F1 Brazil Grand Prix - Saturday Post-qualifying press conference.
DRIVERS 1 – Lewis HAMILTON (McLaren) 2 – Jenson BUTTON (McLaren) 3 – Mark WEBBER (Red Bull Racing)
Q: Lewis, a fantastic pole position, it must give you great satisfaction, particularly in your final Grand Prix with McLaren. Lewis HAMILTON: Yeah, absolutely. It's been a good weekend so far. Grateful to be able to put the car on the front row and to have the last one-two in qualifying with Jenson in the same team. Just a fantastic job by the team - so grateful for all the opportunities they've given me. I hope that we can turn it into something really positive tomorrow.
Q: Jenson, you've obviously been very quick all weekend and starting on the front row of the grid, now. Well done. Jenson BUTTON: Thank you, yeah, it was a pretty good lap. I'm not going to point at areas where you lose or gain time. It was a good time but Lewis's was half a tenth quicker. Very happy to be on the front row as the last couple of races have been a bit tricky in qualifying. So yeah, good, as Lewis said, it's great to both be on the front row for his last Grand Prix for the team. The team's in great shape at the moment and it's a pity things have got to change, but things do change.
Q: Mark, third on the grid, obviously you have your teammate and championship contender Sebastian Vettel alongside you; question is how can you/will you help for the championship tomorrow? Mark WEBBER: Well, I think we focus on ourselves tomorrow, do the cleanest race I can. We know there may be some tricky weather tomorrow. It's a long Grand Prix and I'll be focused 100 percent on my efforts in my cockpit and get to the finish line as quick as possible.
Q: Back to Lewis; obviously you won the last Grand Prix last weekend, fantastic pace last weekend, what are the chances tomorrow? LH: Well, I think the weather is going to be tricky tomorrow so it's definitely going to make it more of a lottery but I think, as Jenson said, we've put ourselves in a really good position and we are just going to do the best job we can from there and work together as a team, the best we have been for quite some time, so we will make sure we will do absolutely everything to get the top result.
Lewis, first time on pole here. You mentioned the weather just now. Have you made any allowances for that? Is there anything in the set-up for that? Or is it too much of a gamble to go for a wet set-up with high downforce? LH: Generally nowadays you don’t even really have much of a wet set-up. It’s not like in karting when you soften everything off. The set-up in the dry and the wet is very, very similar – apart from ride heights maybe. We’ve just set the car to attack the qualifying and we don’t know what the hell… what’s going to happen tomorrow. We just have to wait and see, make sure we get our tyre pressures right, make sure we get the tyre temperatures right and the brake temperatures and try to steer clear of any big puddles.
Starting in front is obviously the best thing if it is wet. Do you want it to be wet? LH: I don’t mind. I love driving in the rain. Here in Brazil it’s quite a special race for the rain… [it’s special] even in the dry. But I’m massively happy to be… every year I’ve generally qualified fourth since 2007, I think one year I was 18th, so I’m really happy not to be on that fourth spot. Who’s there? I don’t know, I guess Sebastian will be there, so he’ll experience what I’ve experienced in the past.
Jenson, your best grid position here as well in 12 grands prix so that must be good for you. What sort of race is it tomorrow for you? Is it try and beat Lewis, is it a team race, what do you think? JB: We’re there to win the grand prix as I think every driver it, unless it’s team-mates fighting for the world championship. So, we both want to win the race tomorrow, that’s the aim for both of us. So we’ll see what we can do. The car seems to be working very well in the dry, our long-run pace is pretty good, but as you said, there’s a massive chance of rain tomorrow and that just throws it up in the air for us, it’s quite exciting for two people, their stress levels are gong to be through the roof. But for us starting near the front it’s hopefully going to be a very exciting race. We just have to hope that the rain level is OK for us to actually race. That’s always the worry here in Interlagos.
Mark, what are you looking forward to in terms of conditions? MW: Well, we know Interlagos can be very hit and miss, the little showers can just generate from anywhere and surprise you pretty quickly, the guys on the pit wall. We could have a little bit of both tomorrow, we could even run all three sets of tyres, in terms of wets, inters and slicks at some stage. So, obviously I think it will be pretty humid tomorrow as well. I think the ambient is going to be quite cool but the humidity will help dry the circuit out in some cases. We need to keep our eyes open tomorrow and be ready for everything because that’s what can happen around here. So looking forward to whatever it is. It’s going to be a good final grand prix of the year, looking forward to getting a really good result.