2014 F1

Hamilton: I felt I was very strong today

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Aggressive Lewis Hamilton was in trouble, complaining that he had dirt in his left eye that was impairing his vision. Finally he held off Daniel Riccardo to take second, who push hard him in the final few laps of the race.

Q: Congratulations, well done to the Monaco boy. Lewis, how are you? Tell us a little bit about what happened on the 56th lap? You got something in your eye?
Lewis Hamilton:
 Yeah, just through the visor… but anyway that’s not important. It was a good day and really good for the team to get a one-two.

Q: You had [Daniel Ricciardo] right close behind. How was it? You started second and finished second… How are things with your team mate, I think people want to know?
LH:
 I had great pace, you know, obviously I felt I was very strong today but it’s a very, very difficult circuit to overtake on…

Q: It’s incredibly thrilling to watch, you were all incredible out there, the closeness of the cars…
LH:
 Thank you. Fortunately we didn’t make any mistakes, so…. 

Q: Well done. Lewis, obviously the momentum is broken for the moment. We heard you on the radio quite a lot after the safety car and the pit stops, questioning and speaking about the strategy calls. Obviously you pitted together under the safety car. Had there been a thought that you might try to undercut Nico before that? Can you explain to us what the conversation was about?
LH:
 I don’t remember to be honest. I don’t. I think they saw a crash and normally under the crash we could have come in and I really should have come in but the team didn’t call us in. We really should have pitted that lap.

Q: (Oana Popoiu – F1 Zone) I have a question for Lewis. Niki Lauda said that in Barcelona you used an engine mode you were told not to and you had to apologise to Nico for that. Do you think that that mode would have helped you win the race today?
LH:
 No… today we were using all the modes. In the last race it was a mode that didn’t really affect the outcome of the race. We were told that we had to stay in a certain mode. Nico did it in Bahrain and I did it in Barcelona. In this race we stuck to the strategies we had to stick.

Q: (Dan Knutson – Auto Action and National Speedsport News) Lewis, yesterday you told the BBC that you might handle the situation with Nico like Senna would. What did you mean by that?
LH:
 I don’t know. I can’t really remember to be honest. I think it was just a joke. Obviously I didn’t.

Q: (Michael Schmidt – Auto Motor und Sport) I think you said on the radio that you had a problem with your eye in the closing stages. What happened there?
LH:
 I’ve never really had it before. I kept making sure my visor was as closed as possible but I had quite a bit of wind coming in. I got close to Nico at one stage and all of a sudden I got a bit of debris in my eye, or some dirt, so I was driving with one eye, which is virtually impossible to do and so through the low-speed corners I was trying to open up my visor to clear it up but it was just making it worse. Fortunately, I think with five laps to go it cleared up so I was able to stay ahead of Daniel.

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Q: (Vincent Marre – Sports Zeitung) In the last days Nico was mentioning that the previous races were not one-to-one races. What do you think Lewis about this race or this race weekend. Was it a one-to-one races.
LH:
 I don’t fully understand the question.

Q: (Vincent Marre – Sports Zeitung) Last day Nico Rosberg was mentioning that the previous races were not one-to-one races, relating to the weather, because you were winning the races and this time he’s winning the race and I want to know if you think this weekend is a one-to-one race for you?
LH:
 I’m still not fully understanding it, but all the races have been very, very close but this weekend I think I had very good pace. I drove with all my heart and gave it all I could, fairly, and I feel like I drove fairly all weekend. So I leave today quite happy and I can go into the next race with even more energy and determination.

Q: (Ian Parkes – Press Association) Lewis, it seems pretty clear to us that you feel aggrieved with the events that occurred yesterday in qualifying. Is this it now for you? Is it gloves off in your battle with Nico? And secondly, do you feel that you are getting full and fair support from the team?
LH:
 Generally, there is a fierce battle between me and Nico and it will continue that way to I’m sure quite late in the season. Nico’s not had a single hiccup through the season so far. Obviously I had a car that didn’t finish in Melbourne but otherwise it’s still quite close, so I’m just going to keep my head up, keep pushing. I know the team are working hard for the both of us. The team can sometimes be in awkward positions, which they were yesterday, and their job is really to protect us both and that’s what they did.

Q: (Nicola Pohl – Bild) Lewis, what do you think was the reason why the team didn’t call you in immediately after the crash? You complained over the team radio about that.
LH:
 I think it’s just what we have a rule that the guy in front gets the first opportunity to pit first so I think that would be why.

Q: (Haoran Zhou – Formula One Express) Lewis, how did the debrief of yesterday’s qualifying go because as we understand, you were not in the debrief room, while Rosberg was?
LH:
 I was in there. I went to the toilet and Nico did his big debrief before I got there which is unusual. Usually we do it when we’re both in the same room but as I came up I did mine and fortunately the engineers had written down what Nico had said so I read it.

Q: (Ralf Bach – Sport Bild) Lewis, to clean the situation, did you tell the BBC in this interview where you said these things with the boat or didn’t you say that?
LH:
 I was asked who was hungrier. I think if you ask every driver they will say that they’re the hungriest and I said that what gives me the hunger is where I grew up in comparison to where Nico grew up. You know I’ve always been striving to come and live here. I used to travel around with Nico in his Dad’s plane, I used to go to his boat, I used to go to his house, I used to have those experiences and that gave me those experiences and that gave me the desire to want that one day, which gave me the hunger. It was his Dad obviously who inspired me to be where I am today.

Q: (Ralf Bach – Sport Bild) So you did say it.
LH:
 Yes, but – as Nico said – it was taken out of context a little bit.

Q: (Livio Oricchio – Universo On Line) Lewis, do you believe with a normal pit stop – not under safety car conditions – you would have had any chance to overtake Nico and get the lead of the race?
LH:
 It’s irrelevant now, but obviously with the start, we got exactly the same start… there’s only two opportunities in the race and the pit stop would have been the other one but the safety car came out at the perfect time for him so I didn’t have the chance there. Otherwise, that was it.

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