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Hungary GP - Post-race press conference - Pt.1

28 July 2013

Drivers: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus F1) and Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing).

Podium Interview
(Conducted by Martin Brundle)

Q:
Lewis, when we spoke last night you didn't believe you could be on pole position and you gave yourself no chance of winning today's race. How on Earth does it feel now?

Lewis Hamilton:
It's an incredible feeling. I really have to say a big thank you to all the fans today for turning up. It was great to see their support. And my team: they just did an incredible job. We studied a lot last night. We were hoping the tyres were going to work for us. We had no idea it was going to go that well — but the last 20 laps was just managing the tyres and cruising.

Q:
Well you got a great start but there were two key moments where you overtook Jenson, so you didn't lose any time behind him down into turn one and then that turn three pass on Mark Webber, that was just incredible.

Lewis Hamilton:
Yeah, I think you could tell I was hungry for it today. I was just going all-out. I needed to get past those people and usually I get stuck in traffic, generally in my races, and today I wasn't having it. I was going for every move I had.

Q:
Incredible support here for you as always Kimi. P2 on the podium, you really had to work hard for that today.

Kimi Raikkonen:
Yeah, obviously I keep making my life difficult on Saturdays so then we pay a price but I had a good car and we managed to do two stops so that was the only way really to jump people. In the end it was a bit tight with Seb but in the end it paid off for us and we gained some points in the Championship. So that's good.

Q:
You made the last set of tyres last 33 laps which is quite spectacular today in these conditions. Surely you thought he was going to have a great chance to pass you towards the end but you just seemed to park your car in the middle of the track and make it so difficult.

Kimi Raikkonen:
Yeah, I mean I knew it was going to be a bit tight but I felt that the tyres were good still in the last ten laps. So maybe last two laps they drop off quite badly but I didn't really have any doubts that I couldn't keep him behind. I had good speed through the last sector so I knew that in the first corner they will not have a chance. Obviously you take a chance always when you make so many laps with a set of tyres – but like I said, the team worked well, everything worked well for us and unfortunately yesterday wasn't an easy day so otherwise we could probably have fight for a win. But anyhow, we are here.

Q:
Satisfied you take a few points off the World Championship leader?

Kimi Raikkonen:
Yeah, it's better than nothing.

Q:
Sebastian, only third but the fans seem pretty happy with that. How do you feel about it?

Sebastian Vettel:
Well, it was not the best race. The start was difficult but was able to defend second and then Lewis pulled in, we thought we had a little bit more on the soft but the rear tyres seemed to fall apart pretty quickly and then I lost a bit, came out behind Jenson which was crucial and struggled to get past, damaged my front wing which didn't help, after that managed to get past. It was a long time but lost a bit of speed and basically tried to hang in there, tried to fight back. Very close with Kimi in the end but as he mentioned, he was very quick through the last two corners and then I couldn't really get him on the straight. So yeah, I did all we could but surely wanted a little bit more today.

Q:
You felt Kimi didn't leave you enough room at turn four towards the end of the race. You felt that was a bit too close?

Sebastian Vettel:
Yeah, I told him but he was laughing only. It was fine. Obviously in the heat of the moment it was quite tight getting into there, I tried to prepare the next corner but nearly lost the car. That's racing.

Q:
Lewis, two very quick questions. Does this put your World Championship crusade very much back on course and how does this race today compare with your other victories?

Lewis Hamilton:
I think this is probably one of the most important grand prix wins of my career. To move to a new team and to win for Mercedes-Benz is just a real privilege. The guys have done an exceptional job, I'm so glad I could be a part of the team and I really couldn't be happier. I hope there's many more to come.

Q:
And this year's World Championship? Surely you've still got a chance of it, you've got to work hard.

Lewis Hamilton:
We've got to work hard, you never know how the tyres are going to last elsewhere but if we come here and make our tyres last then we should be able to do it anywhere. So, fingers crossed.

Press Conference

Q:
Lewis, congratulations. You weren't too optimistic yesterday but a lot of factors obviously worked well for you today: good start, getting the traffic right as well and some great overtaking manoeuvres. Tell us about them.

Lewis Hamilton:
It's been a great weekend, really a great weekend. Really didn't expect it coming in. It's probably been one of the toughest weeks for me. Obviously we hadn't had the test, we didn't do the test, we were on the back foot when we came in. Really wasn't even expecting to be on pole. Really surprised with that and then yeah, at the start of the race the pace was OK. I think maybe Sebastian perhaps was just as quick or a little bit quicker but fortunately he was behind and my tyres went off just maybe a lap or two before his. I think I called the pitstop just right – the first one – and after that it was just managing the gap. I had to make sure I got past people. I normally get held up in my… I thought when I came behind Jenson I thought it was just my luck because that's what usually happens. But I got past him and was surprised to see Sebastian and the others get stuck behind him as well. I guess he did me a favour there. But I think generally we had the pace on everyone today. I know I was really controlling the pace, particularly through the second, third and last stint, particularly on the last stint. This is just down to an exceptional job from the team. We came here with upgrades and constantly doing work to try and understand these tyres. I think today we bolted them on and they just worked for us. I really was not inspecting it.

Q:
Kimi, that was a robust defence at the end of the race. I'm not certain if it was a good job interview for joining Red Bull Racing for next year but tell us about it.

Kimi Raikkonen:
Obviously I don't have anything for next year so I mean it does matter what happens on a race circuit for that matter. I knew that my tyres are pretty OK and I was good through the last sector so I was pretty sure there was no chance to try to overtake me into the first corner but then obviously turn two was a bit more tricky for me all race. He got a good run, Sebastian once before and then second time and I defended. Maybe I'm over a bit on the right and it's a bit tight but then I kept him behind and that was the only time he had a good run on me. In there it is very difficult to overtake because it is so narrow on top of the hill. After that I had no issues. That was the only part of the circuit that I really had some problems with the tyres. But it was good work for the team, the car was working well but unfortunately I keep making Saturdays… after Saturdays making the race a bit difficult for myself. Hopefully we can fix that a little bit and be a bit more on the front at the beginning of the race.

Q:
Sebastian a little bit of trouble behind traffic during the race itself. What do you feel about third place?

Sebastian Vettel:
Generally happy. Not the best circuit to be stuck in traffic because it's quite difficult to overtake. I think we had not enough speed on the straights to put people under enough pressure so yeah, obviously got stuck behind Jenson for a long time. Damaged my front wing as well which dropped us back and after that obviously it was about the fight back as much as we could. In the middle of the race I didn't know where I was. I just tried to hang in there and try to come back as much as we can. In the end obviously quite close with Kimi. We were faster, I had fresher tyres but as I said, no way past. Once I was pretty close up the hill. I think I didn't have enough room on the outside but it's pretty difficult to judge. Obviously I couldn't go around the outside and pass him but I was trying to maybe put him under pressure for the next couple of corners and try to create my chance but yeah, was not a decent gap anyways. So, I tried, didn't work, we have to be happy with third. The car was good all weekend, there wasn't much missing. But as I said, I should have done a better job with Jenson in the beginning and especially not damaged my front wing – and then it could have been a different race. But would, could, should. In the end I think we're happy with third.

Transcript courtesy FIA


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