Lewis Hamilton from the McLaren Formula One team, is the second driver kind enough answer some of our "hard hitting" questions in our latest driver Question and Answer post.
What is your favourite part of the Albert Park circuit?
Lewis: “Turns 11 and 12 – the high-speed esses at the back of the circuit. It’s a great sequence of corners because the right-hander is totally dependent on your entry to Turn 11. It’s a really satisfying corner to get right: get the line perfect and you can really nail the throttle early and just let the car wash out onto the exit kerbs. And it won’t forgive you either – it’s grass and dust once you put a wheel over those kerbs, and that’s really going to slow you down if you make a mistake. That’s the best kind of corner to have in Formula 1.”
What is the first thing you think of when you hear the words 'Australian Grand Prix'?
Lewis: “Melbourne has usually been the first race of the new season, so I think of a couple of good memories. Firstly, it was the scene of my first grand prix in 2007, and I can remember being on the grid and realising that I’d achieved my dreams; I was in Formula 1 and driving for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. The start of that race was also incredible – I got a great start and finished third. That weekend still holds fantastic memories for me.
“Another good memory was winning the race there in 2008. After the disappointment of losing the championship at the last possible race of ’07, it was the perfect way to get back on track. That was a beautiful, sunny day. A great day.”
What is your favourite memory from the Australian Grand Prix?
Lewis: “My favourite memory was probably the first corner in the 2007 race. There was a lot of pressure on my shoulders as it was my first-ever Formula 1 start, but I just relaxed and went for it, lost a place on the straight, but passed two cars into the first corner. It just felt so natural – it was a great way to start my career in Formula 1.”
What do you like about Aussie Formula 1 fans?
Lewis: “They’re just so passionate – not just about Formula 1, but about sport in general. When we arrive at the track in the morning, we’re dropped off just outside the paddock, and there are always lots of people cheering at you and shouting your name. Everybody always wishes you well, too, there’s a lot of positive energy. They’re not just there to support Mark [Webber], they come to enjoy the sport and to see a great race. The best races are always the ones where the fans have the greatest passion.”