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British GP: Thursday Press Conference

NEWS STORY
03/07/2014

Lewis, if I could start with you: obviously you were on pole here last year, a former winner of the event, I see you've got the Union flag on the underside of the peak on your cap. Your feelings on racing at home and coming home?
Lewis Hamilton: It's always a special weekend or week for us British drivers. Coming here, seeing the fans, already having been at Goodwood and seeing how many people were there and the support that's coming into this weekend. It's very exciting for us and the feeling of being at home is really a great feeling. And the support, as I said, for me and Jenson and the guys here, it's unlike any other place we experience. I'm really excited to see everyone and I hope that we can put on a good show and that the weather stays good.

You spoke after the race in Austria about damage limitation, particularly after what happened in qualifying. Clearly, I guess this weekend you want to start on the front foot and stay there. So I wonder what lessons you've taken away from the setbacks lately?
LH: There's not really many lessons. There's been these two races where we had a technical problem in Montreal and then in the last race I faced some difficulties on the driver side. Sometimes it goes well, sometimes it doesn't, but you're always going from strength to strength, so we've learned some things but nothing we can particularly point out.

OK, thank you for that. Jenson coming to you. Similar question really to the first one to Lewis: the feelings on coming back to the British Grand Prix and racing in front of your home crowd. It's a race you've not won, but you've always enjoyed being here.
Jenson Button: Yeah, it's always very special coming home for this grand prix. I think for every driver Silverstone is a special race. It's a great layout; always a full house, whether it's sunny, hot, raining, windy. But it's especially special for a British driver racing at home. Whether you're doing well or not you get the support. It's been very overwhelming actually the last few days since Goodwood leading into this home grand prix, I think for all of us. So I'm very much looking forward to driving on the circuit tomorrow and seeing the fans.

It's your fifth season with McLaren this year. How do you see things developing from here?
JB: We will see. For me, right now, it's about doing the best job I can. The whole team, us as a team are working every day to do a better job. We're not where we want to be, we're not where McLaren is used to being, and we know that, so we're working very hard. In terms of the future that's something I can't discuss right now.

OK, we'll move on to Felipe: congratulations, I believe it's your 200th grand prix this weekend you will be celebrating. So your thoughts on that and also on his rich run of form at the moment for you and the Williams team?
Felipe Massa: Yeah, I think it's a fantastic race to celebrate [at]. I think it's an important achievement. It's already a long time, when I started in 2002. It's really a great feeling to have 200 races, in a great team, Williams-Martini home grand prix as well, at a great track, fantastic fans. So I hope we can have a very strong race, like we had in Austria, so I hope we carry on fighting [and we are] competitive. So I'm realty happy and I'm really happy with the team I'm celebrating 200 grands prix [with] as well, so I hope we have many races in front. It's a great placed as well. Everybody knows everything about Formula One, everything about racing cars here. Sometimes you just see pictures and you have no idea how fans have amazing pictures like that to sign, that are very close to us. It is a great feeling.

You're kind of unusual I guess to have got to 200 grands prix and it's the first time you've come here racing for a British-base team - that doesn't happen very often. Your thoughts on that, the Britishness of the team and what that represents to the country.
FM: Yeah it's a great team. It's a very important race for me; it's a very important race for Williams as well. For us, me and Valtteri, as well, for the championship. We are working very hard to improve and be better and better race by race and I think that's what we are managing to do and it's really a great feeling and I hope we have a good one.

Valtteri, coming to you. As Felipe was saying obviously it's a good run of form for the Williams team at the moment. You got your first podium a couple of weeks ago in Austria. Do you feel you can take on the Mercedes again this weekend.
Valtteri Bottas: Well, I think overall Mercedes has been performing really, really strongly. It's been difficult to keep up with them in most of the races - I think Austria was maybe a one-off, we will see. We know that we have been improving but you expect everyone else to do as well. It's difficult to say. I think this season, we are going to see, the rest of the season, it's going to vary quite a bit the performance between us and them, so we will see. We will do our best.

After the race in Austria, you always have a debrief, all drivers do with the team, when you went through and looked at everything did you learn anything, were there any mistakes there or were you happy with the way it worked out.
VB: Well, we're definitely happy with the result we got - third and fourth, a lot of points for the team, that's the main thing. I think it's like every race, always if you look into the fine details you can always something, maybe, you could have done better. But the main feeling is very positive. It's really good to continue from here. There have been many opportunities we could have done a lot better in previous races and now we've done a solid job, so that's good to see. We know we can do it, so it's good to continue from here.

Max, coming to you, home race for you as well, of course. What experience did you have last year when it was your first time and what are you looking forward to this weekend?
Max Chilton: I'm just obviously looking forward to another home grand prix. Last year was pretty special. Your first ever home grand prix is something you won't ever forget. I'm probably a little bit biased, but I'd like to think that it is, if not the biggest grand prix of the year, then certainly one of them. It's just awesome to have so many spectators, a lot of them are camping, and waving the Union Jacks. I remember last year, free practice one was typical English, with lot of rain, but they were still there doing the Mexican waves and having amazing spirit, so I just hope we can put on a good show for them this year.

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