Drivers: Jenson Button (Brawn GP) and Lewis Hamilton (McLaren-Mercedes)

Press conference

Q:
Gentleman, first of all. What have you been doing since Turkey?

Lewis Hamilton:
I have had a really busy time. As soon as I finished the race in Turkey I flew straight to Germany and I was working with Mercedes Benz and I had a pretty full on day with them. Tuesday I came back. Pretty much every day I have been working. I had the Sunday off, then all week this week I have been working. Obviously I have been in the factory, mostly appearances and I have been working on the launch of the Mercedes Benz drivers' academy in Brooklands which was a great initiative to be part of. Then yesterday I had a great day. It was a very busy day. I went to the Kids Company with Vodafone and got to see a lot of underprivileged kids who are on the streets and have had lots of different problems with no family, no food and different things and they are rebuilding their lives. It is a great thing to be a part of and to put smiles on their faces. Then what else did I do?

Q:
The House of Commons?

LH:
I had a speech to make at the House of Commons which was pretty frightening. It has been pretty busy. I haven't trained a day since Turkey.

Jenson Button:
I came from Turkey to the UK and did a PR day on Tuesday here just really to get a few interviews out of the way before the grand prix. I flew home that night to Monaco and I have spent about a week in Monaco which was lovely. Training up in the hills with my trainer, just getting away from it all. Very relaxing. Then I was back here on Tuesday. I had a photo shoot on Tuesday and yesterday at Brackley doing simulator work and a few other things. Then I headed down to Mercedes Benz yesterday afternoon for a few hours to spend a bit of time there and see what was going on. It was the first time I have been there, so it was a nice experience and good to see all the people who have given us a great opportunity this year. Then last night I was camping here. It has been a pretty relaxed couple of weeks considering the situation we are in, so it is perfect really.

Q:
What's been the reception at places like Brixworth and Brackley?

JB:
Brackley is great. We have all been part of it all season. We have been together for a very long time, so nothing has really changed there. There are a few more smiles about the place. Brixworth was just a great experience and to get inside the engine and see the technical side of it which is a good experience. They have achieved so much over the last few years with McLaren and with us this season. They are doing a great job and it is good to sort of say a few words there as we haven't spent any time with Mercedes Benz this season. It was the first time we were at Brixworth, so it was a good experience and hopefully both of us can have a good race this weekend for them.

Q:
What are your feelings about racing here at Silverstone? Drivers really feel this is a very special circuit and don't want it to slip off the calendar. What are your thoughts about what is essentially your home grand prix?

JB:
It is a very special race. I think for both of us when we were learning how to drive in single seaters this was a place we enjoyed very much. It is your home grand prix, so it is always going to be very special. But also the British fans are fantastic. There are so many fans in Britain for motorsport and for Formula One. Last year was a sell out crowd and I am guessing it will be the same this year and you don't get that in many circuits around the world, especially the way the economy is at the moment. Hopefully we can put a good show on for them this weekend. This is a circuit that I love. It is a fantastic, fast flowing circuit like Spa and Suzuka. It is one of the true greats and it has been for the last few decades. It is a pity it won't be on the calendar next year. I think a lot of drivers will agree with me and a lot of fans will agree also. I just hope we have a British Grand Prix next year as it means a lot to us.

LH:
Jenson just said it all really. It is a fantastic circuit and for us when we were growing up seeing the history of the circuit and the winners that have been here and the world champions in the past. It is great to come here and try to in some ways emulate them and try to do same thing they did and bring the win back home for the Brits. The fans are incredible here compared to any circuit I feel through the year. This is the one place that has the best vibe and has the most people standing there. It could be thunderstorms, it could be any type of weather but they will still be standing up holding their umbrellas or whatever it is, especially last year. They never seem to give up with their support and it is as important to them as it is to us drivers and all the teams, so I will be pushing as hard as I can with my position to try and keep the British Grand Prix wherever it is. As long as we have a British Grand Prix it is the most important thing.

Q:
What are your hopes from this coming weekend?

LH:
I think Jenson understands what I am going through and how tough it is when you don't particularly have the right package beneath you to be able to show what you can do or to get the right results. But when you are in that position you just maximise it. So all these years Jenson has been maximising what he had in the past and now he is maximising what he has now. It is the same for me. I am maximising the car that I have and just trying to finish all the races and trying to push the team forward. Here it is going to be a tough race as it is a high speed circuit but hopefully we have made some steps forward. We don't have many update things coming for this race but fingers crossed we have maybe changed the set-up a little bit which will help but I guess we won't really know until tomorrow. I doubt whether I will be able to tag along the tail of him but we will do the best we can.

Q:
You have won in the rain last year. Would you prefer rain this weekend?

LH:
Last year obviously I wanted it to rain and it did. But I am not too bothered either way. To be honest the more dry testing I get the better information I can get about my car and where we are with it and how to move forward. The more information we get to analyse the better. But if it rains I think this is a great track in the wet and it definitely gives you more of a chance, especially here, compared to some other circuits to make a bit of a difference, so it could be good for me either way.

Q:
Jenson, your feelings about racing this weekend?

JB:
I come into this race confident with the package that I have. The last few races have been fantastic and it has been a dream start to the season. This is a circuit that I enjoy driving and I know my team-mate enjoys driving here a lot also, so he is going to be good competition this weekend. In Turkey we expected the Red Bulls to be very quick in the high speed turn eight. I don't think they had an advantage which was surprising. I am happy with what we have. We have got a little update aerodynamically, only small, but it's about the small parts. You just keep building on what you have and hope it is going in the right direction. We will have competition here but I am happy with what we have and I am confident in the car. We have just got to hope in a way that we have a better Friday than we have done in the last few races because even though the end result has been great, working from where we were is quite stressful and I think in that environment that you can make mistakes, so we have got to hope that we get a reasonable balance tomorrow, so we can get some good testing done and hope we get the balance right for the weekend.

Q:
Just looking at both your respective Formula One careers, one of you had success immediately and this year it has tailed off a bit. The other one didn't have success and finally has had success now. Talk about one another's career in a way and would you have preferred yours to be different?

JB:
Well, I mean we have been given what we have been given and that's the way it is. You wouldn't change it for the world and even though I've been through a lot of tough times in the past, even before this season, I've always said that I think the decisions I have made or what I have had to deal with, I wouldn't change it as it makes it who you are. Now I have got the opportunity to show and to achieve with a very good team and a very good car. In a way it makes it very sweet for me but I am sure it is the same for Lewis, coming into Formula One and in his first couple of years achieving so much so early on. Not many drivers have been able to do that. I think I have been in Formula One for nine years now and eventually I feel ready to be winning races and I have the team that gives me the opportunity to fight for race victories almost every weekend we go to. I wouldn't change my career in the slightest and I am sure Lewis wouldn't but I will let him speak for himself.

LH:
He is right. I think for Jenson as he said with his nine years, even though he has not had the best equipment to be able to get the results that he wanted, clearly he has learnt a lot through all those years and I think it is really showing in his performances this year. He has done a fantastic job this year and I am sure it is from potential mistakes he may have made in the past and through struggles he has come out stronger than ever. Now he has finally got the car and he is probably driving as good as ever if not better than ever before and I think that is great for him. As for me I wouldn't change my career. I have enjoyed it. I have had good and bad times. I have had a good couple of strong years, say for the last four years or so, and now I am going through not so good a patch. But it is another learning curve and it is part of life. It is what you learn in the tough times I guess that defines you and builds you as a character and as a human being. I am enjoying the experience, trying to embrace it and come out as strong as possible.

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