Next: German GP 20-22 July

Friday, June 5, 2009


Q.It was hard to judge the pace of the car in Monaco, but it looks good here. How was it?

Lewis Hamilton: I don't think the car was bad in Monte Carlo in the race it wasn't very strong, but pure pace in qualifying wasn't so bad. Here we expected it to be a bit like Barcelona, but surprisingly not. We're a little bit faster than we anticipated, so we're going to keep on trying to improve the car in the hope that tomorrow brings an even better day.

Q. Do you have any updates on the car this weekend?

LH: No, we have some small adaptations to the front wing and to the rear floor. It's not a big step in forward but it all helps.

Q. How did practice go?

LH: Quite well, apart from in P2 I had a couple of spins But you're not pushing if you don't spin, they say! There was some instability on the exit of some corners. I was quite surprised with the pace of the car, We had better pace here than anticipated and hat's all due to the hard work the guys have done back at the factory. Every little bit that comes does add up bit by bit. 'm not saying we have the speed of the top guys but we're getting closer.

Q. What were the biggest challenges today?

LH: You're trying to stop locking the brakes, and looking out for the tyres. It's a very high-speed circuit so avoiding the oversteer moments in the high-speed corners and picking up grip in the high speed because that's where we lack the speed of the others. It doesn't seem as bad, but the others are definitely taking Turn 9 faster than us.

Q. What are your expectations for the rest of the weekend?

LH: We definitely look like we may have the pace to be in the top ten, so that's a great step for us.

Q. It must be frustrating seeing other people going through Turn 8 the way you could last year but not being able to do so yourself?

LH: Yes, definitely. My car last year wasn't fantastic in Turn 8, it was great everywhere else so I've never had the best car there. But it's a bit worse this year! I look at the speed traces of others and they seem to go 10-15kph faster through there than I do. But we're getting closer. The gap was further away a few races ago.

Q. The other teams are saying that it's more or less now or never to deliver a car that can win. Is that the feeling at McLaren?

LH: Not really.

Q. So what is the vibe at McLaren?

LH: We'll get there eventually. We're working a hard as we can. We've always said that it's not a quick fix, it just takes time. We're churning away at it and still focusing on this year while still keeping an eye on next year.

Q. You're only half a second off the pace?

LH: Yes, but today we weren't going for quickest.

Q. Looking at your spins today it seemed you lost grip when you hit the kerb?

LH: That's the problem with the car. You lose grip all of a sudden. You think it's there then it disappears for a split second and catches you out sometimes. Snap oversteer.

Q. Everybody seems to be struggling with the soft tyres today - they can't get times?

LH: I didn't have any problems. My second run on options was very consistent. Whilst it isn't a fantastic tyre in terms of degradation, we seem to manage it better than we normally do.

Q. What qualities do you need to fight into the higher positions?

LH: It has been a hustle all year to get into the top 10. We're just hustling and grinding and trying to get every bit out of the car. Some races we do. At every race we have got a little bit more out of the car. That's why I'm pretty happy with what we're doing. I know that from where we started, if we were a lot closer then we'd have caught up by now.