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Lewis Hamilton Q&A: I can’t stop smiling !!

The Turkish Grand Prix saw a one-two victory, but not from the team that most had expected. For McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton it was his first win of the year and pushed him to within nine points of current championship leader, Red Bull’s Mark Webber. Hamilton discusses his Istanbul Park win and the joy of battling with his team mate Jenson Button…

Q: Congratulations – your first win of the year and the second one-two of the year for the team. How does it feel?
Lewis Hamilton:
Looking back on the weekend, it was such a great achievement for the team and for me to finally get a win this year. I have been working hard all year for that win, so for the opportunity to finally arrive I felt it was a blessing. It felt good. I felt strong all weekend and knew I could challenge the Red Bulls and I did. So it was wicked. The team did a solid job as they always do throughout the weekend and without their continued hard work – both on and off the track – we would not be in the position we are to compete with the Red Bulls. So for this I am extremely grateful and I want to congratulate them on our success. It was almost 10 races since I had won a race, but it’s all good. I think most drivers would be happy with that. For some its 20, 50 or 100, so I remain grateful to be in the position I am. I have no doubt at all that with this approach we can win more races this year.

Q: You didn’t mention the battle with Button – did that affect the winning feeling?
Not at all, I think it added to the win if anything. To finally have a race with my team mate – wheel to wheel – was a great feeling and to come out on top was a bonus. I am looking forward to many more races like that where we have fun, hard battles yet fair in our race to the championship.

Q: What is it between you and Button that manages to keep it amicable?
Firstly, I’ve known Jenson for a very long time, and I think we have a lot of respect for each other, and what we’ve achieved as drivers. We’re both world champions, so we have a certain amount of pressure removed from our shoulders too. And I’ve really got to know Jenson well over the past six months. We’ve been working hard, we’ve spent a lot of time together, at the circuit and at events arranged by Vodafone and our other partners – it’s funny, but I think that, because we’ve spent a lot of downtime together during filming days or appearances, that we’ve actually got to know each other better than if, say, we’d only been working together at the track. He brings a lot of positive energy to the race weekends, and he’s made our team stronger, so these are all positives. But look, I think it’s inevitable that we’ll be battling again on the track sooner or later. There are 12 races left, and I’d be surprised if we weren’t racing each other again at some point soon. Of course, we’ll both work hard to make it’s fair, but our eyes are open to the fact that it will happen again – and, actually, I think that’ll be cool, because he’s a good guy to race with.

Q: What’s the status of the team heading to the next race in Canada?
I can’t keep the smile off my face – we are absolutely on it! Last year, you saw what we could do when we came from behind – we started the season at the back of the grid, but we were back at the front halfway through the year, and were still able to win two races. This team is just an incredible development machine – it never stops. We live and breathe racing, and we are just churning out new parts, working harder than I’ve ever seen the team work to try and help us win these world championships. I think it’s something that has really surprised Jenson – but in a good way; just the intensity and determination with which we push forward. I think the result in Turkey was the perfect motivation we needed, and I know the whole factory is working flat-out to bring forward the new parts. We go to Canada feeling pretty highly motivated, and I can just sense there’s a momentum building within the team – I felt the same feeling in 2008, and I know that we can achieve great things together over the next six months, so it’s all good.


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