Podium Interviews - Conducted by Eddie Jordan
Singapore, what an unbelievable race, particularly after the rain started. We were served up a titanic. Ladies and gentlemen, he looks exhausted...
Lewis Hamilton: I'm not exhausted.
He's not exhausted. That doesn't look like champagne to me, Obviously, you've made a bit of history here, you really like coming to Singapore, it's the tenth anniversary, your third win here, come on, tell me about it.
LH: Well, firstly, as always I want to really congratulate my team, this is a great result. Valtteri did a fantastic to get a one and a three up here - amazing points for the team. Obviously, yesterday we struggled. We had no idea what was going to happen today but the thing is we just tried to stay focused and tried to get ahead. Obviously it was very fortunate with the Ferraris at the beginning, so yeah, I couldn't be happier. I'm really grateful.
I've got to ask you this, because we interviewed him yesterday and he said that he needed a miracle today. Well, I think he had Santa Claus, the reindeer and he had the miracle. Come on, tell me, this was just out of heaven!
LH: Yeah, God blessed me today for sure. I capitalised on the incident... I mean who would have know that would happen. Really unfortunate for the Ferraris but it was, as I said, a really great result for the team. Daniel put up a really good fight today, I enjoyed racing him. I was hoping I would get to race with Sebastian at the beginning...
Come on, you don't mean that. You were just seeing what was going on in front of you. It was classic for your 60th win.
LH: It was, but when I got round to Turn 2 or Turn 3, I had Sebastian in front and I thought 'I'm going to have a real race here'. Obviously it's better the way it is, but I'm just glad I brought it home.
We'll come back to you, but just enjoy the 28-point lead you have in the championship at the moment. Daniel Ricciardo: he's made a bit of a habit of this. This is his fourth time, out of 10 years, his fourth time on the podium. What is it about Singapore?
Daniel Ricciardo: I can't win the bloody thing! I'm trying; I'm trying. I like it around here. Today, we probably didn't show that Friday pace we showed in practice to have the pace on the Mercedes. A little bit disappointed to miss out on a win but I've still got to be pretty grateful and happy with another podium and I think there are more Aussies here than last year and there was more then than the year before, so it's getting better. Thanks a lot.
We've got to ask you because it was one of the key factors of the entire race. What was your take on it - without blaming anybody?
DR: I just kind of watched the chaos unfold in front of me. It was probably a good thing I had a bad start, otherwise I would probably have got caught up in it. It just looked like three were trying to go into one. I don't know whose fault it was but it was just too close.
We know that Lewis won driver of the day but you've got the fans here on your side, man, and many congratulations. Fantastic. Where's Valtteri? Valtteri, you had a Sunday evening cruise. You were just sitting back in your armchair watching what was going to happen?
Valtteri Bottas: Yeah, of course it was, for us, very good damage limitation today. We definitely got lucky, but I have to say the car was working better than expected today. I was really waiting for the opportunities. Personally, I struggled in the wet with the pace, but in the dry it was pretty good and from time to time I could put pressure on Daniel but that was about it.
I've got to talk about your own championship. You're closing that gap now to Sebastian. That must be in the back of your mind, with all these races to come?
VB: Definitely. There are plenty of races to come and plenty of opportunities, so yeah, definitely Sebastian is the next target.
Were you aware, in all the 10 years here, we have yet to have a team 1-2 here and we thought today you might be the first to break that duck. You fought very hard but it didn't happen. Did you have that in the back of your mind or did you know about it?
VB: No I didn't really think about it. I was just trying to get the most out of it. I think we take it, although it's not a 1-2, but on a difficult circuit for us a 1-3 is nearly perfect.
Lewis I've got to say to you, when you saw what was unfolding in front of you, what was going through your mind?
LH: You're just focused on winning so I was just trying to get to the front...
Yeah, but you said yesterday that you needed a miracle...
LH: I needed it to rain. As soon as it rained I knew where I was going to finish. I knew I had the pace when it rains. Unfortunately we just didn't have the car in the dry. But today, with it raining, those are my conditions, so...
Lewis, many congratulations. Third win here in Singapore, seventh of the season, perhaps an even more satisfying number, 60th career win, only the second man to reach that number, third win in a row and obviously lots of fun going on to your side? Great win against the odds. I think the real thing is that you seemed to have an answer for everything. Whatever the conditions, whether it was used inters, new inters on Daniel's car, ultrasofts, you just always seemed to have answer. Just give us a window into your state of mind when he was on the new inters and you were on the used and it was looking as though you might not have the right equipment on the car.
LH: I feel like we distracted you. Have we distracted you? That was a very long-winded question. For those of you watching - we're all a bit gassy up here. That's why we are in tears. Yeah, what a day. What can I say? When it start raining when I woke up this morning, I was thinking, 'fantastic', because it's a very difficult circuit on which to overtake. Being fifth, knowing that the Red Bulls and the Ferraris were so quick, on a grippy circuit, being dry, I knew it would be very, very difficult to progress from fifth place. But I did know there is a start, a strategy, and the potential for a safety car, that often happens here every year. It dried up and it started to rain just as I started, which was really a real blessing. Those are my conditions, that I love to drive in. Once we got going... I felt like I had a good start, but I think Kimi had an incredible launch and then I saw this commotion happening, I was alongside Daniel. I had a great Turn 1 and came out behind Sebastian. I couldn't really see what had happened behind. And then I came out of Turn 3 and I was just excited to race Sebastian. I was like: 'it's on; I'm ready.' But then he had a problem with the car or whatever it was and he lost control. Then I was in the lead and the safety car came out. After that it was about managing the tyres. Daniel had that stop, which was a bit of a surprise to me that you could have a free stop and be behind me on brand new tyres. But I think... if you remember back in 2008 in Monaco, I just nursed the tyres. We often shred our intermediate tyres and the Red Bulls are usually very, very good on them, so today was just about making sure we managed them to the maximum. I was able to keep them cool and not have any degradation. Even at the end when I pitted I still had life left in the tyres, which is very, very rare. After that we had a great battle. It was quite tricky conditions when we went back out but it was really just about managing the gap. I ha da good amount of pace in the car today, it seemed to work in those trickier, cooler, slippier conditions, so a real blessing and just grateful for the team, grateful for all of the effort that went in, strategy. I'm happy with the performance from myself and Valtteri did a fantastic job as well to really solidify some really great points from the team.
And just a thought on the big 6-0? Only the second man to reach 60 grands prix wins and what a way to do it.
LH: Oh jeez, I hadn't even realised. And I didn't hear you say that before. Wow. I guess I need some time to digest it. These kind of wins are a lot more satisfying than pole to win or... these wins when it is those tricky conditions. It is the toughest race for us. There are so many white line that are painted white and also painted black, it's so tricky. Any little mistake. Plus, all I needed to was bring it home, but I've got Daniel behind me, I can't make any mistakes today, so it was a real challenge today but one I thoroughly enjoyed.
Very well done - great win. Daniel, all OK?
DR: Better now. I feel our battle here was bigger than the battle on track. We're doing our own version of beatboxing.
Another Singapore podium, but not the victory. You rolled the dice and went for those new intermediates and did you think it was going to gibe you more. Basically, where did the pace go? It didn't seem that in any situation today you had the pace to give this guy a hard time.
DR: Yeah, that was probably the most frustrating thing. I mean frustrating not to get that first win here. I think it's three years in a row with second now. Normally I'm happy with a podium, obviously it's great. It's more that we didn't have the pace that we showed on Friday in the long run. We just struggled to look after the tyres. Just felt like when I was able to punch out a good lap time, I couldn't really maintain it, where Lewis could answer and then answer again. So it felt like every time we matched his pace we were taking more out of the tyre. We had a couple of little issues as well. I had to manage the car in some situations with the gearbox and that, but ultimately I don't think it changed the shape of the race. I don't think that was the reason we were second and not first. I have an idea, if we were to do the race again, how to set up the car differently. I feel something we did on the car it would have helped if we went the other way for how the track conditions were, but it was fun nonetheless, you know the beginning, never going around here really in the wet. As Lewis touched on, the lines are so slippery. Even the painted lines that are black, they don't seem like they are line but they are underneath the dark paint and the car kind of slides, grips, slides, grips and just really tricky, Just I guess still happy to come away with a podium. It's not a win but I'll be grateful and still happy with second.
Check out our Sunday gallery from Singapore, here.