On ho many people criticized him for leaving Brawn for McLaren after Brawn had just won the title:
You can’t go to a team thinking we are always going to win the championship; that doesn’t happen, it is such a competitive sport. But with a team like this, there is so much experience, and when you look at all the teams you would say that there are a couple of teams that every year will win Grand Prixs. Whether they will win the championship, that is down to you and the team working together, getting the best out of what you have. But I knew that I could always fight for wins, and after winning the championship that is exactly what I wanted. I didn’t want to work with a team to build up a team again.
On how important is winning another title:
Every championship you win I think you are going to love that feeling of winning a world championship, I think in any sport. But for me, you work towards a championship, and you could have a lead or you are chasing a lead and you get the championship. And it is a great feeling, it really is, and that is what we aim to do in the sport. But Grand Prix victories sometimes are almost as exciting, or probably more exciting but not as rewarding. More exciting because at the start of the weekend — especially the way Formula 1 is now — you really don’t know who is going to win the race. And then when you come home with a victory it is sudden excitement and the adrenaline is still pumping. So it’s always very special and that is why it is so addictive, winning. A championship is something that you will savor and you will remember every day of your life, whereas victories are living in the moment and that is why I love winning Grand Prixs
On when he is in a period of not winning, have there ever been times when he doubted himself or and lost his self-belief:
I think at the start of your career you are a lot harder on yourself and you worry that maybe there are areas where maybe you are not strong enough. When you gain more experience, when you have been in different teams and won races and a championship, it’s different. You think: ‘‘I know I’m quick. There are reasons we are not performing at the moment, I might not be quick because I haven’t set the car up right or something isn’t working right now.’’ But you know the speed is there and it’s just about finding it again.
That is why this year has been tough because it has been more frustrating because every time we think we have found something it has gone again. It has been frustrating, but I have not questioned my ability to drive a racing car and winning Grand Prixs. Winning Grand Prixs is not just about being the fastest, because over one lap, over a season I am not the quickest guy over one lap. Formula One is about the whole package. There are many areas, every area you have to be good in to win a Grand Prix. And we were lacking in a couple and I think we have improved that and are on the right track again. It was more frustration than questioning my ability in a racing car. My old man always says something that is very true: It is not about being the fastest, it’s about being the best. You can win Grand Prixs by being the quickest, but the way Formula 1 is now it is not just about outright speed.
On if he wants to finish his career at McLaren or is it too early to say:
It’s too early. You have days when you think, yes, after a couple of more years it might be interesting to go off and do something else in your life. But those thoughts don’t happen very often. More often than not I can’t see the end of my career. I am enjoying myself and it is such a challenge for me. It is something that I have known since the age of eight. Even if you have five or six bad races, you don’t think, ‘‘I’m getting bored of this, it is hurting too much and I am going to retire.’’ You just think, ‘‘Let’s get our act back together and get back to our winning ways.’’ And then you have a weekend like Spa
, and think about how good it is to win Grand Prixs; you think that your career is going to be forever, racing indefinitely. I don’t know where I’m going to be in the future, I might retire in three years, I might retire in 10 years.
On his relationship with his teammate, Lewis Hamilton:
Forgetting who your teammate is, if your teammate beats you over a season, you’re disappointed. It’s tough. But also you’ve got to respect that the guy has done a better job than you. That is difficult. But we have both been around long enough to know that sometimes things click over a season and sometimes they don’t. This season the car, in a few races, hasn’t been to my liking, so I’ve made it difficult for myself this year. Then last year was a great season for me. It’s going to be swings and roundabouts when you are both so competitive. When you are both world champions, and when you are at the top of your game you might be half a 10th of a second quicker than your teammate, or a 10th quicker. Or he might have a good weekend be a 10th quicker. It’s very, very close and that’s why it’s great. But obviously I want to be the one to win the world championship, that’s why we are here.