so. Just look at the time sheet. And my car felt fantastic today. It was such a pleasure this afternoon to do my job. (laughs)

Q: So if you had to make a forecast, what would it look like?

LH: I always think positive. I don’t want to focus on any frustrations from the past. My guess is that we will do well - and that the fans will see an exciting race.