Singapore GP - Post-qualifying press conference - Pt.1
22 September 2012
Drivers: Lewis Hamilton (McLaren), Pastor Maldonado (Williams) and Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)
Lewis, a phenomenal margin, very, very quick indeed, well done.
Thank you. The guys have done a fantastic job all week and to come here with some small things that have improved from the last race. Obviously we have high downforce here so we weren't sure where we would turn out against the others but obviously Sebastian was incredibly fast through most of the sessions, I'm not really sure what happened in the end. Nonetheless I'm very happy that I was able to pull that time out. A great lap, I'm very happy with it.
It must be a very, very difficult circuit indeed. We saw you make a couple of mistakes in Q1, very tricky around here?
Oh, it is. It is absolutely. Just trying to find the gaps is quite difficult, particularly in Q1. And making sure your tyres are up to temperature, making sure your brakes are up to temperature without using them before you start your lap. And yeah, the first few laps I did on the prime was quite poor and I feel very fortunate that I was able to get at least one lap on them, so I didn't have to go again.
Pastor, where did that lap come from? Well done.
We were working very hard because at the beginning of the weekend and during the practice we were a little bit lost with the setup and yeah, we were improving, especially during the quali, y'know, during the qualifying just trying to adapt the car to my style. We find naturally very well balanced, especially in Q2 and then Q3. I'm really looking forward to the race because yesterday we showed very good pace, very consistent so I think it's going to be a good one for us this time.
Sebastian, fastest in all three practice sessions. A little bit disappointed with third on the grid?
Yeah, a little disappointed. Especially Q3. I don't know why we couldn't do the step. Nevertheless, third is a good position to start from. There is a long race tomorrow, a lot of things that can happen. I think the pace is there, we've proven throughout the weekend – but surely if you don't do the last step in qualifying it's a shame, because I think the speed was there. So, yeah, it didn't come together in the end.
Lewis, a final thought on tomorrow's race. What are the main factors?
It's an incredibly tough circuit for tyre degradation, as we have at pretty much every track but especially as it's hot and humid here. So I think everyone is going to struggle with that, and I think we just have to try and get away cleanly at the start and stick to the strategy that we have planned and be prepared if it doesn't work.
So Lewis, well done, obviously as you say, tyre degradation the big thing but the walls… so many different factors, so many difficult things, and the heat as well, and at an anti-clockwise circuit. It must be a really tough circuit, this?
It is, and I think everyone here will see that tomorrow. I think we all felt that with our long runs. Hopefully we've done the work we need to do to hopefully put together a good package tomorrow. We've put ourselves in the best position so I hope that we will be able to capitalise on that tomorrow.
Pastor, again it's fantastic that you're once again so close. Is this because it's a similar circuit, do you feel, to Barcelona?
It's completely different than Barcelona. Especially because the lack of grip. We were struggling a little bit to put the car together but, including the qualifying, we managed to find a very good balance and we are really looking forward to tomorrow. Yesterday we did a couple of long runs and it's looking pretty good for us. The tyre degradation I mean. So I'm really looking forward.
Sebastian, any further worries about alternators or is that firmly behind you?
There's no guarantee. It's hard to get a guarantee on anything in life, so we'll see. So far we didn't have any problems, no signs. Monza was a different story. Obviously we had a failure on Saturday and Sunday. Today no failures and hopefully tomorrow we'll be fine as well. So no concerns.