16 de janeiro de 2008 | 15h52
Mais tarde vou comentar o último dia de treinos em Jerez, hoje. Por enquanto, fique com a transcrição da entrevista de Lewis Hamilton, realizada ainda há pouco, no circuito. Como ontem, o texto está em inglês.
Q&A WITH LEWIS HAMILTON
Q – How would you sum up your day?
A – It was a bit of a difficult day because of the weather, but in the end we managed to do a good amount of work, so it was a good day.
Q – Did you feel it was more dangerous to drive in these conditions without the traction control?
A – No.
Q – Were you impressed with Alonso’s fastest time yesterday?
A – Was that with the old car? Good for them…
Q – What was your programme for this week?
A – Actually I only tested for one day, so I was focusing on getting used to drive without traction control, on managing the tyres without the electronic aids.
Q – Do you also feel a big difference on the starts?
A – The initial momentum hasn’t changed, as we’re still quick off the line, but it’s the second part, when we have to put the power down, that is quite different from last year.
Q – How did you approach this day of testing with a wet track?
A – Basically we had to take it step by step because the track was so slippery. And without traction control our life is made more difficult, but we all are getting used to it, so it’s not a problem.
Q – Do you expect the coming season to be decided between Kimi Raikkonen and yourself?
A – We’ll see.
Q – Do you have to change your driving style in the wet now that you don’t have the electronic aids?
A – I wouldn’t say anyone needs to change the driving style, but there’s a lot more things to do to control the car. You have a lot less engine braking and this makes a huge difference in the way you brake and approach the corners. I think the lap times will be the same, but life will be trickier for us and it will be easier to make mistakes.
Q – What is more difficult to adapt to, the lack of traction control or the lack of engine braking assistance?
A – Probably it’s the lack of traction control. Obviously driving this way is more natural, but still it takes a bit of time to adapt to the new needs of the car. As a team we have to understand how to make the best use of the power available.
Q – After one week of running how do you see the evolution of the MP4/23?
A – I wouldn’t say it’s a week. I’ve had two and a half days in the car, but we’ve got up to a pretty good start and compared to last year we’ve made an improvement. We’ve got good reliability as yesterday both drivers did 120 plus laps, which is very good at the stage of the season. We’re moving in the right direction, but we need to keep on pushing.
Q – Do you feel this car is a big improvement compared to last year’s car?
A – I think it’s too early to say that.
Q – What do you need to do to improve the car?
A – As I said, we just need to keep on chipping away. I think the car is an evolution of the MP4/22, so it feels very similar, but we’ve got some different bits that make it feel better and I’m sure we’ll get some new parts in the next few weeks that will make it even better.
Q – Compared to this time last year, how much better prepared do you feel now?
A – A lot. I need what I need, I know when I need a rest, I know how many days of testing I need to do, I know how much training I need to do, I’m fitter now that I was this time last year and going into the first race I know the circuit, so it makes life a little bit easier. But still it is a big challenge for me and the team.
Q – Last year McLaren started the season relying more on Alonso – because of his experience – for the development of the car. Do you feel this responsibility now lays in your shoulders?
A – No, I think we share the responsibility throughout the team quite equally, me, Heikki and also Pedro. We share it quite equally and I think that although our driving styles are not the same, we all contribute with our input to the team and so far it’s working quite well.
Q – What happened when you went off twice?
A – It was just wet and I touched the kerb under braking. I just went into the edge of the gravel, but it would be good if we could have proper run-off areas here. In both cases I just locked the rears and spun. You see, without those electronic controls to assist with the engine braking, there’s a lot more locking of the rear wheels. That’s what happens when you’re pushing and you’re on the limit.
Q – Was it a problem with not having traction control?
A – No, because it was under braking that I lost the car and in this case it was the lack of engine braking assistance that caught me out. The loss of traction control brings back the driving to a more natural process but it also takes time to get used to.
Q – Do you think that Renault will have the potential to fight for some race wins now that Fernando Alonso has moved back there?
A – I don’t know, but I think that as a team they have the potential to push for themselves and with all the drivers pushing together I hope they’ll get close to the front of the field, challenging for wins.
Q – Do you expect the fight to be between McLaren and Ferrari or do you expect Renault and BMW to be up there too?
A – It’s too early to say as this is only the second week of testing.