Q: Lewis, obviously Nico now can race differently now that Mercedes has clinched both championships. Do you expect him to approach the race differently tomorrow?
Lewis Hamilton: I don’t think so. I know Nico well enough! And I will race like I always do.
Q: Mexico is Nico’s fourth pole position in a row. Before that it was your turn. Has anything changed?
LH: No not really! Yes, he has done a good job in those four races in qualifying. That’s about it! In the end I don’t have a big care about pole position. I am grateful with those that I have had, but the races are the real meaning. When you finish your career it’s the championships and the race wins that you’ve had - and not the pole positions.
Q: The run down to Turn 1 is the longest in F1. How intense will that be after the Austin experience?
LH: When I saw the track for the first time I was somewhat thinking ‘wow, how difficult will it be to hold off the people behind you’ as there will always be somebody to slipstream you. But probably from P2 you have a different approach tomorrow with all the things that can happen - and thinking of what can happen beyond Turn 1.
Q: From what you know of the track will we see a lot of overtaking in the race? Some of your colleagues say that Turn 13 is the place…
LH: I would have to be guessing. In the midfield section it is my guess that you can’t - that you have to follow with the little downforce that there is. But with the conditions you might see more mistakes - and that probably will trigger more overtaking. But otherwise it is unlikely that a guy will leave the door open.
Q: How different is it for you to drive on this high altitude in terms of driving? How different does the car feel?
LH: In reality the car feels the same. It is just that you have less downforce! A bit like Monza but probably even less. You are sliding around a bit - even if it still feels like a Formula One car the grip is not spectacular.
Q: After winning three titles. What is next on your agenda?
LH: Winning three titles is amazing! But it is also strange that now that it has happened I come to this race and I have the same hunger as before: I want to win! Of course I set new targets for next year. There are a lot of other things outside the car that I am planning - So stay tuned! (laugh)
Q: Some of the other drivers are complaining about too much sliding because of the tarmac. What’s your guess?
LH: It is challenging if your car is constantly moving - but it’s also more fun! So I am not complaining. It is what it is. You just deal with it. Every track has its own characteristics. If it was the same everywhere - imagine how boring that would be! Fortunately it is not!
Q: Drivers want high grip because it is easier to drive - but it is obviously more fun for the fans to watch races on a low-grip track as you can see the drivers ‘work’ more in the cars - is there a discrepancy?
LH: I don’t know the answer to that. The tracks are built in a certain way so how can we argue. If there is low downforce there is also always less mechanical grip - but we need mechanical grip. So probably for this track you would need different tyres. But who knows. Next year everything can be completely different.
Q: You have now the same amount of championships as Ayrton Senna. What does that mean to you?
LH: I can hardly remember the first time that I watched him but I guess I was four or five years old - and honestly: I can hardly remember what happened last week! (laughs) Probably that is what happens to the one who is in the middle of the action. Of course I watched him in whatever he was doing, watching and analysing how he was going about things - and yes, the fascinating thing about him was his driving style - the way he drove. I admired that: But I am Lewis - and I do things differently!