25 July 2013
Hungarian Grand Prix: Thursday press conference - Pt.1
Thursday FIA press conference from the Budapest in Hungary with Esteban Gutierrez (Sauber), Paul di Resta (Force India), Valtteri Bottas (Williams), Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus) and Pastor Maldonado (Williams).
Drivers: Esteban Gutierrez (Sauber), Paul di Resta (Force India), Valtteri Bottas (Williams), Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus) and Pastor Maldonado (Williams).
Good afternoon. We'll start with Lewis Hamilton. As a three-time winner here and a two-time pole-sitter, I think the heat is on, literally, here this weekend for you to try to make it four wins. Forty degrees ambient expected on Sunday, how much is that going to be a disadvantage to you and Mercedes?
It's good to see everyone again. It's going to be tough this weekend definitely – the conditions will not help. Plus, we haven't driven the tyres as everyone else has. We've got a bit of catching up to do, but that's what we do best and we just have to work as hard as we can this weekend to try to understand the tyres and put ourselves in the best position possible. We have a lot of work to do to continue to improve our race pace, but I anticipate it will be a difficult weekend.
Do you think you are at more of a disadvantage, are you worse off, or is every team in the same boat with the temperatures this weekend?
I'm sure everyone is going to have to open up their cars, so everyone is in the same boat in terms of car packaging and the heat that the cars are absorbing. Tyre-wise, of course there are teams that will deal with it slightly better than us, just naturally, and there are some people that will deal with it the same as us.
Nine races into your Mercedes career and we're almost at the half-way point of the season. Do you see still yourself as a championship contender?
I don't really look at myself as a championship contender at the moment. Of course, we're fourth, we're second as a team in the Constructors' Championship, so… just at the beginning of the season everyone was writing me off and then all of a sudden they changed their opinions and we've had some really good results. That's just due to all the hard work the team are putting in and we're not giving up. We're going to keep pushing. We hope that we're going to get some wins in the future races coming. It's going to be tough but I'm really happy with how the season has gone so far, especially compared to where the team was last year, it's a massive step.
Let's turn to Pastor Maldonado next. Can we start with a comment about Williams' appointment in the last few days of Pat Symonds, who comes in as technical director. From a driver's perspective, how welcome is that and how necessary do you think it was that the team have a new technical director and new leadership in that part of the company?
We had a hard beginning to the season with the car, fighting a lot to improve and develop the conditions and the performance. It's quite tough for us, still. We try to put everything together in the past races. Some races we were a bit better, some others not. Especially the consistency and the race pace is quite good on our car, just missing a lot of performance in quali which is penalising us a lot. Starting from the back is not the best for us. Yeah, I think we need some change. The way, how we've been working, trying to improve out performance was not the best and for sure any change in a good way is very welcome.
Tagged as: FIA , Williams , Lewis Hamilton , Mercedes , Kimi Raikkonen , Pastor Maldonado , press conference , Hungary , Budapest , Force India F1 , Valtteri Bottas , Esteban Gutierrez , Sauber , Gutierrez , Lotus
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