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Lewis, a fantastic race for you, absolutely fantastic, under pressure all the time it seemed.Lewis Hamilton: Yeah, these are the kind of grands prix, the races you win like this, where you're under intense pressure from great drivers like Romain and Kimi - for me it's a great reminder of the old days with Kimi - and this is the kind of day when you have to have your mind 100 per cent and I feel great because the team didn't flinch and neither did I.
Great pitstops as well.LH: The first one wasn't spectacular but the last one was very, very quick. We had a problem in the first pit stop, I think with the left rear, but otherwise we didn't lose too much time there. But the second pit stop was fantastic.
Was there any temptation to go for a third stop?LH: The team were talking about it. The plan was to do a two-stop but, you know, I had my target laps and the team weren't confident that I was going to make it to those laps but I knew I would. In my second stint I could have gone longer but they wanted to cover the guys behind which was probably the right thing to do. So, as we did that, then it was just trying to make those tyres last a long time while keeping this guy [Räikkönen] behind. Which as you know, they are absolutely rapid, these guys. So, you know, if we were on another track where overtaking was much easier I think perhaps the result would have been different.
They seemed to catch and then drop back. How close was anyone ever coming to overtaking?LH: He was never really close enough. I purposely allowed him to close up in certain corners, so that he may have problems with his tyres eventually - but it didn't look like it was going to happen. But I had to make sure I saved my speed for the last sector and made sure I drew a big enough gap in the last three corners and I did that every lap. I could see it was very difficult for them to follow, particularly through those areas, so it was important to make sure you maximise, especially with the DRS.
Did you have a chance Kimi, with the DRS?Kimi Raikkonen: Ah, no. It was not so bad to follow through the last corner but you're, I don't know, one second later on the power every time so they just pull too far away and the straight is not long enough and the others are too fast. So it didn't really give you any chance. My only chance was that they would run out of the tyres and then you will have a chance - but that never happened, so we probably should have had 20 more laps - and then it would have happened.
So, are you happy with second place or did you feel you could have won it?KR: I didn't, so there's no point to worry about it. I had an OK start but then we had an issue with the KERS and I only could use 50 per cent and I lost one position to Fernando, so the first few laps were not really good because we were trying to get the KERS working. After that it was OK but the same situation with Alonso, I was stuck behind him and just tried to save my tyres and push once we got the clear circuit. It seemed to work both times and we gained a lot of time on those few laps.
And what about the time you came out of the pits and found yourself alongside Romain?KR: Yeah. The team told me it's going to be very close and I made a mistake with the pit lane speed limiter so it meant maybe five metres after the line I was still on it, so I thought that I really didn't do a very good job out of there - but luckily it was enough gap and we were side-by-side in the first corner, but I could keep my position quite easily at that point. But it was one of those things: we had a lot of speed but just couldn't use it in all the race.
How was that moment for you Romain?Romain Grosjean: It just happens. Unfortunately, I got stuck behind another car, which had been [blue] flagged but didn't let me past in this lap. I lost 1.5 seconds. I wasn't very happy at that stage to be honest because I had been fighting for the win the whole race with Lewis and suddenly you get stopped by something you cannot really manage. Basically it was close with Kimi. He did what he had to do to not let me pass. I went a little bit on the outside and got the marbles on the tyres and then I struggled to recover. It is what it is.
And it was pretty close with Sebastian in the first corner of the first lap as well?RG: Yeah, it was the same story as with Kimi. Kimi was inside of my [car] and I was inside of Sebastian. So it was all right.
How close were you? The gap seemed to go out and come back when you were behind Lewis.RG: It's really difficult to follow another car here, to be close and not do any mistakes. When I was following Lewis sometimes I was losing a little bit the grip of my tyres. Then I had to recover a little bit. Our first pit stop was a disaster. The second one was OK. We didn't get the chance to jump in on the pit stop strategy. I think that was the only key today because overtaking is really too difficult. You can feel that you're sliding tyres, losing the grip, sliding more and it gets worse and worse. So it's very difficult to follow.
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