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Author Topic: Interview: McLaren's Lewis Hamilton  (Read 1044 times)

davewilson

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Interview: McLaren's Lewis Hamilton
« on: December 03, 2006, 08:31:44 PM »

Lewis Hamilton engaged in his first on-track duties as McLaren's 2007 race driver this week at Barcelona, as he took the MP4-21 to the track from Tuesday to Thursday. Now, Hamilton talks about that three-day test, and the experience of being a race driver in Formula One.

Question: How has your first test as an official Team McLaren Mercedes driver gone?
Lewis Hamilton: I have absolutely enjoyed every moment, I love getting in the car and every time the engine starts up I still have a huge grin on my face. I am living my dream and I couldn't be happier. On a more technical note I have already completed four test days for Team McLaren Mercedes at Silverstone and Jerez but this week there has been a bit of weight lifted off my shoulders and it has been really positive, as I have been able to work together with the team and Pedro to really concentrate on developing the car. The work with the Bridgestone tyres has been positive so far and we have seen some improvements when trying different set-ups, so it is all going in the right direction at the moment.

Q: Did it feel different walking into the garage on your first morning?
LH: Yes it did feel a bit different. The tests that I had done before I had only just finished in GP2, there was nothing announced and I didn't know if I was going to be a test or race driver so it was just a great opportunity. But to come here as the new race driver for 2007, it has meant that I can really knuckle down and work on bonding with the team, my engineer and getting on top of the car and up to pace.

Q: Has the fact that you will be a Team McLaren Mercedes race driver sunk in yet?
LH: It hasn't fully sunk in as it never really hit me at once to be honest. I would say this is a good thing though, as I think it is better for it to just sink in gradually. I am just really enjoying this time at the moment.

Q: There are four months to go until the first race, what is your programme to ensure that you are ready?
LH: This time before Christmas is the period when I will be trying to learn as much as can about the car and about the Bridgestone Potenza tyres. We will be testing at tracks that I know so it will be all about getting as many miles in the car as possible, so that I can really learning all the controls on the cars. It is really important that everything starts to become second nature to me. I will also be concentrating on learning about the set up of the car and what suits me and really just getting to know the team as much as possible.

Q: Has Formula 1 changed your life?
LH: I feel the same really to be honest and I am still just a young driver. My aim was always to drive in Formula 1 and nothing has really changed. The main difference is the interest in me has increased but basically I am just focusing on the job I have to do and really enjoying it all as I have always done.


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