Hamilton: Tough to beat Red Bull and Sebastian but we did it
19 November, 2012
Nov.19 (FIA) Lewis Hamilton drove a memorable race to win the United States Grand Prix at the grand and brand new Circuit of the Americas – five years after doing so at Indianapolis – and ensuring that he will have fond memories of his last days with McLaren of which victory in Texas will be right up there with the best of them all as he took on world championship favourite Sebastian Vettel and beat him fair and square, prompting thoughts of how different things could have been had he not been robbed of certain victory in Singapore and Abu Dhabi. He spoke after the race in Austin.
You really tormented Sebastian for most of the race but you have the resolve and did a fabulous race. What I’m interested in, give me some reaction, your reaction to the circuit. Obviously everything’s new, first winner, first time winner and all of that.
Lewis Hamilton: First time winner, yeah, I’m so happy. The fans have been amazing this weekend, so thank you so much. The warm welcome we’ve had has been fantastic and I think this is probably one of the best, if not the best grand prix we’ve had all year. Especially for me and my team, this is so special. It’s been a long, long time since I had a win and I’m just so proud, so proud of the work the guys did, so grateful for the support we’ve had.
An absolutely fantastic drive and victory in a straight fight with Red Bull Racing and with Sebastian. How much satisfaction does that give you?
LH: A huge amount. It’s been a great weekend, to be able to beat Red Bull and Sebastian is definitely a tough challenge but we managed to do it today. I don’t know, we weren’t so bad in the first stint but it was very difficult to follow and to get past. In trying to do so I locked…my tyres went off. We pitted maybe two laps before Sebastian, so then he came out quite far ahead but traffic really worked out quite well for once. Traffic usually catches me out, so I was glad that it worked slightly in my favour at some points. But yeah, what a great feeling to win the first grand prix here, back in the States, I won the last one here as well, so I’m massively proud.
Where was the Red Bull so strong? Because it did take quite a few DRS efforts before you managed to make it.
LH: It was everywhere, they’re pretty strong everywhere. I think it was more so…the first sector is very difficult to follow through Four, Five, Six, Seven, such high speed it’s quite difficult to follow through there. The place where he really extended his gap was the exit of Nine. That was really where, in the most important part, where he made over a second gap, so I was struggling to really get…to remain close. As I said with traffic it all worked out really well. He kind of…I knew that lap would be the lap that I would have a chance, so I turned the engine up and got close.
With what feelings will you go to the last race in Brazil?
LH: For me, it’s excitement that we have a good car and hopefully we can try to compete again with these guys. I’m obviously not fighting for the championship. It’s maybe more exciting for these guys but for me, I’m just having fun.
Welcome to the United States; you had celebration champagne. Are you going to have a celebration barbecue tonight?
LH: I had a few burgers last night so I was nice and heavy today! I tell you what, I’m so happy to be here. We’ve had such a great weekend. I actually don’t really drink. I had a little bit of champagne, it doesn’t really taste that good. Fernando [Alonso] said it was 7-Up or Sprite at the last race, it wasn’t the same this time. Tonight, hopefully I can get together with the team tonight. We already did last night but I’m sure we will celebrate tonight.
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