(Conducted by David Coulthard)
Q: Lewis, maybe not the result you wanted today but nonetheless still a strong result for the championship.
Lewis HAMILTON: Yeah, well, firstly congratulations. Their car was far superior this weekend and there was nothing we really could do about it. I gave it absolutely everything and even obviously a great fight with Sergio at the end, but I am really grateful I was able to at least get a second.
Q: The atmosphere here is quite special isn’t it? The support for Checo. You saw him coming towards you at the end of the grand prix, how worried were you about that pressure?
LH: Well, I mean the pressure… I’ve had that many times before so it was easy to hold on. But it just shows how fast their car was when Sergio was that close behind me and able to follow that closely. He did a great job, so he was applying that pressure and kept going, but I really enjoyed the race still.
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Q: Lewis, coming on to you. Well done to you as well. As you said a moment ago, you gave it everything out there. How do you sum up your race?
LH: Yeah, well, I mean, it was fairly lonely until the end. Obviously not a lot that I could do really about the pace that Max was able to put in. I think they were close to half-a-second, I think it was, a lap, something like that, and I couldn’t really match that with also trying to manage the tyres. So, I think on, in the Friday night we thought they would be two-tenths faster or something in the race but it was I think a little bit more today. And then obviously at the end trying to keep the second Red Bull behind… it was difficult, of course, I mean I’m used to pressure so that wasn’t the issue. It was just that it was the last couple of laps, my tyres were falling off and so for sure it was difficult and Sergio did a great job but they have clearly got some amazing pace this weekend and particularly today. So, I’m just grateful that I was able to stay in between them and get as many points as I could for the team. And we live to fight another day.
Q: And that run to Turn 1. Three wide.
LH: Yeah, I mean I was… I’d envisaged it differently, naturally, in the sense that if Valtteri had maybe got a better start then I would have tried to get into his tow. But obviously I was alongside him, which was good, and then I was just covering my side of the track, making sure no-one could come up the inside, so I was trying to keep whichever Red Bull I could see in my mirror behind. And I thought Valtteri would be doing the same – but obviously he left the door open for Max and Max was on the racing line, so did a mega job braking into Turn 1. Because I’m on the inside and on the dirt, there was no hope for me.
Q: You lost your team-mate at Turn 1. How much harder did that make your race?
LH: Yeah, I mean it made the race a lot harder, naturally. I think having one car ahead and one car in, just means they can play on the strategy and Sergio, I think, was super-close, I think, within that first stint and I couldn’t really pull away from him, so it was a moment where they were either going to undercut us or we were going to undercut them, so we stopped, which… yeah, I think the team did a great job. It was just we didn’t have really much left on the tyres at the end but yeah, where there’s a will, there’s a way. We managed to just keep them behind. One more lap, I think it would have been over, but yeah, I’m happy that I still got second.
Q: And Lewis, what about Brazil. Max thinks it might be closer there. What do you think?
LH: I need to go back and check. I mean, there’s still four races, there’s still… obviously 19 points is a lot of points and I think, was that your ninth or 10th win? So, you know, he’s had a lot of wins this year. Yeah, I think today with their superior speed, if they were to carry that into the next ones then we may be in trouble – or we will be in trouble – but if we… I don’t know if they’ll be wearing… be using that huge wing that they had on today, naturally we’ll find out when we get there but I hope we’re closer.
QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Q: (Andrew Benson – BBC Sport) Lewis, do you feel that you have to win in Brazil now, because if you don’t Max’s lead will be more than a clear win, with three races to go?
LH: Well, I naturally feel I need to be winning every race, because we need those extra points, not to lose those points, to try and regain, that was the goal going into the last race and the race before that and before that and here this weekend. But it just, you know, they’re just too quick, so giving it absolutely everything we’ve got but unfortunately it’s not enough at the moment to compete with them.
Q: (Alex Kalinauckas – Autosport) Lewis, you said on your team radio after Turn 1 under the safety car that “we’ve got to sort our braking out, that was crazy”. I just wondered if you could explain what you meant there? Was there a problem that cost you in Turn 1 when it came to the braking?
LH: I mean, braking’s been an issue for me all weekend but yeah, I mean, I’ve been… went on twice in Turn 1 through practice, qualifying, locking, just our car, for some reason, this weekend has been quite poor in that area and that’s a particular area in which they’re a lot stronger than us but of course when you put more load on the car, it does help but we couldn’t match them load-wise in terms of wing setting this weekend.