I have been critical of Lewis’s Dad for not allowing Lewis to participate in the Thursday press conference and for doing damage to Lewis’s career but in all fairness, I must give credit where it lay. Lewis was involved in the Friday Press Conference and I think he handled himself very well. He did a great job of fielding the questions and answering the ones that made sense. The other questions he deflected very nicely and got on with the job of being a driver. I congratulate Lewis for his handling of the conference and his poise during the conference and submit that his Dad did the right thing here by allowing Lewis to participate. Great job Lewis! Now go racing!
Q. How was practice today for you?
Lewis HamiltonLewis Hamilton: Today has been okay, just a normal day.
Q. And what about the modifications to the car?
LH: We’ve made some small steps forward and the team, back at the factory, have been working very hard. But we still have a long way to go.
Q. It might have been a normal day but it hasn’t been a normal couple of weeks for McLaren. What do you make of Ron Dennis’ decision?
LH: I think it can only be positive for him. I think he loves a challenge…
Q. Is it positive for the team that he has cut his ties with F1?
LH: That’s not for me to say.
Q. Do you welcome his decision?
LH: I’m not going to fight it, am I?
Q. But Martin Whitmarsh concedes that a new relationship has to be built with the FIA. You have had your problems, and for Ron to make a clear breakâ€¦
LH: That’s nothing to do with me. I’m here to race and I have to focus on doing my job. What the team decides is up to them. You should speak to them.
Q. Has it been difficult to focus on your job with all the off track discussions?
Q. We’ve heard Martin Whitmarsh talk about a new start. Do you feel in your mind with the way things went today that it is happening?
LH: I think we started our first race, and we are continuing from there. I don’t feel there is any new start or anything. We are continuously working on the car to improve it – it just takes a long time. Today was a slight step forward but we have got a lot more to do.
Q. How is morale in the team? Does the atmosphere seem better?
LH: No, it is the same as ever. The guys are enthusiastic and determined to get back to the top. We are all pulling together to do the best job we can.
Q. Have you spoken to Ron Dennis?
Q. Do you intend to?
LH: I will do at some stage.
Q. What was your feeling last night then when you heard he had gone?
LH: I wasn’t disappointed. I was surprised, but I had not heard about it. I was just as surprised as the rest of my team.
Q. But it must be difficult because of your relationship, to see him step back like that?
LH: Of course. Ron has been a huge force and support in my life, and he still plays a key role in my life. Whether or not he is in the team or not, I think you guys have been writing about it for years that as soon as he gets to a certain stage he will move aside. I guess, I don’t know why, he decided to do it now.
Q. Did you get the signal from the people around the team that he was happier for making this decision?
LH: I honestly haven’t spoken to anyone about it. I heard just as the team did yesterday. I went away last night with it.
Q. Is there a mood within the team for a new beginning?
LH: Not that I have seen, no.
Q. There have been rumours over the past few weeks that you would not see out your five-year deal. You are one year in, so can you say you will stay here for the next five years?
LH: What can I say? I am contracted to the team and happy where I am.
Q. So yes?
LH: I am happy where I am.