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Q:
Lewis, you led every lap from the pole - an amazing day for you with Kimi R?ikk?nen right behind you giving you pressure all the way.

Lewis Hamilton:
Yeah, it's been an eventful weekend and quite emotional for all the team, I think. We made a really good step forward, the team has been working so hard to improve the car and we came here with a great package. We still weren't sure whether we would be ahead of the Ferraris but as you could see in the race, they obviously had great pace. Quite early on in the race - in the second stint - I had a problem with my steering, don't really know what that it was but it made it quite difficult to keep the pace. As you could see, I dropped off a little bit and I was a bit nervous that something was going to break, but thank God it didn't. But I was told by the radio that everything was fine, so I just had to keep on pushing. Kimi was on my tail for quite a long time and so pushing right to the last lap. He drove a fantastic race, really enjoyed it, but it's good that we're back at the top after an eventful race at the last race so it's good.

Q:
Can you be a bit more specific about the steering problem, and then talk a little bit about the difference between the two tyres - obviously you had the softer tyre in the last stint. Kimi was very very near you there, a question of the graining perhaps and the tyre cycle.

LH:
To be honest, I don't know what was wrong with the steering. It was just steering a bit to the right, so we have to investigate that. With the tyres, the first stint was very good, we had great pace, very consistent and I was able to keep pushing and pushing and improving my time, and then we went to the... after the first pit stop, again, the same tyres, but I struggled at the beginning. I had great rear end traction, but it was pushing into understeer, plus I got a lot of traffic, so Kimi was able to close the gap, and I think he was a bit lighter than me as well, five or six laps, which I knew, so I had to manage my tyres, knowing that in the five extra laps I had, I really had to pull out the gap which I did, I think, and he came out quite a bit further behind than he was. But then the option tyre, the super soft tyre - I was very very impressed (with it), because during the weekend we thought the graining would be too bad, so bad that we would slow right up. I think Kimi was slightly faster there, and with the problem it was tricky, but I just kept pushing, never give up and just kept pushing right to the last lap.

Q:
Difficult to remember that you're still a rookie in your first season, with all that pressure, throughout the race, with Kimi behind you. Just talk us through the mental approach you had from the start right through to the end.

LH:
Well, you can imagine, all the drama that's gone on over the weekend, it would have been easy to lose focus. It's been a bit of a downer on the team, but the great thing is that the team remains positive and the energy in the team still remains. And it just proves that there's nothing that can stop us. So with that in mind, I'm able to get in the car and do my job and obviously I know how to win races. I've experienced having Kimi up my tail a couple of times this year, especially in Malaysia, so with that experience, today was a slightly easier but still nevertheless it was a hard race.

Q:
Kimi, I guess you know every square centimetre of the back of that McLaren now; you spent the whole race behind him. There were moments that you were right there and looked to be slightly quicker on the road.

Kimi Raikkonen:
Yeah, I think we knew that we were going to be quick at the beginning of the race. I expected them to drop out a little bit more but they didn't really suffer as much as I was hoping, but I would close up and just stay there. The problem here is, especially when two cars are very close, is the other guy in front really has to make a big mistake to give you any chance to get past, so it was a kind of a boring race just driving behind and waiting for something to happen and try to push as hard (as possible) to make him make a mistake but nothing happened so we really finished where we started.

Q:
How difficult was it following in his wake and his turbulence in terms of tyre and aerodynamic performance?

KR:
For sure, it makes it a bit trickier, especially in one of the fast corners, maybe not as bad as some other circuits. I think the downforce and the grip here seems to help a bit but for sure, I had a very good car today. If I could have been in the free air, we could have had very good pace but we couldn't really use it, so...

Q:
As you've said, an encouraging day in some ways, given that Ferrari were concerned about these high downforce circuits and particularly this track, and you were right there.

KR:
Yeah, but that shows that in qualifying we could not really use our car as we want, we are not quick enough in qualifying in this sort of circuit but in race pace I think we were on the pace. For sure, when we go back to normal circuits like Turkey, our car should be pretty good there, so we try to do the best we can there, get some points back. It's going to be hard but there are many races to go. One bad race and things can change quickly. We've seen that this year already.

Q:
Nick, your second successive third place here at the Hungaroring and a three stop strategy, an interesting race, and a very strong race for you.

Nick Heidfeld:
Actually it was quite clear early in the weekend that we would go for a three stop, knowing that the option tyres could be difficult for a longer stint. On top of that, we wanted to start pretty much in the front, for the race, so we qualified a bit lighter in Q3 but as we've seen, it worked out.

Q:
And how was the option tyre, as it turned out?

NH:
It was quite good. Actually I would say we expected that, that's why we made the last stint relatively short, it was not such a high fuel load, which helps the tyres. On top of that, the circuit was rubbered in quite well at the end and I also tried not to push them too hard in the first couple of laps, to make sure I didn't get bad graining, especially with Fernando behind. The corner that affected them most was always the last corner and that was the most important for me, to be quick there and keep him behind.

Q:
What was the pressure like from your point of view, where did you feel he was quicker?

NH:
I think he was a bit quicker everywhere, at one point. Probably seven laps to the end, I thought he backed off a bit but I know that with Fernando you can never be sure. Actually at this point I tried to pick up the pace again a bit, because there was a backmarker in front of us that was pretty quick and I didn't want to get close into his dirty air with Fernando behind me, and then in the last one, I tried to push very hard again, but as we know, it's not so easy to overtake in Hungary.

Q:
Lewis, a certain irony in the weekend. By your own admission you did change things a little bit yesterday in Q3 in terms of the team strategy and you ended up on the pole and you've won the Grand Prix. You didn't get the fastest lap, an ironic day in some respects.

LH:
Yeah, I don't know really what to say about that but all I know was I think today, with some of the problems I had, it probably made it one of the hardest races I've ever had to do, so it's even more satisfying that I had to push that bit extra to keep Kimi behind. But just to get the points - it's so important for me and I think for the moral of the team to show that we have the pace and that we can beat everyone.

Press conference:

Q:
Lewis, I guess this race was epitomised by the fact that you had a bigger lead at the end of the first lap than you did on the last lap. A fantastic start, too.

LH:
Yeah, that was a great race. We had great pace, which I was quite confident we would. In that first stint, we were able to pull out a gap and control the pace, look after the tyres and look after the fuel etc. I had an idea that we might be slightly longer than Kimi and in actual fact we were so considering that we were heavier, it was good pace. So I looked after the tyres. The consistency was very good. Going into the second stint, I had a problem, I started locking up and I had some sort of problem with my steering so my steering was to the right and so it made it extremely tricky to drive. The front end was just a lot different to what it was in the first stint. So that enabled Kimi to catch up. I thought it was best to stay off the kerbs, because I didn't know... it was a similar sort of feeling to N?rburgring, so be careful. But the team came on the radio and said that it wasn't really a problem, the car will be fine, so then I was able to continue to push, but still, it affected me and Kimi had great pace at the end.

Q:
Of course with the steering wheel on modern Formula One cars, it's not as though you just move your hands further round is it?

LH:
No, exactly, so you can imagine driving the whole race like that. It makes quite a big difference when you're turning left and obviously having to put in more effort to turn right.

Q:
And also a longer stint than Kimi.

LH:
Yes, we had a good fuel strategy in the first stint which enabled us to... plus we had very good pace... enabled us to go longer, so we knew that in the second stint... and we could see Kimi was very very fast, but he was quite a bit lighter than us, so I had to manage my tyres in the best way possible, knowing that when he pitted, I needed to maximise the gap which I think I did. That was really not the turning point but solidified the race, but then he was catching me at the end, so it was tricky all the way to the last lap.

Q:
How much pressure in that last stint?

LH:
At the beginning, when I had traffic, he was getting closer and closer. What was important was to get good exits and try and maintain the gap as much as I could without damaging the tyres, because we knew that with the super soft tyre, it would be a problem, but fortunately it wasn't. Once I got a clean gap, I was able just to manage it and not push the engine too hard and keep the gap. I think it was something like one or two seconds, so I just maintained that, instead of pushing extra and coming off. I just kept it the same.

Q:
Kimi, good start, you picked up a place there.

KR:
Yeah, we were expecting to have a good start. It's been working pretty well in the last few races, so it was good to get behind Lewis but it wasn't enough, unfortunately. The problem really was that we came in on the same lap on the first pit stop and it's really guessing, guessing what the other team will do and we didn't get it right. We had enough speed with the same fuel load if we had been behind them, to stay there, even with more so. Unfortunately we got it wrong and we couldn't do anything after that, really.

Q:
You seemed to be less competitive in that first stint than the other two.

KR:
Yeah, I think our car is maybe not exactly suited to this circuit, so once the circuit picked up some more grip I think we were expecting to have a better car and it went that way. So we definitely we had plenty of speed but we couldn't use it.

Q:
Lap 13, you lost 1.5s, do you remember what happened?

KR:
Yeah, I remember. I ran wide in two corners, in the last sector, so I lost some time.

Q:
But otherwise pleased with second?

KR:
It's better than where we started but for sure what I needed to do was score more points than the three guys ahead of me and I couldn't, I could only score more points than two guys and not more than Lewis, so in that way it didn't help me, it only hurt me more. But we did everything we could. Hopefully it should be better at the next races when we get to more normal circuits.

Q:
Nick, how hard was Fernando pushing in those last stages?

NH:
Well, he was pushing quite hard. Obviously he had better pace than I had, but we all know that it's difficult to overtake here in Hungary. When I came out of my last stop, he was a few seconds behind, so I decided to take it easy on option tyres, not to kill them, in order to keep them alive and keep Fernando behind. He pushed pretty hard for a couple of laps, then backed off and then tried again for the last one or two laps but I managed to stay head.

Q:
So pretty pleased with third place.

NH:
Yeah, definitely. It was the maximum we could have today. Of course I would have liked to stay in front of Kimi at the start but we were on the dirty side and there would have been no chance to keep him behind anyway.

Q:
Interesting, the way you lined up on the grid...

NH:
Yeah, actually I missed my position a little bit. I tried to spin the tyres quite late and so I missed my position slightly.

 

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