17 March 2012
Post-qualifying press conference - Australian GP - Pt.2
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).
Questions from the floor
Q: (Frederic Ferret – L'Equipe).
Question to all of you: have you been surprised by the lack of pace of the Red Bull? And a special one for Lewis: your first start in 2007 was a little bit tricky. Do you have advice for Romain?
Tough one. I think we're all probably surprised… I myself always thought that the Lotus was going to be quick this weekend which they are and of course, I'm surprised that we are so fast. I knew that we would be competitive this weekend but I didn't really know what to expect, in terms of how close people would be, but I'm pleasantly surprised. As for Grosjean, he knows what to do. He's got great experience and I'm sure tomorrow he will do his utmost best.
I think everybody's answered that one already. I think we did a very good job of getting the best out of ourselves this weekend. I think we haven't really made any mistakes. I don't know what Red Bull have been up to. Sebastian obviously took a trip into the gravel this morning, which wouldn't have helped their preparations. But Red Bull haven't lost it. They're still going to be competitive and we can never forget that but at the moment, we're going to enjoy this moment and go out tomorrow and hopefully have a great race.
It's great but I'm sure Red Bull will work very hard and come back quickly, but we have to improve ourselves every time and we have seen that some teams are better than others. We didn't know too much what to expect about the winter testing and after this morning. I was more confident than my engineer before qualifying. 'Ah, it should be fine,' but at the end, we are here and they will back for sure. We have to keep fighting and not resting.
Q: (Mike Doodson – Honorary).
Lewis, you just said that you expected the Renault to be quick. I wondered if either you or Jenson had got close enough to Romain and the Lotus, either in testing or here, to know where it is strong?
There wasn't a time during testing that I was ever behind either of them, so I have no idea where they are quick, but they are clearly very very fast and have great downforce. Were you?
Maybe, but I don't know. My memory is not that good.
Everybody is trying to avoid everybody in testing.
Q: (Ian Parkes – Press Association).
Lewis, 20th pole of your career, I don't know if you remember them all, but how does this one compare to some of the others, in particular, given the turbulent 2011 you endured last season?
Yeah, I still can't believe that I've had so many pole positions. For me, every one has been special and particularly this one. To come straight into the season and start off so well through qualifying – we've still got a day ahead of us – but it's a fantastic feeling and of course, with the tough couple of years past, it's definitely good a way to start off on the right foot.
Q: (Paolo Ianieri – La Gazzetta dello Sport).
Lewis and Jenson, you've both won this race in the year when you won the championship, are such statistics important or not important? What do you have to do tomorrow to win the race?
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