Sports / Motor news

Lewis Hamilton prefers more pure racing

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-12-15 09:26

BERLIN -- Following is the interview on Lewis Hamilton, the British Formula One world champion in 2008, 2014 and 2015, currently racing for the Mercedes AMG Petronas team.

Lewis Hamilton prefers more pure racing

Mercedes Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton of Britain is pictured during the annual 'Stars & Cars' event in Stuttgart December 12, 2015.[Photo/Agencies]

Q: Let's start with a country far away as this interview is for the Chinese news agency, Xinhua .

A: Oh China, ...well it' s great to hear, you know why? Because of my Chinese fans. There are so many and I love their support.

Q: So you see a future for Formula One in China?

A: As well as the massive support that I see for what I do, there is definitely a future, there's a great track and I really hope that Formula One continues in China. It's great to see so many people that are fascinated by our sport. Great track and great fans, for me it's a great combination. I think there is great potential for racing in China.

Q: Bernie Ecclestone, the biggest shareholder, is bored - at least by the last season when you won your third title?

A: Why should he be bored?

Q: Because Mercedes is winning about every race. He's perhaps missing a serious challenger for Mercedes?

A: Well I am definitely not bored at all. I think every race is a challenge, and you never know who is going to win.

Q: You're kidding?

A: I am not - this time. Ultimately he has to say something, but if he is bored now, then he has been bored for many years before as well, for 20 years, for 30. He was bored when Ferrari was top, when Renault was leading, when McLaren was right at the top. We at Mercedes have only won twice in a row, it is not like we had four or five in a row. I think we are far from being boring. And it is not the most positive thing for Formula One to say things like that.

Q: So you like being boring at the moment or let put it this way: You like the way things are going at the moment?

A: To be honest no, I'm a racer, I love racing and I don't like it when we have too many rules. We always make decisions, but the sport hasn't changed to make it more exciting since I have been driving. So I take it as it is and I enjoy it. For me personally there is no chance to change rules and regulations. But it is no secret that I prefer more of a pure kind of racing instead of regulations that make it hard to overtake or, let's say, racing normally.

Q: What are your goals for next year? After all you have won the title twice recently. You still seem to be ambitious?

A: I know I am extremely focused for next season. If I had won the last race after I secured my title that might not have been the case. So I'm looking forward to the next season and I'm desperate to win it again.

Q: Your teammate Nico Rosberg won the last three races of the season...

A:'s not easy losing for anybody, and it's not easy for me either. But here I feel very ambitious and full of energy regarding the new season. I'll work hard over the winter to make the car better for me. When it comes to the last races I could not win, maybe that is one reason for me to feel full of energy for the next season. If I'd have won the last races as well, I might not feel that much energy.

Q: You and Rosberg were friends years ago, this seems to have changed - now it looks like you are rivals and have a problem with each other.

A: To say it clearly, it's inspiring to have two drivers in a team that are so closely matched. But as far as our friendship is concerned I can say: We were friends when we were kids, and that's it. We haven't been friends in the last years, everyone is trying to say so, but that is not the case. We don't have to be friends, we have to be working for our team Mercedes with everything we have. As for Nico and me, we don't go to parties together, we don't go to the movies together because we are of course rivals that want to beat each other. In many years when we retire we might laugh about all this hassle and about our ambitions. But at the moment things are different.

Q: Mercedes racing boss Toto Wolf has issued a clear warning to both of you that your rivalry must be kept within bounds. Meaning as soon as it affects the team spirit, meaning - one part is fighting the other, Mercedes will have to rethink its strategy to have to strong drivers. Nico Rosberg told Toto Wolf that he was thankful for him dealing with the situation like he does, meaning, he sticks to the strategy of two strong drivers, but says the team spirit is vital.

A: I agree with Nico, maybe it is the first time this year that we agree! It is important to preserve the atmosphere of winning for the team. This is not a family in the original sense, it is not a fun event, we are both committed to Mercedes for the long run.

Q: Do you feel inspired by a strong rival in your team or would you rather be the only one?

A: It's great, I wouldn't have it any other way. Being pushed helps you to get stronger, that's what I feel. Both of us can be happy to have a team like Mercedes giving us the opportunity to race on such a level. At the end everyone wants to win, looking at the last two years this has been me.

Q: Wouldn't you say that it would be inspiring for you and your team to have a close rival when it comes to other teams? People see Ferrari getting closer to Mercedes and Renault has decided to join in.

A: Every strong team will improve Formula One's general performance. That's something which applies to every sport, you need competition. In Formula One we had the situation that five drivers of five different teams could win the race and that's exactly how it should be.

Q: In general you don't worry about the future of Formula One as there are many pundits expressing concern as they regard it as too expensive, meaning, the competition will disappear due to the declining number of competitive teams?

A: I'm not worried for a simple reason: It's not my job to worry about it. All I can do is to be part of the spectacle. But no, I don't worry about it. Mr. Ecclestone has created something very special. That does not mean Formula 1 can't learn from others sports, maybe Formula 1 is too closed for ideas from outside and should be more open. It should be a general attitude to adopt things from others or at least take a look at them and consider trying them as well.

Q: What is harder, to get to the top or stay at the top?

A: Definitely getting to the top.

Q: Many great sportsman have a different opinion saying, to stay at the top would be harder due to a lot of ambitious rivals.

A: When I got to the top this year it was easier to stay there than to getting to the top in the first place - that took 22 years. And that is a long time.

Q: Do you feel happy at present especially when looking back at the dreams you had as a kid?

A: You can't describe the feeling you have, when you get the trophy for the first win. It's something I was dreaming of since I was a kid. You feel deeply happy, so did I - yes you can say I am happy.

Q: In motorsports there's a new discipline called Formula E with electrically-powered cars and no fuel. Would that be something you can imagine participating?

A: Due to the lack of time, I've not been able to watch a race yet. But if you ask me as a race driver of Formula One, I tell you, at the moment I like the smell of fuel and the noise.

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