Lewis: “This race is incredibly tough but I feel confident in my team and my car”
So Lewis, your fifth pole here in Budapest, fastest in every track session this weekend – you must be very happy with the way today has turned out?
LH: It’s been a good weekend so far, yes. I’ve generally always had good experiences here. I’m loving the weather, loving the city – but also I love the track. It feels a bit like an old go-kart circuit that we used to race on many years ago when we had super special soft tyres. I think with the temperatures it gives us a lot of grip here. But me and Nico wouldn’t be up here if it wasn’t for this team. They've done an exceptional job all year long but have still improved coming into this weekend. You can definitely feel it, so a big thanks to them.
Perhaps surprisingly on a track at which it’s quite difficult to overtake, the race isn’t always won from pole position. In fact, in the last ten years you’re the only person who has managed to do it, so being on pole at this stage is not necessarily a slam dunk. Plenty of work still to do tomorrow, then?
LH: Absolutely. The work’s not always done on a Saturday and I’ve got lots of work to do tomorrow. But in terms of how the weekend has gone I’m incredibly happy with that. I think so far it’s been one of the best. I can’t remember having the performance I’ve had this weekend on any weekend, so I’m really happy with that. There’s a long way down into Turn One, the race is incredibly tough physically and also technically for the car. But I feel confident in my team and my car and hopefully we can convert it tomorrow.
The strange thing here at the Hungaroring is that when you’ve won, Kimi Räikkönen has always been second. What do you think about that?
LH: I don’t know what to say to that…
SV: I don’t think Lewis cares!
LH: It’s good for Kimi!
Yesterday you said that you started to think that this might be your favourite track. After your fifth pole position here, do you state that this is your favourite track now?
LH: You know, it’s really hard to pinpoint a favourite track in your career really because there are so many different ones. They all have such different characteristics but I honestly really enjoy driving this one. I think it’s the combination – as I said earlier – with the tyres and the track surface. It’s quite bumpy, the way the corners are, on camber, off camber and the way that the track just flows. It’s so much fun. Monaco’s fun but I don’t know… I think that including the city with all the great architecture and that it might be potentially just edging out Monaco. Maybe…
You’re obviously feeling on top form this weekend. How important is it to go into the summer break as the guy who won the most recent Grand Prix – to have that period of reflection knowing that you ended that first part of the season on a high?
LH: It’s not really what you think about, to be honest. There’s been times when I’ve not won, gone into that break managing to switch off and enjoyed it just as much. Of course, when you leave having done what you planned to do, it makes a next few days following better. But other than that, you get over it, you move on and do whatever you have to do. I’m taking all the steps possible to make sure it’s a nice summer break, of course.