Chat with Lewis Hamilton
Hamilton won the 18th race of his career on Sunday.
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, we bring Formula One racer Lewis Hamilton by to chat about the 2012 F1 season.
Following his win in Sunday's Montreal Grand Prix, Hamilton, @LewisHamilton, moved to the top of the points standings, just two points ahead of the second-place Fernando Alonso. In the first seven races of the season, Hamilton has finished in the top-10 in every race and has five top-5s.
Hamilton won the F1 championship in 2008, just his second year racing. In each of his five full seasons in F1, he's finished no worse than fifth.
Send your questions now and join Hamilton Monday at 3 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (2:53 PM)
Lewis Hamilton will be here at the top of the hour to take your questions!
Buzzmaster (3:00 PM)
We've got Lewis!
Lewis Hamilton (3:01 PM)
Hi to everyone!
There is still a long way to go in the season...how do you continue the momentum you've built up thus far in the season?
Lewis Hamilton (3:02 PM)
That's one of the biggest challenges in the sport and keep up consistency. This win gives us a boost. Instead of going out partying last night, I had a nice meal, went to bed and woke up feeling pretty good this morning. Today is a rest up day and then it's off to it again. Keep my head down. That's how you have to do it throughout the year.
what was the key to a win on Sunday?
Lewis Hamilton (3:04 PM)
The key to the win was managing my tires. I was able to close the gap to Sebastian in the first stint when the time was right. Then we had always planned a two stop strategy. We knew I had to get to the 44th on the second stint. But I managed to get my tires to 50, but it was safer to pit at that time. After that, learning the aggressive streak come out for the last stint. That's where we made up the ground. Also, great teamwork and great strategy from the guys.
when did you feel like you had the race won?
Lewis Hamilton (3:05 PM)
When I came across the line. On a track like that, when you have the guys and you're bouncing off the curves and it could spit you off in a moment, you don't celebrate and you don't think you've won it until you come across that line. The moment you think you have it, any time before that, you could lose it.
James (Rochester, NY)
What is one of the toughest challenges for you as a race car driver?
Lewis Hamilton (3:06 PM)
One of the toughest challenges is the pressure. It's handling the pressure and handling your surroundings. Driving is something I do with love and passion and it also comes very natural, and I work very hard at it. Handling the surroundings is hard. I have 42 sponsors. I have a team that has incredible history and wants results. I have a teammate that was a champion. I have that and bouncing back from difficult days in the office is the most difficult challenge.
what was the difference between you and the other cars?
Lewis Hamilton (3:08 PM)
I think we were all quite close. McLaren, Ferrari and Red Bull. Red Bull generally has a little more down force than us, typically in the tight corners. Now Ferrari are a little bit quicker but in long runs they are stronger, which is why they attempted to do a one-stop. But we are quick on the straight. We're there just behind them. But yesterday, our strategist did a better job than theirs. I didn't actually call for one of my last stops. Teamwork was the difference.
Savraj (Berkshire, UK)
Did you worry when Ferrari and Red Bull elected for the one stop strategy?
Lewis Hamilton (3:09 PM)
No, I knew that after my first stop the determining factor would be I pulled the 4 second gap. If Fernando closed the gap, then they would be on the same strategy as me. If he didn't close the gap, then he would be saving the tires and wouldn't be on the same as me.
what do you credit your early carerr success to?
Lewis Hamilton (3:10 PM)
Many different things. I have a strong team, a strong car. Hungrier than every person around me. And great backing and fan support. I think my dad was probably the biggest part to do with that.
what were you thinking as you made that last pass?
Lewis Hamilton (3:11 PM)
Those last passes, I was keeping an eye on the amount of laps left. I knew in my mind that I was close to 2 seconds ahead. I told myself, take your time, don't rush. I had plenty of time to make my move. I took my time and moved when I had to.
what do you like to do off the track?
Lewis Hamilton (3:12 PM)
I love music, so I listen to a lot of music. I play the guitar. I like to be around my family. I have quite a big family. And spending time with friends.
what do you normally do with your time in between race events?
Lewis Hamilton (3:14 PM)
Monte Carlo is next now. I like to get out in the sea. I like to jet ski. I train twice a day, so my day is based around my training. I wake up and go out for 1.5 hour run at different intensities. Sometimes I'll play squash, intense squash. Then later in the evening, I'll go to the gym and get a sweat on. The other time is catching up on lost time with friends.
James Piccarreto (Rochester, NY)
What is your favorite racing memory?
Lewis Hamilton (3:15 PM)
My favorite racing memory will always be my first Grand Prix win. But yesterday's win comes close.
Lewis Hamilton (3:16 PM)
I'd like to say a big thank you to everyone for your comments and continued support, the messages, the letters, those things. You have no idea how big of a difference it makes to someone. But it's you and your support that really gives you the extra boost of energy to get through a long season that we have. Hope to meet you at some point.