Q and A with Lewis Hamilton The Olympics has dominated the headlines over the past few weeks, and even the somewhat self-absorbed world of Formula 1 has been paying attention.
In the Valencia paddock on Thursday Lewis Hamilton spoke of his pride at what Team GB has achieved in Beijing before answering questions on the new street race.
Q: How pleased have you been with what the British boys and girls have achieved in Beijing?
Lewis Hamilton: I think they’ve all made us very proud. As you know, it’s the best performance for us in over 100 years so I think it’s fantastic what they’ve all achieved.
Q: I’m sure you’ve been watching as much of it as you can – what has impressed you and what have you found interesting?
LH: When I watch rowing I always find the stamina they have incredible. I’ve been rowing recently and I completely suck at it! The balance that you need and the core stability and everything… Also the cyclists are impressive.
But to see some of the athletes that do not just one sport but two – they have a normal day job and they train so hard and to win two gold medals in two sports I think is pretty incredible.
Q: You must know what it feels like to stand on top of that podium watching the Union Jack flying and hearing the national anthem. Has it given you added motivation to wrap up the title yourself?
LH: I think I understand the feeling of success when you’ve worked so hard for it and you finally get there, but I can’t tell you what it must feel like standing in the Olympic stadium and winning a gold medal. That’s something very, very special.
For sure I’d like to win for the country this year and bring the title home – that’s what I’m working on!
Q: What’s going to be key here this weekend? It’s such an unknown quantity; you’ll still be going for the win I’m sure but it’s important to keep scoring the points now you’re five points clear…
LH: Yeah, it’s definitely important just to keep on bringing the points in. Hopefully we’ll have no more punctures, keep it out of the wall – but we’re here to win and I believe we’re in a good position to do so.
Q: Having won in Australia, Monaco and Canada, are you the street circuit king?
LH: You know me, I would never even say that! But street circuits are my favorite and I do tend to shine on them.
But this is a new one and we’ll have to wait and see. I’m looking forward to this one and Singapore.
Q: Do you feel you got a ‘get out of jail free card’ in Hungary thanks to Massa’s engine failure?
LH: Not really, no. I think everyone has their misfortunes and we were a little bit unlucky with the flat tire.
But I think it was a good weekend. If we’d won there it would have been easy to get carried away and too relaxed, too calm.
I feel quite relaxed [but] also quite energetic and enthusiastic about this weekend.