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Lewis Hamilton Q&A: Race starts looking good for Sunday

04 Jul 2015

He’s on pole position for his home Grand Prix. Now Lewis Hamilton’s next target at Silverstone must be a good getaway at the start of the race - something he failed to achieve last time out in Austria. Hamilton, however, seems confident he’s got the issue sorted…

Q: Lewis, you had a slight lock-up on the tyres you have to start the race with. Is that a concern for you?

Lewis Hamilton: Fortunately there is no flat spot on the tyres, thankfully. So no problem.

Q: How important is it to hold pole position here in Silverstone - at your home race?

LH: Does anybody know when I last had pole here? Wasn’t it in 2013? I guess so. Well it makes a big difference compared to P6 last year. To be honest it has been an up-and-down weekend for me so far. I had issues in FP2; FP3 was great again; then I made some changes with my engineers and was not sure that it would work, so I was really happy with my final lap. I felt that I was down - and at a certain point you know that you cannot recover…

Q: …was there the feeling that you had blown it?

LH: I hadn’t, because I had seen the screen so I knew that Nico was down also.

Q: The F1 Strategy Group wants to put the driver back into the driver’s seat for race starts - is that something that you welcome?

LH: I think that will depend much on how they want to do it. I am happy to have more control. At the moment we release the clutch, but the performance is somewhat dictated by the team, as they tell you whether to go up and down and so on. Sometimes they get it right - sometimes they don’t. For me the best starts were the times in Formula Three when I had a clutch. Wow, that was much more fun back then because I was in control. So if they do the changes right it could be good.

Q: Talking about starts, are you confident that your start will be better tomorrow after your negative Austrian experience?

LH: We have done a lot of starts this weekend coming through the pit lane and they all have been really consistent. I feel happy with them as of right now. Come tomorrow and everything can change. Of course I am hoping that the best will be the one for the race.

Q: You said that you found some changes on the car overnight - can you explain what they were and how much you are driving these changes? How much can a driver still give input?

LH: I am very much involved in that process. Yes, we have a lot of engineers - and yes, we discuss the set-up and we discuss the start or driveability issues - but when it comes to the set-up, yes, I am very much involved. I write down my issues from corner to corner and then we come up with what we want to do - together. Yesterday the car was oversteering a lot in the high-speed corners and we made changes to improve it - things that normally should improve it, but it actually made it worse. And I was really clueless what to do to get it right, but then we did some analysis and made some changes overnight, and today the car was very different. Then I made a change again before qualifying - which made it worse - so hopefully we will get it better again for the race.

Q: But you haven’t really said what the changes were…

LH: Here it is all about finding the right balance between high and low speed, so last night we made some changes on the suspension to give us some more nose-speed, then more wing to give me more high-speed balance - and so on. We made a few changes. On top of that there were some technical things that were not set properly.

Q: What would it mean to win the race tomorrow?

LH: A lot. Every year I’ve come here it always has been special - from the first time I got pole position here in 2007 and the growth of support that I have seen since then. So it is always so special coming here and seeing such a large group of people that are fans. These here are really avid racing fans. So I will do everything I can tomorrow to win. But I think that is what you always want when racing on your home soil.