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Belgian GP - Post-qualifying press conference - Pt.2

FIA post-qualifying press conference from Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium with Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing) and Mark Webber (Red Bull Racing)
Drivers: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing) and Mark Webber (Red Bull Racing)

Questions From The Floor

Q: (Oana Popoiu - F1 Zone)
Lewis, Toto Wolff said that Mercedes should start focusing on next year's car. What are your thoughts about that, especially now when you are in front of Red Bull?

Lewis Hamilton:
I think there's several different people that have different opinions about it but I feel quite relaxed and comfortable with the people who are at the top who are going to make that decision. I don't feel that next year is compromised at all or this year just yet. I think it's trying to find a real fine balance. Of course we want to have the best shot possible next year but of course all of a sudden we're competing as well as we are now so it's striking a fine balance, but I think they'll do a good job of that.

Q: (Graham Keilloh - F1 Plus)
Lewis, do you think if it hadn't rained in qualifying that Mercedes had the pace to contend for pole position?

Lewis Hamilton:
I would be guessing but my guess would be maybe not. The Red Bull was looking particularly quick and also the Ferrari was looking quite quick in the dry conditions, so I'm not necessarily sure that we had the pace to be as fast everyone today. But who knows, it's just a guess.

Q: (Simon Cass - Daily Mail)
Lewis, you said coming into the second half of the season that you've never felt better. Is it fair to say that you've never been driving any better or certainly as well as you have been at the moment?

Lewis Hamilton:
It feels like I'm driving the best but I feel like I've been driving well for quite some time and just sometimes circumstances don't allow you to really show that. But I really feel that I'm getting everything out of the car, I'm getting everything out of every opportunity that I have. I know there's a lot of pressure for everyone but I feel in a good place. And yeah, absolutely, I can't remember the last time I crossed the line and had such a good feeling, particularly as I was looking for the TV screens and I just couldn't beli... I could see the team was cheering so I couldn't believe that. It's just crazy to think that this is my 31st pole and it still feels like it's the first one. It's just an incredible feeling and I'm very grateful to be here today, as I said.

Q: (Peter Farkas - Auto Motor)
Lewis, yesterday you said on the radio that the car was all over the place and even today in the morning you had some problems, and now you are on pole position. I think Nico had quite a good long stint yesterday, how confident are you in the long stints of the Mercedes and the race pace, and would you prefer wet or dry in that respect?

Lewis Hamilton:
I feel that the long pace is not bad. I think we... again, over the evening, last night we made some decent changes, but going into qualifying we made some better ones. Qualifying was more about just being there at the right time and you never know when you're going to be in the right position and I just happened to be one of the last ones coming across the line and that's when the track would be at its best. But I think Nico proved that the long run was good and I think I had a few good laps as well but the Red Bulls are still pretty quick. I think it's going to be close but I hear it's going to rain pretty heavily tomorrow.

Q: (Dan Knutson - Auto Action and National Speedsport News)
Mark, it's very easy for anybody to look silly out there, make a stupid mistake. How much more chancy is a session in the wet compared to a session in the dry when there are far fewer variables?

Mark Webber:
Yeah, emotionally it is a bit more of a roller-coaster, particularly when you've got... really it's the conditions changing so much. In our industry and in F1 we like to control as much as we can, obviously, and the plan into a normal dry qualifying session is obviously very regimented, very organized and the fine tuning is incredibly precise. When it's like that, obviously you have to make decisions on the bounce, the driver's got to be very interactive with the pit wall, the pit wall has got to make the decisions with the boys so yeah, there is just, by circumstance, more emotion and the timing is a bit more - well, a lot more critical and that's what makes people a bit more squeakier, let's say, in terms of pressure. As I say, it's easy to get it wrong.

Q: (Paolo Ianieri - La Gazzetta dello Sport)

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
23.08.2013- Free Practice 2, Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB9
23.08.2013- Free Practice 1, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB9
24.08.2013- Free Practice 3, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W04
24.08.2013- Qualifying, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W04 pole position and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB9 2nd position
The Sahara Force India VJM10 Mercedes
Mercedes W08 teaser shots
Mercedes W08 teaser shots
Mercedes W08 teaser shots
Mercedes W08 teaser shots
Mercedes W08 Hybrid, teaser image, F1 [Credit: Mercedes AMG Petronas]
Nico Rosberg and Fernando Alonso - Mercedes, McLaren
Sebastian Vettel, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, ROC [Credit: ROC]
George Russell, Mercedes junior programme, [Credit: Mercedes]
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Nigel Mansell - McLaren-Mercedes

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