ON THE PODIUM
Q: First of all, Arnie says ‘well done’ and he’s allowed me to come and talk to you today. He’s coming back to see you later. So, Arnie well done last race. So, today was a surprise result and you weren’t very happy with your car… tell us what was going on there?
LH: Well, firstly, huge congratulations to Ferrari and Sebastian, they did an amazing job. Jeez, they had some good pace today. I gave it everything I could; we did as a team. We knew coming into this weekend that they had made a step, we didn’t know how big but they were too fast for us today.
Q: Obviously you’ve converted so many… what, the last eight pole positions into wins? You just missed out today. Does that mean you’ve got to kick-start it again and start thinking about the strategy for the future?
LH: We’ll just get back together as a team and try to figure out where we were losing time today. My balance wasn’t great particularly, so there are definitely areas we can improve on and I’m sure we’ll be fighting for the next race, which I’m really excited about.
Q: When you talked with your engineers, we were a bit confused and you were a bit confused. You didn’t know whether you were going to have to stop again. What was that discussion or were you not supposed to hear that?
LH: I don’t think I was supposed to hear it. In general the team did a fantastic job. I’m really grateful for the car we have. The fans have been fantastic this weekend. Thank you so much guys.
WITH THE MEDIA
Q: Lewis, coming to you, you’re still in the lead of the drivers’ championship after this race clearly it was a frustrating day for you. With the way that the car was behaving, with the way that the tyres were behaving and obviously with different strategies at play, do you still believe that was a winnable race for you?
LH: Well, we have to give it to them, they did a fantastic job this weekend and big congratulations to Sebastian and Ferrari. We were not, and I was not, expecting them to be as quick as they were today. I think it’s great for the fans to see. I don’t really know whether, if I’d stayed out with him, whether that would have made much of a difference. They were probably just as good if not a little bit better perhaps on tyre deg. So I think it would have still been very, very close. But I think naturally after that first stop I had so much ground to catch up it was pretty much impossible.
Q: Sebastian said earlier that he could see you were struggling in that first stint. I just wondered if you agreed with that and indeed if that was going on. Maybe you should have run a set of used mediums in that last stint?
LH: In the first stint yes, I was. Just generally, all day today, I was struggling with the balance. I was uncomfortable with the car, a lot of understeer which inevitably snaps into oversteer everywhere, so I couldn’t really look after my tyres. I was doing everything with my controls but I couldn’t really find a good balance. When I went to the option tyre, the car was better so I was able to be a little bit more consistent and then closed down the gap. I hadn’t been told, but I thought we would be going onto that tyre again at the end. We went onto the other one which wasn’t good for me as I’d experienced before, but I did the best job I could with it. I think ultimately the team made the best choices we could today and we’ll try to analyse and improve for next time.
Q: In two weeks you are travelling to Shanghai. You have the most victories there, three. Are you looking for the fourth one?
LH: For me, going to China is one of my favourite races, simply because of the fans. I don’t know how, but from the moment we land at the airport they know we’re there. The weirdest thing is that I leave the hotel and go to a restaurant and they beat me there – even though they’re standing waving to me at the hotel, they beat me to the restaurant. And then I leave the restaurant and they’re waving bye to me and then beat me back to the hotel again. I don’t know how they do it! It’s amazing the support we get there and of course I’ve had some good races there. I think ultimately my assumption is that this weekend the heat got to us with the tyres and it will be a lot cooler at the next race, so I hope that we pick up our pace a bit more.