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F1 China 2013 - Saturday press conference - Pt.2

13 April 2013

Drivers: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus) and Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)

Questions from the floor

Q: (Kate Walker – Girl Racer)
Lewis, I know that there are no points available on Saturday but how much satisfaction do you derive from answering those critics who said you were a fool to make the move that you did at the end of last year?

Lewis Hamilton:
Yeah, well you can't really answer it in one result but definitely, bit by bit, the more and more we impress and improve they have to stand to be corrected. Obviously the team are just doing an incredible job and I'm just grateful, because it could have gone either way. Of course, people have an opinion, but I'm just really grateful that I'm here and I'm in the fight. Today is such a blessing to be here, because it was such a big change for me, and a big step for me. I think I made the right choice.

Q: (Abhishek Takle – Midday)
To all three of you, in the first session we saw a lot of drivers using the softer tyre, which we don't usually see. Was that just because you guys were saving a set of mediums for the race?

Lewis Hamilton:
I think everyone was really saving their tyres for the race. The option is the one that we don't really want to use and there was no point in saving options or using a prime considering everyone will probably want to use them tomorrow.

Q: (Michael Schmidt – Auto, Motor und Sport)
Two drivers out of the top ten start with a different strategy tomorrow, they start on the harder tyre. Is that a concern for you, did you think about the same strategy? And why didn't you do it?

Lewis Hamilton:
I've got really great strategists, I just trust them, if they make a decision we still stick by it. I think everyone, no matter what strategy you're on, everyone's going to struggle on the option tyre, whether it's high or low fuel.

Kimi Raikkonen:
Obviously we believe that our choice is the best, that's why we do it. If we would have thought that starting with primes and qualifying with the primes would have been the better choice we probably would have done it.

Q:
Fernando, do you think it varies from car to car?

Fernando Alonso:
I don't think so. I think the strategy choice that you make, as Lewis said, in some parts of the race you are maybe looking good and some other parts maybe not looking so good - the times when you are putting on the options probably.

Q: (Luis Fernando Ramos – Racing Magazine)
To all of you: we have a kind of racing now which is all about managing and controlling your pace, whereas if you go back to 2008 with different aerodynamics and refuelling, it was a sprint all the time. Which type of racing was more challenging and which type of racing did you enjoy more?

Lewis Hamilton:
It's quite easy: it's more challenging now with the tyres that we have. For sure it's much tougher for all of us, but it was definitely more enjoyable previously, I would say.

Kimi Raikkonen:
It is what it is, really. We have to get our best out of it. Years go by and rules change. It's not easy to get things right, last year and this year, but it's the same for everybody and it makes a big challenge but it's also part of F1.

Q: Which did you enjoy more?

Kimi Raikkonen:
It makes no difference, because this is what we have and you'd better like it or do something else.

Fernando Alonso:
It's more challenging now. We maybe enjoy different times in F1; I enjoyed 2003/4 more with the V10s for example, but they are no longer. As Kimi said, we need to make the maximum of what we have now and try to enjoy it now also.

Q: (Michael Schmidt – Auto, Motor und Sport)
Fernando, you had been fastest in the last sector by a big margin; was it all about tyre management in the first two sectors, to have the tyres right in the last, or is the car just good in that sector?

Fernando Alonso:
I don't know really. I think it was something that we were looking at this morning as well and we don't have a clear explanation either. We will see tomorrow. The last sector is the very long straight so maybe we have a little extra speed in the car but it's not so clear. Tomorrow we will find out.

Q: (Livio Oricchio – O Estado de Sao Paulo)
Kimi, considering the history of your car, which is able to look after the tyres, do you think that a better first run than your competitors will help you significantly during the race?

Kimi Raikkonen:
Like I said a little bit earlier, it's a big question mark because we were pretty happy yesterday but the car is not exactly the same as it was then. For sure, we had some issues with the front tyres yesterday but that should be pretty easy to change. Every day seems to be a bit different, so I don't know if it's going to be OK or not. Usually we've been pretty OK, apart from the last race when we had some issues. Hopefully it turns out to be good tomorrow but I think it will be very close and whoever gets things exactly right might make enough of a difference to win.

Q: (Ted Kravitz – Sky Sports)
Lewis, you mentioned your allergy on Thursday. Were you afraid at the time that it might affect your vision, you might be affected in terms of driving for the rest of the weekend?

Lewis Hamilton:
No, I've been healthy for the last two weeks and then came here and felt ill. Of course, it worries you a little bit, thinking you might not be a hundred percent but I've just been getting plenty of rest and this is definitely the best day I've had for a few days now and hopefully tomorrow should be even better so I'm quite happy.

Transcript courtesy FIA


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