Lewis, your 15th podium of the season – how was it out there?
It was an amazing race. I had a great time. Obviously I had a big mistake in the mid part of the race but otherwise the car was fantastic, the team did an amazing job and it was a great race with Nico. And it’s great to see Felipe up here, too. We had the best crowd today. I really enjoyed it.
11 one-two finishes is a new record – beaten that record of Senna and Prost from 1988. What more can you say about such a fantastic season?
Absolutely incredible. This year as a team we’ve broken a couple of records and it’s just an unbelievable job by everyone. The car has been the best car I’ve ever driven so big thank you to all the guys at the factories.
Do you think that the spin cost you chance of a victory today?
I think ultimately it cost me the win, yes. I was much quicker up until that point and on that lap I’d gone a second quicker whilst Nico pitted. I clearly had a lot more pace and I know that he would have seen that when I closed down the seven second gap. But he did a good job to not make any mistakes while I was there. I thought I was going to pit at the end of that lap so I used everything of the tyres. The next lap, I had nothing left. The rears were gone so I just lost a little bit of grip. Either way, at the end of the day, I made a mistake, I locked the rears into Turn Four and with the under-rotation, it just spun me around for the second time this weekend. It’s no-one’s fault but mine. Still, it’s a great result for the team. Nico drove really well – great defensive driving with no mistakes and ultimately we got a one-two. I really was pushing right to the chequered flag, which is what motor racing’s all about. So I really enjoyed it.
You were very fast in the first and last sector but you seemed to lose time in the middle part of the lap. Why was that?
In the middle sector it’s all downforce. Due to being right behind Nico, I couldn’t get the exit of Turn Nine so I would lose out through that middle sector and then couldn’t stay close in the last sector. If I was in clean air it would be different.
The last two times you arrived at the last race of the season with the chance of being World Champion you were starting out in Formula One Do you feel more prepared this time around?
Not really. I think it was a lot different back then and obviously today I recover from things much better than perhaps I did in the past. Today wasn’t racing to win the World Championship as I was obviously trying to get the most points possible but couldn’t guarantee the title. The next race is different and I guess I would decide how I approach it as I’m approaching it.
How are you preparing for Abu Dhabi?
I’m going to drive pretty much the same. Hopefully I’ll improve. Today, obviously, I lost a little bit of time but otherwise it’s everything to play for in the last race.
Is it more difficult to fight against your teammate or against a driver from another team when you’re competing for a title?
They’re both completely different. I would imagine it’s probably harder with the same car because only you can make the difference whereas when you’re racing another team, they will be races where one is quicker as you saw in the Championship battle between me and Felipe. There were tracks where he was quicker and there were tracks where I was quicker. It’s a different Championship, for sure.
Senna was the last champion with a turbo engine – now you have the chance to be the first in this new era. As a fan, what does that mean to you?
Winning this championship has no relation to Senna. This is something me and my family have worked very hard to do. But of course, for me, Ayrton was my favourite driver of all time. Whenever my name is mentioned in the same sentence, I feel very honoured and very proud. Naturally so, as he was a genius and a perfectionist at what he did and that’s what I aspire to be like.