Lewis Hamilton at the 2024 Miami GP Thursday Press Conference

© Sam Bloxham for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix ltd.

Lewis Hamilton attended the 2024 Miami Grand Prix Thursday Drivers’ Press Conference. Here is the full transcript!

Q: Lewis, can I bring you in on this Adrian Newey news? He’s a free agent this time next year. How much would you like to see him join you at Ferrari in 2025?

Lewis HAMILTON: Very much.

Q: What do you think he would bring to Ferrari?

LH: Well, I mean, Adrian’s known for… He’s got such a great history, track record. And, you know, he’s obviously just done an amazing job through his career in engaging with teams and the knowledge that he has. And I think he would be an amazing addition. I think they’ve already got a great team. They’re already making huge progress, strides forwards, their cars quicker this year. But yeah, it would be a privilege to work with him.

Q: And on a personal level, how excited would you be to work with a man of his experience?

LH: Very.

Q: Alright. Look, what about this weekend, Lewis? In China last time out, it was a weekend of extremes for you. Do you think you’re going to find a little bit more consistency with the car this weekend?

LH: Yes. The team have been working hard. We’ve got an upgrade here, a small upgrade here this weekend. So excited to see developments coming through. And I think hopefully we’ll have a car in a bit of a better working window. So no doubt it will still be a challenge. But really excited to be here in the States. The weather is incredible. It’s going to be a challenge for temperatures and tyre deg and all that sort of stuff. But, yeah, we welcome it.

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Q: (David Croft – Sky Sports F1) Lewis, let’s come to you, if we may. When you sat down with John Elkann and he said ‘come and join Ferrari’, and persuaded you to come to Ferrari and said, ‘what would your wish list be?’ If he did say what would your wish list be. Was Adrian Newey part of that? Did you ever think that there would be that possibility? And sitting here now, what do you think the chances are that you could partner with Adrian Newey in the future?

LH: I mean, this is all private conversation stuff. So if I was to do a list of people that I’d love to work with, he would absolutely be at the top of that.

Q: (David Croft – Sky Sports F1) What are the chances?

LH: I mean, I don’t know. We’ll see.

Q: (Craig Slater – Sky Sports) Just picking up on that, Lewis. I mean, Adrian Newey’s pretty much, for all your career, been in the opponent category for you. Could you sum up maybe how tough an opponent he’s been? And even if he doesn’t join another team, do you think him leaving Red Bull changes the competitive landscape?

LH: Well, just from my perspective, when I joined McLaren, I think it was an evolution of his car. I think I got there just after he left. So that car had evolved from a concept that he had worked on. So I felt privileged that I’d had the chance to touch something that he had worked on. Racing against a team that he’s been so heavily a part of through the years has been a massive challenge, but I think we just always need to remember that there’s a lot of people in the background and there is not one key person that… It’s not one person, it’s a whole team of people who do the job. So you can imagine for all the amazing experience that he brings to the team, the people that he works with will continue to do an amazing job. And I don’t anticipate Red Bull not continuing to build great cars moving forward. But any team would be fortunate to have the opportunity to work with him.

Q: (Roldán Rodriguez – DAZN Spain) A question to Lewis. Watching your records, that are amazing, I would love to know where you find your motivation. Where are you focused to?

LH: Thank you. Well, I think it’s the idea that you can always improve. It’s the idea that there’s always something better or there’s better days up ahead. I generally really love working with people and having that human interaction, the collaboration, the emotional roller coaster you go on with a group of people is quite extraordinary. And when you have the highs, you experience it all together. It’s not just an individual sport. So it’s those. And then I generally love what I do. I’ve loved it since I was a kid. It still remains a dream. I’m still very conscious of how fortunate I am to be here. There’s only 20 of us that have a role here driving in this sport. And it is a real privilege for us. And I’m conscious of how hard my family worked for it. So I’m trying to make sure I do them proud always.

Q: (Albert Fabrega – ESPN LATAM) Question for you all. In China, the first Sprint weekend was run. Did you feel comfortable with the new format opening the Parc Fermé after the Sprint race? And do you think this is the format that should stay for the future?

Valtteri BOTTAS: I have to say, actually, I probably preferred the old format myself, because there was only one practice and the qualifying straight after was for the main race. So there was a bit more at stake. And as well as with the set-up, you wouldn’t have the second chance to adjust it. So I liked that a bit before what we had last year.

Logan SARGEANT: We all agree. I think if I was just to add anything, I would just prefer having a Sprint quali and then having the GP quali the next morning. I don’t think it’s great having a Sprint race where you’re much slower than a qualifying lap and then straight to quali.

Oscar PIASTRI: Yeah, I would say the same. I felt a little bit weird having the Sprint race, because it’s obviously a race in itself, kind of, and then preparing again for qualifying kind of feels like the race should be, I guess, the end of the day. But I think opening up Parc Fermé was a good thing for the drivers and the engineers. I’m not sure the mechanics appreciated it that much, but I think to repeat some of the stuff that happened last year, you know, with like, Lewis and Charles getting disqualified, I think we don’t want to see people getting disqualified because they set their ride heights a bit wrong and they can’t change. I think that was a good step forward. But yeah, that’s it.

Sergio PEREZ: I think one big point from Oscar is about opening the Parc Fermé I think puts a lot of workload on the mechanics and I think it’s something that we really have to look at it. It’s 24 weekends a season and with these Sprint races I think it’s a lot of load on our mechanics. So I think whether we look at it, change the format a bit to basically try to look after our people a little bit more as a sport, I think that’s something really to look at it.

Lance STROLL: I agree.

Q: With what point?

LSt: With everything.

Q: Lewis? 

LH: I concur.

Q: You both agree? With Valtteri? 

LH: With Lance.

Q: (Tim Hauraney – TSN) Question for Lewis. Lewis, obviously you have your obligations with Mercedes, but off track, are you monitoring a lot what’s going on with Ferrari and what they’re doing? Are you in constant communication with the team?

LH: I mean, I continue to have a good relationship with John and Fred, so we speak regularly. But no, I’m not actually in touch with the team. And of course, I observe from afar, but the full focus is on how can we beat them right now. How can we win. So that’s where all my energy is going.

Q: (Margot Lafitte – Canal+) Question for Lewis, but I would be delighted if other drivers want to answer. I don’t know if we have enough time. Lewis, we’re doing some footage on how to deal with celebrity. And I was wondering how it impacted your day-to-day life, your day-to-day activities. Recently, Kylian Mbappé said he was losing spontaneity in his life. Is that something you feel? Is that something that impacts you?

LH: No, I’m pretty spontaneous. I think it’s an interesting journey. It’s definitely not all you thought it would be. As a kid, when you see people on TV and you’re like, ‘oh, it must be cool. This must happen and this must happen, having money, and all these different things’. But it’s not all great. And I think over time you just learn how to handle it. And I think ultimately at some stage you realise that it’s not really about you. It’s a platform to do good, and so if you just have the right intentions then you can actually have a real positive impact and I think that’s really what it’s mostly for.

Q: (Alex Kalinauckas – Autosport) Question to Lewis, please. The driver you’re replacing next year at Ferrari, Carlos Sainz, I just wondered, what do you make of him as a driver, as a person, as a rival on track?

LH: I’ve got a lot of respect for Carlos. And I think it’s been great to see his progress as a driver. I think he’s been doing an amazing job, obviously this year particularly. And yeah, I just continue to see the great bond he has with his dad, which I can relate to. And I mean, from an outside space, he seems like a very straightforward person, quite funny. Yeah, that’s as far as it goes in terms of how much I know him.

Q: (Samuel Pancher – Metropoles) This week, we remember 30 years since the loss of the great Ayrton Senna. I’d like to hear from the drivers how this figure still inspires you, especially those who has this strong connection with Brazil? 

LH: I mean, I think it’s a difficult one. I’ve said so much about Ayrton, so I don’t really have any more to say other than that he remains in all of our hearts and within the sport and is still such a role model. And his family, I think, is doing a great job with the foundation, still helping kids. But yeah, there’s nothing else I can really say that I haven’t already said.

Q: (Safid Deen – USA Today) For Lewis, how have you dealt with the awkwardness of this year, answering about your future team maybe more than your present team, telling fans Mercedes caps, not Ferrari caps, and even the awkwardness of today with Newey? How have you dealt with all of this? And it’s going to be a long year, too, for the rest of this year. How do you cope with that?

LH: I’ve never been in this situation before, so it’s a unique scenario. On one side, I’m really excited for turning up and working with my guys, and then I’m excited for the future at the same time. And also, just in terms of how fans have responded, it’s been great, because I’m kind of mingling with fans from both teams. But, you know, right now my heart’s still with Mercedes and I really want to continue to deliver and lift them up. That’s not only my job, but my desire this year. And as difficult as it’s been, we still rally together and I’m really proud of everyone that I’m working with. And I’m really hoping that the year gets better. I don’t want to say it can’t get worse, but I definitely think we will improve.

Q: (Phil Duncan – PA) Good timing, Lewis with the previous question. You’re obviously moving to Ferrari with the hope of capturing the record eighth world title. Does the prospect of Adrian joining you, does that give you renewed hope or greater hope I guess that you can turn that dream into reality? 

LH: Right now nothing changes because nothing’s like… I don’t know what’s happening in the future. All I know is that I’m joining a team that’s massively enthusiastic and driven, and as I said, doing a great job now and have amazing history and there’s nothing really changed so far.

Q: (Tom Carey – The Daily Telegraph) Lewis, just on Adrian again, you said any team would be fortunate to work with him. Do you expect that Mercedes will try, or should they try, given the troubles they’ve had the last few years, do you think Adrian might be exactly what they need?

LH: I have no idea if they are trying. I don’t know who is trying. I can’t tell you.

Q: (Rosanna Tennant – BBC Radio 5 Live) A question for Lewis. During your negotiations with Ferrari, was Adrian Newey ever mentioned? Was his name ever discussed? Or is it only since the Christian Horner allegations that he’s become a real possibility?

LH: I can’t tell you. I can’t tell you what was in the discussions.

Q: (Doug Markowitz – Miami New Times) How have you guys all enjoyed being in Miami so far? And how do you plan on spending your time here before or after the race?

LH: I got here two days ago and I love being here. I get to go on the water and the weather, as I said, is great. I came from New York which was beautiful weather on one day but then raining the next day, so it’s nice to have that consistent sun and just in general met so many people and they’re all excited for the weekend which is good.

Q: (Jenna Fryer – Associated Press) Lewis, Angela Cullen has recently resurfaced in the IndyCar garage. She’s working with a second-year Kiwi, a skinny little kid. She’s put some weight on him, some muscle on him. His performance has picked up on track. He’s doing much better than he did last year. I’m just wondering, why do you think Ang wants to be back in that scenario? What drives her and wants to work with drivers?

LH: I think she’s a healer. She’s a positive person. Her purpose is to bring love to everyone that she meets, which she does. And she’s passionate about sports. And I think she’s really enjoying it. a different environment, but still racing. And I think from her time here, she became such a passionate racing fan. And so I think once you catch the bug, it’s hard to get out of it. And why should she? She belongs in the sport. And yeah, she’s definitely very, very happy right now.

Source: FIA.com

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