17 March 2012
Post-qualifying press conference - Australian GP - Pt.1
Post-qualifying FIA press conference from Melbourne in Australia with Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Romain Grosjean
Drivers: Lewis Hamilton (McLaren), Jenson Button (McLaren) and Romain Grosjean (Lotus).
Lewis, a fantastic lap, clearly, and what a great way to start a new season.
Yes, it's an incredible feeling to be back here and to get off to such a good start. I think this is mine and Jenson's first one-two – I believe at least – in qualifying, so it's fantastic to start the season this way. I'm massively proud of the team, working incredibly hard as every year they do, but just to see that it's never-give-up and this is the result of that.
Jenson, very close between the two of you, just over a tenth of a second, but this tells us it's going to be quite a competitive season.
It does. I think, first of all, congratulations to Lewis and the whole team. I think we have done a very good job this winter and I think we have proved that today. It is only the beginning and obviously the lights haven't gone out yet but this is a great first result for us on a Saturday and yeah, it's looking like it's going to be a very exciting season. We were so close through all the qualifying sessions but Lewis had the upper hand. I tried my best but it wasn't quite enough.
Romain, welcome back to F1 and a fantastic performance for you. Third on the grid: what does this say about you and the Lotus F1 team?
Well, fantastic job from everybody. It's really nice to be back in F1 and I enjoyed the time. Winter testing went pretty well and today I'm very proud to be part of this experience with Lotus. I think a few people believed in me the first time and today I'm back, well, almost to the top, and I'm very proud to be with those guys here and hope we can keep going that way all season long and then it will be a very nice story.
Back to you Lewis, a tough race obviously always here at Albert Park. What are going to be the keys to tomorrow's race and do you expect more of a threat in the race, from Mercedes and Red Bull in particular?
I think it's going to be incredibly tough, a very intense race. Obviously, looking after the tyres is going to be key as it always is and getting off to a good start, seeing what the strategies are like, and obviously the safety car is at all times a thing. The team need to be on point and so do me and Jenson, so we'll make sure we do that.
Lewis, that's got to be a good start?
Yeah, it's a fantastic feeling. It's great to back here and it's just an incredible start to the season. But of course, tomorrow's the important day and we have a lot to look forward to. But just a tremendous job from the team to get us to this point. We've had a couple of tough years but just never seemed to give up. It's just good to be here, as I said.
And yesterday you said how you were focused on dry running, knowing that the weather was going to be better for the next two days and that's paid off I guess?
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