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

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Q:
Lewis, it looked as if everything went perfectly for you in that race?

Lewis Hamilton:
Yeah, all weekend we have had God on our side as always. The team have done a phenomenal job really preparing the car and making steps forward. We came here and the car felt fantastic all weekend and I owe so much to the guys not just at the track but back home. They have done a phenomenal job and the car is really a dream to drive. For the guys here they just make sure the car stays intact, so I can bring it home and that's what we did. It was a fantastic team effort this weekend, so a big thanks to them.

Q:
It would be easy to say it was an easy race but there was enormous pressure on you particularly at the start?

LH:
Well, it was quite straightforward actually. I managed to get everything right on the formation lap. I was perfectly in my position and it was a great start, it was really probably one of the best we've had. I felt it was one of the best we've had this year which was needed. I got into turn one quite clear, I took it easy the first few corners then I started to bridge the gap. Fortunately we were just very, very consistent and I think every lap was faster and very, very few errors throughout the whole run, therefore I was able to create a gap and from there it was pretty smooth sailing.

Q:
Sometimes in that situation it is difficult to keep the concentration level and stop the mind wandering?

LH:
After my second pit stop we were pretty much cruising. We were just looking after the tyres and the engine and just trying to bring the car home. I knew that there was an even bigger gap behind me and it was inevitable the Kimi would let Felipe by, so I just had to keep it under control. To be honest it wasn't tough at all. When you are out in front and you have that gap and you know you can push a little bit more if you need to, it is quite comforting, so it is just about keeping your head and keeping the same calm.

Q:
Felipe, talk about the early phase of the race for you.

Felipe Massa:
Well, we took the decision to start on soft tyres and we knew already that most of the people were starting on the hard as our car works in a little bit different way compared to the other cars, especially the McLaren's. For us the hard had no grip, was difficult to drive, and the soft was the only option for the first and second stints, so we decided to start on the soft and I think it was the right decision for us. On the start I didn't have a good start, I had a little bit of wheel spin, but even though it was not a very, very high grip on the outside and then we just stayed in the same positions. We saw that Lewis was a bit stronger in the beginning of the race. I mean he was stronger during the whole race but in the beginning he just started to pull away, maybe two or three tenths sometimes per lap, and then this made for sure his race much more comfortable. For us we were completely driving on the limit trying to reduce the gap but it was not possible. I was trying to push as Kimi was trying to push to get closer to Lewis but it was not possible. So today unfortunately Lewis had the better car for the whole weekend.

Q:
And your pass on Kimi towards the end?

FM:
Well, it was the best time for me in the race, I was quite strong and then I caught him and I passed him, so that was the good part of the race. But anyway it was not enough as we are fighting with the McLaren's and today at least one was in front but we could manage to finish second or third. I think for the Drivers' Championship it was not fantastic but for the Constructors' it was very good. It is always very important to fight for the Constructors' and today we did a good job thinking of the Constructors' Championship. I try on the Drivers' but it was not possible today.

Q:
Kimi, Lewis has just said it was inevitable that Felipe would finish second. Talk us through the last phase of the race.

Kimi Raikkonen:
I mean we know what we want as a team and that's what we did it. It is normal in these situations. Today I had a very good car, all the time no major issue. The car was handling quite nicely but unfortunately it wasn't fast enough in the moments when we needed it. At the start Lewis pulled away a bit and then I started to be able to do the same lap times, a little bit catching, but every time I was faster it was too late and the gap stayed the same. Then in the second stop I was catching him a bit and then I got traffic three times and it cost me a lot of time. I mean even if I had been right behind him we were stopping on the same lap, so without mistakes there was no way to get past. Second and third was the best we could do today, hopefully the next race we can challenge them a bit more. I mean once we came here on Friday, Lewis seemed to be very quick, so it was not easy but we did our best but it didn't work out this time.

Q:
With team orders not being allowed it is difficult not to influence the outcome of the race, so how did you handle that?

KR:
Like I said, I know what the team expects and I know what we want which are results. It is racing and I have nothing to lose or win in a way. I am driving for the team, so it is a normal situation. I was pretty happy with the way things went in the race apart from we could not challenge the McLaren today but apart from that the car wasn't too bad. But like I said, we just did not have the little bit more speed that we needed.

Q:
Lewis, seven points is your lead going into Brazil. What does this win mean for you and how does it set up the Brazilian Grand Prix?

LH:
Well, this is another step towards the championship and towards my dream and towards my team's dream. The team deserve it. We have worked very, very hard throughout the season and I think our approach to this race was right. It was not to go out and win everything just in this race. It was to look at both races to try and score as many points collectively and I know going to Brazil will be a much better situation compared to last year and also we know that we will be a lot more competitive than we are here, so that is comforting. We know that we have got to do a good job. It will be tough and these two for sure will be pushing us hard but hopefully as a team we can pull through.

Press conference

Q:
Lewis, just how close do you feel to that World Championship now?

LH:


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F2008, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4-23, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F2008, Chinese F1 Grand Prix, Shanghai, 17th-19th October 2008
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Lewis Hamilton tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
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27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner

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