Lewis Hamilton at the post 2021 French GP Press Conference

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

Here is the transcript of the post 2021 French Grand Prix track interviews and press conference featuring Lewis Hamilton!

TRACK INTERVIEWS

(Conducted by Martin Brundle)

Q: Well d. Lewis, second place; you tried your best. Somehow you were finding some speed and some pace out of those tyres towards the end but it wasn’t quite enough.

Lewis HAMILTON: No. Congrats to Max, he did a great job today. They just had better strength all weekend and just considering that we had such a difficult Friday I’m really happy with today’s result. Of course we didn’t win and we were in the lead but I had no tyres left at the end and unfortunately lost the position. But still, it was a good race.

Q: It was a great race to watch. You two head-to-head. If that’s what we are going to be one of the all-time great seasons.

LH: Yeah, we’ve got to find some pace, that’s for sure. Most of the time we lost today was just on the straights. We’ve definitely got to dig deep, try to find out what that is – whether it’s power or drag. But we’ve still got a good package. I’m not really sure how we lost position today…

Q: Well, the undercut was really powerful.

LH: Sure. Well, we didn’t know how strong that was going to be or not. What was really surprising was to run out of that front tyre so early on but obviously they had a good strategy and it worked really well for him.

Q: When Max pitted for the second time what were your thoughts then?

LH: He was already quite far ahead so the only option I really had was to stay out, because again he was undercutting me, so he would come out ahead and I wouldn’t be able to get past as they were too quick on the straights. The only option was to stay out as long as possible and hope the tyres held together.


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PRESS CONFERENCE

Q: Lewis, coming to you, this felt like a reversal of Barcelona a few weeks back. You were the one being hunted down this time. Just how gut-wrenching was it to lose the race so close to the end?

LH: It’s not gut-wrenching at all. I think we did a great job today. It just didn’t work out but I don’t particularly feel… I’m not massively disappointed. I think I did the best job I could today and, of course there were things we could have done slightly better but overall they’ve been quicker than us all weekend so it’s a true reflection of the pace they have. And so… yeah.

Q: Given where you started the weekend and the changes you had to make prior to qualifying, how much better did the car feel in the race?

LH: Compared to practice I wouldn’t say that it felt much better. In the race, as Max was saying, it was gusty, it was slippery, so it was quite tricky out there with the conditions and so I would say today, condition-wise, it was worse for us and that made it really challenging from all the way around the lap. It was just inconsistent all the way around the lap.

Q: And Lewis, given the pace of the Red Bull today, do you think a more aggressive strategy could have made any difference? Could anything have made any difference to the end result, do you think?

LH: I’m sure if we look, with hindsight, for sure if we had stopped earlier, before they had stopped, come out ahead, and just gone onto a two-stop, probably could have won the race – but it would have still been very difficult. Their pace was generally very, very strong. I was able to keep them at bay when he was behind me but if he had not made a mistake in Turn 1, they would have just led the race all the way, probably.



VIDEO CONFERENCE

Q: (Christian Nimmervoll – motorsport.com) Lewis, first of all, what a thrilling race. In the first reaction on Sky, in his analysis, Nico Rosberg said he was a bit surprised looking at it from the outside that you didn’t defend any harder against Max when he passed you. Was there anything more you could have done in that situation – or was that just an indication of how much your tyres were gone – and with the benefit of hindsight, do you think that the two-stopper would have been worth trying.

LH: Firstly, there’s marbles on the inside, so I didn’t want to make my tyres any worse than they already were. He had the DRS open, so if he didn’t pass me there, he would have passed me the straight afterwards, so it would have made zero difference and I just had no front end, so he would have got me either way. It was pointless to defend any harder. I think you saw what happened to Valtteri – just ended up going straight on. So, there was no point messing up the tyres any more. Two-stop, probably… two-stop would potentially have done the job but it was not on the cards at all for us, so we’ll do some analysis and try to figure out why.

Q: (Alex Kalinauckas – Autosport) It just seems that lots of drivers today found their tyre degradation quite unexpectedly high. I just wondered what you thought the reason behind that was. Was it because there was rain on the track in the morning? Temperatures were cooler today.

LH: Not really sure why. Obviously the other day was hotter, so maybe you would assume maybe on the hotter track you would have more deg. Cooler today – I have no idea but the deg was much bigger than anyone in my team thought that it would be.

Q: (Andrew Benson – BBC Sport) And Lewis, I would love your thoughts on this moment in the race and your pit stop was 2.2s, so…

LH: Good pit stop, yeah, great pit stop, great effort by the lads. I don’t know. I will have to go back and look at it but in that, I was definitely down on my in lap, my tyres were getting worse so not really much more to add.

Q: (Alan Baldwin – Reuters) Lewis, how do you feel about two races at the Red Bull Ring coming up?

LH: It’s a power-hungry circuit, got those long long straights so we could see something similar to this weekend, obviously with the straightline speed of the Red Bull but we’ve got three days to try and see if we can make any adjustments and improvements and maybe if we maximise absolutely everything maybe we can give them a run for their money.

Source: FIA.com

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