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Lewis: “My prayers are with Jules and his family”

Lewis: “My prayers are with Jules and his family”

Lewis, your 30th Formula One win, how did you enjoy that?

It was obviously a great result for the team but we’re all very concerned about our colleague, Jules Bianchi. The race didn’t finish the way anyone would have hoped, and my prayers are with Jules and his family.

Looking at our performance, this has been a great weekend with the car. Qualifying obviously wasn’t perfect for me but generally the car was absolutely fantastic through the race and once I was past Nico I was able to really manage the gap and enjoy the ride. We had a great crowd this weekend too, as every year.

Tell us about those hot laps – the 15 or 16 laps before the end there. You were putting in times up to a second, or a second and a half, quicker than anyone else!

Yeah, I really got into a groove. In terms of the feeling it was very reminiscent of Silverstone 2008.

Tell the fans what you really thought when you went off at the first turn?

I was pushing to get by Nico and I went into turn one with the DRS open and forgot to turn it off. There’s so much less downforce when that wing is open – you’ve got to remember to close it again. Then I started to turn and brake and it was still open, so the back end stepped out when I went into the corner. It was very, very close but I kept hold of it and didn’t really lose too much time so it was quite fortunate.

That same corner saw a great overtaking manoeuvre around the outside of your team-mate… tell us about that?

It was fairly straightforward, really. I had a lot more pace than Nico. This is not a very easy circuit to follow another car but fortunately I was able to get quite close – particularly in the last corner. I think he had a small oversteer moment out of there and I didn’t. Obviously, the DRS then enabled me to get alongside. I was fairly confident with the balance of the car so I put it there and stuck it out. The whole approach changed after that because I was attacking, attacking and then I kind of took different lines and managed it differently. But it felt very reminiscent of a time years and years ago, of 2008, and it was a great feeling in that respect.

You were out in the last few laps on intermediates as the rain intensified. How slippery was it and was it already too wet for intermediates at that period of the race?

For me personally it wasn’t. There was more and more rain coming and you could start to see more reflections, so you could see that it was increasing – the amount of water that was on the track. But I didn’t notice any difference so I was still able to maintain the same pace. I would imagine that we would probably have been able to finish on those tyres since there were only ten laps left. The tyres performed quite well today.

Nico has said he struggled with oversteer – did you experience the same problem or were you running a different setup perhaps?

We had pretty much exactly the same set-up. Maybe he took out some wing later on in the race. But I didn’t really have any problems with the balance of the car. It was oversteery but it was manageable.

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