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German GP - Post-race press conference - Pt.2

20 July 2008

Questions from the floor:


Q: (Ed Gorman – The Times)
Lewis, we've got used to seeing you at the end of wins being very excited and very happy and often telling us that this was your best win. Your mood today is very contrasting to that, it seems almost routine. Is that how feel about this one?

Lewis Hamilton:
No, not really. I think it's been a great weekend. I feel very proud to have won on my team's home soil – at least, Mercedes Benz's home soil – and I think this weekend we've just proved that the performance of the car and the team is very good at the moment. I'm very happy with my job and also the team's job. I think we've all done a fantastic job. Excuse me for not being ecstatic like I was in Monaco but I am very very, very happy.

Q: (Udo Döring – Darmstädter Echo)
Lewis, it's ten years ago since McLaren Mercedes last won here in Hockenheim. Do you remember what you were doing in 1999/8 or even on this day?

LH:
Yeah, I remember in 1998 I was go-karting, I was racing in Juniors in European races and I think that year I was probably vice-European champion in Juniors somewhere. I think around that time – that year or the year before – I had actually come to this race with Keke and with Nico Rosberg and this is when we decided to run our team in go-karts, the team in which me and Nico ran together. I have very fond memories.

Q: (Livio Oricchio – O Estado de Sao Paulo)
Lewis, did you have any kind of information from last week's test or Friday and Saturday morning that you would be so much faster than Ferrari during the race?

LH:
No, there was definitely no implication or any… we had absolutely no idea that we would be that much faster than them. I think we knew that we had made a step forward but if anything, we felt that maybe we had caught them and we were just with them, rather than before when we were just a little bit behind them. I think that it was extremely close this weekend as you saw in qualifying, yet we were able to just get that little bit better. I don't know if it's conditions or what, but the car was fantastic throughout the race and I was able to push and push, manage the tyres to the best I probably ever have and really the car was fantastic, so it's a big, big step from the whole team.

Q: (Marco Evangelisti – Corriere della Sera)
Felipe, can you briefly explain what Ferrari has to do to recover the best shape it had in France?

Felipe Massa:
Work hard, as we always do. I think maybe in this race it was something related to us, because in the last stint, if you look, we were not even quicker than the Renaults and the BMWs, so I think it was maybe something related to us, which happens – especially in this race – which was not happening yesterday or maybe not like today, so it's something that we need to analyse and try to understand for the future.

Q: (Bob McKenzie – The Daily Express)
Lewis, you mentioned about how it would have been nice for you to have won from the front but does it make it even better when you're handed this opportunity to go and chase those two guys and deliver two great overtaking moves, does it make it that much more satisfying?

LH:
Yeah, it depends how you look at it. For me, I think we had just done such a solid job and we were clearly out in front. I think it would have been easier for us to have stayed out where we were and we could have won easier. That's always the way to deliver but for sure it feels even better to know that we had done it from a little bit further back. I was behind these guys, it was looking like I was just having to collect points but we all remained positive and the car was great. I was able to battle and for sure it's even more exciting for me to be able to compete with Felipe and fight with Nelson. For sure, I feel great for the battle we had. I'm sure the public enjoyed watching it.

Q: (Bob McKenzie – The Daily Express)
When you passed Felipe, did you know how far away Nelson was?

LH:
No, if I'm honest, for some reason I thought that once I got passed Felipe I was in the lead, I thought that was it, and I realised I had this guy ahead of me. I must say congratulations to Nelson, he's done a great job. It's good to see him up here. I've been racing with him for a few years now in the lower categories and I know he's been having a tough season – that's Formula One – but he's doing a great job and it's good to see him up here.

Q: (Ian Parkes – The Press Association)
Lewis, do you feel, given the performance of the car at the moment, the way it's just flying and given your own personal performance as well, it seems to be a good run at the moment, that you are the man to beat, that the guys behind you, the championship rivals, are really going to have to pull out all the stops if they are going to stop you winning the title this season?

LH:
I think it's too early to say, to be honest. We're looking strong, we're looking good, we're in a good position, but as you know, in a Formula One season things change, the teams always make steps here and there and as you saw last year, we were chopping and changing who was quickest and you will see in the next few races I don't know what to expect. All I know is that we will have a competitive car and if we can challenge for wins, then great. I'm not going to say that we are the ones who need to pull their finger out. We need to keep on pushing, simple as that, and I'm sure everyone else will be.

Q: (Ed Gorman – The Times)
Lewis, you told us a little bit about the discussion on the radio about pitting with the safety car. Can you just tell us a little bit more and did they give you any indication what their thinking was to explain to you why you should have stayed out?

LH:
They just said that they were comfortable with where we were. I asked them, because I saw on the screens – because we were going so slowly I had time to look at one of the big screens – and I saw – I didn't know at that point if it was a replay of the first pit stops – but I saw that Heikki and one of the Ferraris were in, so I did ask if these guys had pitted and then I asked 'are you sure we shouldn't be pitting?' and then they said 'we're comfortable, we know that they will be very, very heavy, they'll be in a bit of traffic, so we should be able to pull the gap. I did everything I could to pull that gap and it just wasn't do-able.


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