Canadian GP - Post-race press conference - Pt.2
10 June 2012
Drivers: Lewis Hamilton (McLaren), Romain Grosjean (Lotus) and Sergio Pérez (Sauber)
Questions from the floor
Q: (Kate Walker – Girl Racer)
Romain, earlier this weekend, you said that this was your favourite circuit because you learned it on PlayStation. Do you think PlayStation was a contributing factor to your strong performance today?
I think I should say XBox or Microsoft. It's true that on a video game it's my favourite track and looking at it, it's quite interesting. It's more bumpy than on X-Box sitting on a sofa, but it's pretty interesting and when you have a good result in a race, normally you quite like it and so I'm pretty happy about today.
Q: (Julien Febreau – L'Equipe)
Romain, what does this podium mean to you compared to Bahrain, because the start of the weekend wasn't easy for you, so what does it mean?
It means quite a lot. It means that we're in good shape for working with the team who are improving every time. We had a bad Friday with quite different conditions compared to today and having to learn the track and the set-up of the car wasn't easy and I'm sure we could have achieved better but we know it for the rest of the season. We are working quite well, so I'm pretty pleased with this podium. It means that we are still here after seven races and it was not one shot that we could get in Bahrain. We are still fighting at the front with good performance and the team is doing well with the Lotus E20.
Q: (Adrian Huber – Agencia EFE)
Checo (Sergio), how do you feel now compared to the podium in Malaysia, and now you've got a second and a third place, there's just one spot still missing on the podium; when do you think you might get that?
Well, I think every podium is special, especially when it's only your second podium in F1, it's a very special feeling. In the position that I am with my team, we are still fighting to get to the top, to be a top driver one day. It's great, every opportunity I have to show my potential, because you don't know how many opportunities you will have. I have been very unlucky in the last races so I think it feels great but I think the first podium feels a bit better.
Q: (Frederic Ferret – L'Equipe)
Lewis, when did you think about victory: when you passed Vettel, when you passed Alonso or when you crossed the line? Were you afraid of these two guys?
When I crossed the line. Of course when I saw them, and I saw that I was catching them and there was a possibility, and I knew how many laps that I would have to get past so I was not desperate to get past them in a real rush. I had a lot left in me, in the tyres so I was generally driving a little bit off the pace. There was no need to push because the guys had fallen behind and when I heard that these guys were catching a little bit, I knew that I had plenty in me if I needed to match the same times, and there were only a couple of laps left, but perhaps if circumstances were different and they were much quicker, then we would have had even more of a race.
Q: (Paolo Ianieri –La Gazzetta dello Sport)
Lewis, were you surprised when you saw that neither Fernando nor Sebastian stopped immediately after you? And now you're also leading the championship, so is that a big bonus in this season which is completely crazy?
No, it definitely is… as I said going into the race, if I was to finish where I started, I would be very very happy with it, but anything above that would be a bonus, so it's definitely a bonus for us today. I knew, when I had done the stop where Fernando came out in front and I had to overtake him and I was pulling the gap, I had a feeling that they were dropping back so quickly that they would definitely be doing a one stop and I did mention that to my team and they said they thought so, so I had to make sure that I got the gap that I had and tried to maintain it. I did think in my mind that at some stage Fernando would start putting in some very very quick times but then again he didn't as he was doing such a long stint. I think I got absolutely everything out of the car today. I wouldn't have been able to do a one stop, I don't think. Again, the team did a great job in the strategy department.
Q: (Bill Beacon – Canadian Press)
Lewis, you're only the third driver to win this race three times after Michael and Piquet. I just wonder, is there something particular about this track that suits you?
It's like a go-kart track, isn't it? It's great fun, you're bumping over the kerbs, with the low grip it's very much mechanical grip like a go-kart. It's the weather, it's the city, the fans here are incredible, absolutely incredible, and there's very few places that we go to throughout the year like this. I always say that Monaco is real special because of the amount of people there. I think this race here is perhaps even more special for me. Obviously my home Grand Prix, Silverstone, is very special. Today, with so many British flags and Grenadian flags, which was fantastic to see, and so many people wearing the caps and shirts, support has been phenomenal this weekend, so that's why I wanted to dedicate this win to them.
Q: (Julien Febreau – L'Equipe)
Romain, how close to your first victory do you think you are, and do you think that the gap is still big or not?
The gap is not that big. We need to qualify better, that is not our strength this season but we are working on it. I think Friday and Saturday were quite difficult for us but we have been learning a lot about the car so it's good that we now have that in our pocket for the next races. Then you never know. Lewis was maybe cruising a little bit at the end. We were not cruising that much but not trying to make any mistakes either. To be honest, when I was P5 or P4 I thought that would be a good result, having started in P7 but then Fernando was struggling and I could catch him up and then tried a little bit to catch Lewis but you never know what's going on. It's not an easy race, we were asking a lot of the car and the tyres and so on. When you pit on lap twenty-something and you know there are seventy laps and you have to stay on one set of tyres, you never know when they're going to drop so you are a bit cautious about that.
Q: (Randy Phillips – Montreal Gazzette)
Lewis, when you passed Alonso in the DRS, you looked like you made a couple of tenths before that; can you just give us an indication as to how bad his tyres were at that particular point?
Those guys, Fernando and Sebastian, they looked like they were having oversteer moments and definitely struggling. I had so much traction with fresh tyres that there was almost a two second difference in pace between us. He must have been close to the limit already, the end of the tyres.
Q: (Paolo Ianieri – La Gazzetta dello Sport)
What changed from yesterday, Lewis, because yesterday after qualifying you were worried, you were happy to be second but looking at Sebastian and probably also Fernando, you were not so sure you could have such a race? And this is also a track where McLaren is doing very well: five victories in the last seven years.
Yeah, I think I was just very cautious. I think the Red Bull and the Ferraris seemed to… you know, we've not come here with any upgrades, we didn't in the last race whereas Red Bull and particularly Ferrari have been upgrading their car consistently. They were just as quick as us in qualifying but then in the race, generally, they can look after their tyres a little bit better than us and maybe that was a little bit the case today. Obviously they were able to do a one-stop. I would have fallen even further behind maybe if I had done a one stop, so that's just an area I know that we need to get stronger and we need to improve on as the season is probably going to be a lot like this, where you are having one or two stops throughout the season. If we can improve on that, then I think we are in a really good strong position but then again, when I was out there, when I was able to keep up with Sebastian and maintain the gap to me and Fernando, then I started to think, OK, we're in a good fight here, we're in with a good chance for winning.
Q: (Vanessa Ruiz – ESPN Radio)
Lewis, yesterday you were sitting here with Alonso and Vettel and you guys were asked about normality in F1, because, well, we had a McLaren, a Ferrari and a Red Bull driver, but now the race is finished, we have a Lotus and a Sauber driver on the podium. To all three of you, will there be a point when F1 will reach this so-called normality this year, and what is normal for you and F1 2012?
I think this mix-up is normal, this is what is going to be normal for the season. It's just my feeling, but then again my guess is as a good as yours. I think it will continue to be like this throughout the year. We're still trying to fully understand these tyres. Sometimes you're overheating them, sometimes you're not heating them up enough. We don't understand why sometimes a Lotus is quicker than us, or a Mercedes is quicker than us and then we're quicker than them another time. But I think it's great for F1, it's great for the fans to see. I'm guessing there was a lot of overtaking today and a real mix-up and as I said, seven different winners in seven races – I can't remember hearing of anything like that. I hope there's no more, I hope there's not eight winners in….
I hope so.
I hope not! I hope we're able to keep it at seven and no more!
I think it's pretty interesting for everybody. Who will complain about seeing different drivers and different cars fighting throughout the races?
Q: (Livio Oricchio – O Estado de Sao Paulo)
Lewis, the Drivers' championship is very close now. There are seven points between you and Mark Webber in fourth. Does it mean that you plan your next victories now that you are leading. Do you think: maybe if I finish second or third… is it better in a season like this to be more consistent than to take a risk? Are you going to change your approach to the races now that you're leading the championship?
I'm definitely not going to change my approach, but I think it's working reasonably well so far. I probably definitely had to be more on the limit today to catch the two guys ahead, perhaps a little bit more risky than in the past but it is about consistency this year. I think it will be about consistency. It's unbelievable to see just how close it is. We got a win and 25 points and I only have a two point lead, so it's incredible how close it is and I think it will stay that close throughout the year. Again, it just highlights how important consistency is.