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

Questions from the floor

Q:
(Jonathan Legard - BBC) Lewis, you talked there about pushing to keep the British Grand Prix. What, practically, can you do in your position? Are you going to buy Silverstone or buy Donington?

Lewis Hamilton:
Clearly that's impossible, that's not in the pipeline but no - Jenson wants to go halves! - we work as hard as we can, alongside the BRDC and as British drivers I think we can both, in our positions, not as role models but with our image, we can call up people we want to, whoever we want really, I think. If we want to call up the Prime Minister I'm sure we could easily! But no, I think we just want to show our support and show the importance of it. Perhaps people look at the British Grand Prix and perhaps don't realise what it would be like without it. I think we should all step back and realise what motor sport would be like without it and understand that and then take action. I think we all need to pull together and support it. I think we need support from the government, we need support from other backers, wherever we can get it and as long as we have a British Grand Prix in Formula One it will always remain a great sport to be a part of.

Jenson Button:
We both agree that we would love a British Grand Prix. We obviously want it to be at a good venue but having a British Grand Prix is the point that we're trying to push and it's not just us two sat here, I think it's the whole of Formula One. There are a lot of British people who work in Formula One on the racing side of things, on the journalism side of things, so to not have a British Grand Prix would be a real shocker for all of us involved and surprising, I think, for the fans, especially when we have packed out crowds at the races here. But it's not our decision but we would obviously be very disappointed if we didn't have a British Grand Prix on the 2010 calendar.

LH:
It's not just us who are affected, us as the drivers, it's you guys, the amount of jobs we are able to give people with these Grands Prix. There are thousands of people involved. It would be a shame to lose that.

Q:
(Juha P??talo - Financial Times Deutschland) Jenson, last year at this same press conference, you challenged Lewis to do a triathlon and you said that this would be the only way I can be competitive this year. Looking back at what has happened, how does it feel, coming here as a championship leader, and if you would describe the difference and the feeling between last year and this year? And Lewis, are you going to challenge Jenson this year to do a triathlon?

JB:
It's obviously a big change for me and for the whole team. Coming here last year we didn't expect to be getting points, let alone fighting for a podium position and definitely not the top step of the podium but I still enjoyed the weekend. It's always a nice feeling coming here because the fans do support you through the tough times as well as the good times. I still enjoyed my time at the British Grand Prix last year and we obviously had a bit of banter up here on stage but it was just a bit of fun. Yeah, a lot has happened in a season and that's the way Formula One is, it's up and down, up and down. It's about being strong through the difficult times - if they don't break you, they definitely will make you stronger and we've come back very strong this season and I'm leading the championship. For British motor sport, having a British champion sat up here, a British World Champion and a British driver who's leading the championship the next season I think is fabulous for the sport. It's great to be a part of that.

LH:
No, I'm not going to challenge him. Are you still doing it?

JB:
Yeah, I've got one in London but it was a bit of banter last year, a bit of fun.

LH:
No, of course. I think Jenson's been preparing for the triathlon this year, so I think it would be pretty stupid for me to sit here and ask him for a challenge, considering he's had two weeks of chilled time in Monaco and I've had two weeks flat out and no training at all. That's pretty much how my whole year is.

JB:
Lewis does a bit more PR than I do at the moment.

LH:
I wish you luck for that triathlon, it's pretty cool. I'll be watching it. No, it will be wicked.

JB:
Are you going to come down?

LH:
Where is it?

JB:
It's in London but it should be fun. (To everyone) If you want to sponsor me, by the way, just a plug out there, I'm doing it for Make-A-Wish Foundation, which I'm a patron for and if you want to give some cash, it's justgiving.com/jensonbutton. Woo!

Q:
(Livio Oricchio - O Estado de Sao Paulo) To both drivers: officially, your teams are out of the championship next season. Do you think it's possible for that situation to change before tomorrow's deadline?

JB:
Well, I don't think that's for us to discuss here, really. We're not the people who have been in the talks, the serious talks, anyway, and I think all the team principals and team owners have been very, very busy over the last few weeks in meetings and it would be unfair for us to comment on the situation at this time, I think.

Q:
(Livio Oricchio - O Estado de Sao Paulo) But it will affect you...

JB:
Yes, it does but it also doesn't make any difference. We're not going to change anything by saying what we think here. The important thing is that we're involved in the discussions but not in front of cameras and not in front of you guys sat here because that doesn't help the situation at the moment.

Q:
(Thierry Wilmotte - Le Soir) To both of you: isn't what's happening this season bad publicity for Formula One because it shows that Formula One is principally a case of having a good car more than having a good driver?

JB:
Formula One hasn't changed over the last decade or so, or two decades. It's a team performance and when we stop talking about what percentage a driver is and what percentage a car is we can get on with the racing and concentrate on having fun and enjoying it. The car is a big part of it but it's a team effort, it's every single individual and when you win the World Championship you win it as a team and it's the same if you don't do very well, you lose it as a team, and that's the way it has been for many, many years. We all want to be in a good car but it's also for us to try and make that happen. It's taken me a long time but I eventually got there in the end. It's a great sport and when people turn the TV on, I think they look for good racing and there has been some good racing this year within the pack and I'm sure it's going to be as competitive throughout the season. I think it's also good that there are other teams involved now. For many years it's been Ferrari and McLaren and also Renault winning the World Championship and now there are other teams that are fighting at the front with those teams and I think that is good for the sport and I'm sure that over the next few years in motor racing, I'm sure those top teams are going to be there but they're going to include Brawn GP and they're going to include Red Bull and that's what the sport needs. We need a lot of teams that are fighting at the front that are competitive. It's no good just one team winning the World Championships year after year. I think it's great that there's so much competition out there, year on year.

Q:
(Rob Harris - Associated Press) Lewis, how difficult is it sitting there, next to Jenson, given the position you're in and given the position you were in when you were sitting here this time last year?

LH:
We're sitting in the same position! Oh yeah, DC was here. It's not difficult at all. I feel very proud of what Jenson's achieved this year. I'm glad that he's been able to represent Britain and keep us fighting at the front. Definitely, if I'm not able to do it, I would definitely rather have a fellow Brit do it. Like I said, we're very fortunate to have Jenson doing that. And me, you know, I'm sitting here, I've got number one on my car, so it's still kind of a nice feeling, it's still a great achievement that I'm still very proud of and I'm working as hard as ever. I'm still here, I'm still battling it out and fighting as hard as I can and hopefully we will be here for many more years.

Q:
(Will Buxton - Australasian Motor Sport News) Lewis, your whole demeanour at the moment seems very different to how it was at the start of the season, and not just in terms of everything that happened in Australia but the responsibilities of being World Champion, the amount of time you've spent doing PR. You've said that this season has helped you to grow as a person but how much has this season helped you to chill out and change your demeanour and become more comfortable with life in Formula One?

LH:
Yeah, I think it's just that you're growing all the time. I'm sure it's the same for everyone. I remember when I sat in front of Nelson Mandela, he told me that he's still learning today and he's ninety years old. I took that on board and realised that every year, every day of my life I'm going to be learning something new. It was a very tough beginning of the season, knowing that we wouldn't to be able to be challenging for wins and coming to the realisation, to really believe it. And even though you just keep pushing and pushing, to understand it and then to analyse it and try to contain the emotions and look after them and try to channel them in the right direction, all these different things, that's what I've worked on and it's definitely not been an easier year. It's been just as hard as any other year but I feel that as a person I'm growing, I'm maturing and learning to deal with it and trying to remain positive, to push my team forward. I think it's a great responsibility to have and I'm proud to do it, so I hope you see the difference, that's a good thing.

Q:
(James Allen - Financial Times) Jenson, winning Monaco was obviously very special. Lewis was talking last week about winning the British Grand Prix in comparison with winning Monaco, he and Damon (Hill), and they both felt that this was the big one. Would you feel that, that winning the British Grand Prix would be even more special than the Monaco win?

JB:
If you look at it unemotionally it's ten points if you win here, it's like every other race. It's a very emotional weekend for a British driver. It would be very special to win my home Grand Prix. But to not put pressure on myself, the great thing is that I will leave this race leading the World Championship still, by 16 points at worst. That's the best way to look at it but it would be great to have a good race here but so much can happen. I'm just trying to stay relaxed at the moment.

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