• GP Week

5 minutes with ... Lewis Hamilton

Adam Hay-Nicholls June 17, 2010
Lewis Hamilton took an impressive victory in Canada © Getty Images
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Back to back wins. You are leading the championship and I guess the love affair with Canada continues?
It has been a tremendous weekend. It has been fantastic. I got here Wednesday and things have just gone so well throughout the weekend. The race was one of the toughest races so far but that's what you want to have, the hardest fight. The guys did an incredible job. Jenson did a great job and another one-two for us, so I am very happy and proud of the team.

It was a very intense race. Tell us about that fight with Fernando. There were two parts to it coming out of the pit lane and also later.
Well, I think I came in quite bit ahead of him but clearly we did not have the best pit stop and he was able to ... I saw him being released and as I pulled away he was in my blind spot. I didn't even know he was there but I tried to make sure I had enough space. All of a sudden he was right there with me and we raced all the way down to the first corner and he had the inside and got ahead.

A tactical victory also over the Red Bulls. Just sum up where you and the team are right now.
I think perhaps at other circuits where the downforce is a little higher, maybe the gap will be .... maybe they will still be a little bit ahead, but we are continuously improving. The guys back at the factory are doing a phenomenal job, so I have no doubts that we can close that gap and again pull ahead. But clearly on the race weekends we are doing a better job, both of us and the team, so hopefully we can continue with that.

I think we are clearly doing everything we can to close the gap to Red Bull
An intense race. Something seemed to be happening to you all the way through. Either you were pushing somebody or somebody was pushing you.
Yeah, it was an interesting race actually. It was difficult to know how much to save your tyres and how much to push, how much longer you had to go and how fast the guy behind you was and whether they were pushing or saving fuel or whatever. It was very, very challenging. It was the ultimate challenge for me at least of the whole year so far and I was really just trying to maintain the correct balance with the different switches that we have. Clearly Fernando could see when I was catching traffic and he would close the gap all of a sudden, so it showed he had great pace and it was then trying to get through the traffic without allowing him to pass. It was very, very difficult today. I would say the traffic was almost as bad as Monaco.

Yesterday, after qualifying, most people thought that McLaren had taken a gamble on starting on the option tyre, that you were expecting a safety car; it never came and yet your strategy worked out perfectly. Was that a bit of a surprise or do you really think that that was the right way to go yesterday?
Clearly it was the right way to go. It was a choice for us to use the softer tyre and we felt comfortable with the fact that we might have to stop within the first 10 laps. We knew it might even be lap five. I'm not sure what lap I stopped on but we anticipated that and we knew that we would be fast again once we got on the prime. We didn't know how long the prime would last but, fortunately for us, whilst we did the prime runs, others like the Red Bulls had to do an option stop at some stage. Neither of us really had an advantage at all. It just promoted some good racing, I think.

Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button celebrate McLaren's 1-2 © Sutton Images
In the closing stages there how much fuel were you having to save? Others were, but the lap times looked good?
No, I had saved a lot of fuel in the mid part of the race and whilst I was behind Fernando, so I was able to push right to the end without any problems.

The Valencia circuit is also a street circuit and there are some similarities with this one here. Do you predict that you can maybe do a similar race there or will it be different?
Valencia is a good track at least for me and the car seems to have gone very well there over the last couple of years, so I think our car should naturally be quite good there. As Jenson says, it's about understanding the tyres there - we don't know what to expect but we will be going there with good momentum, hopefully good pace, good headset and hopefully we will be working on another one-two.