Lewis Hamilton Q&A: The Mercedes driver on his Singapore race, Sebastian Vettel's victory and the podium booing
By Sky Sports Online. Last Updated: 23/09/13 2:05pm
After finishing fifth in Singapore, Lewis Hamilton discusses his race, Sebastian Vettel's win, and the latest podium booing...
Looking at the weekend, if things had gone right for you with the strategy could you have come out with a better result?
Lewis Hamilton: "It's not been the best of weekends, for sure. The result is disappointing for us all, especially as the car felt really competitive. I don't how the guys were ahead, but when we finished, and I hadn't been looking at my pit-board, I honestly thought we were second and third once Webber went out. I was thinking 'wow, this is great points for the team'. So when I heard I was fifth, I was so shocked.
"There are definitely a lot of points we can improve on. In hindsight, I wish I was further up ahead, I wish I had the start that Nico had, but there are always 'if this happened then we could have done better'. But the strategy could have been improved, and there are lots of areas on the car that we can improve. Obviously Sebastian is a long, long way ahead now and he's had the perfect weekend in a lot of races and we need to dissect that and figure out how we can adapt so we have those weekends."
Red Bull had to unleash their pace today because of strategy with Sebastian lapping [after the Safety Car deployment] two seconds quicker than the field. Was that depressing?
LH: "It's not depressing because it's nothing new. I look at his on-board laps and it doesn't look or appear as if he is on the limit like some other drivers are. When you have that much in hand sometimes it makes it so much easier. But at the end of the day, he does the job that he needs to do and they've made a step somewhere because their car was rapid this weekend. But I still feel we can fight at some points through the rest of the season."
Mark and Fernando have received reprimands from the FIA after Fernando picked up Mark. You flashed past them, do you recall that and did you deem it dangerous?
LH: "In sport, I think it's cool, like Nigel and Ayrton [Mansell famously gave Senna a lift back to the pits after the 1991 British GP] and there's been times where I've driven past someone else and wished that I'd stopped. Today, I was doing my in-lap and came round the corner and Fernando was there - I was really shocked."
Did you weave to the left or right of him?
LH: "To the right. If Mark was walking across where I went, I would have run him over. Fortunately, that wasn't the case. I think it's good for fans to see but as long as it's done in a safe manner, where we don't stop on the racing line, maybe it should be allowed for the future."
As a sportsman...Sebastian has been repeatedly booed on the podium this season, how do you view that?
LH: "I think booing is just such a negative thing, especially when somebody has worked so hard to be successful. Nobody should ever be booed, or put down, for their success, no matter how easy or hard it has been for them to get to where they are.
"I saw a glimpse of him on the podium and I was happy for him. I tried to imagine what it would be like if I was winning races the way he is winning races. Me, I don't want to be able to be that far ahead, I want to be able to fight with him or whoever. But this is the way it is, and it's definitely not a positive thing to hear that he has been booed.
"He's on his way to his fourth World Championship and he needs all the credit if he wins it."
You say that Sebastian is on his way to a fourth World Championship. Is it game over for you then?
LH: "There's always a fight in me, and even in this race I still drove with the thought that I could still win, and that will remain the same for the rest of the year, but realistically he is 100 points away from me, he is always winning and he is going to continue on that curve..."
But if you can get second in the championship, and Mercedes can get second in the championship, it would still be a good season?
LH: "For sure. That's going to be the target, but if we do what we did today then it's not going to happen - and Fernando always finishes second even when he is a long way behind..."
What were you thinking when Alonso shot past you at the start?
LH:"I didn't think much. I got a bad start, basically. My car was bogged down. It's very difficult to have consistent starts and Ferrari are generally the only ones who are consistent. Red Bull, Sebastian's car particularly, may be second, and we could be third, so we have some work to do there.
"But if I had got the right start then that was the line I would have taken, I swear it. Reading documents and watching videos, that was the best route to go on - Fernando showed it a few years ago. But I was already out of sequence, Mark moved over and I couldn't brake late because he was already there and Fernando was already down the outside."