Hamilton laments lack of pace in Shanghai
Lewis Hamilton had a disastrous weekend at the recent Chinese Grand Prix, finishing in fourth place and the world champion now has the tough task of working out what went wrong.
The winner takes it all
Daniel Ricciardo from Max Verstappen’s Red Bull was crowned the overall winner and it has not been a good start for the 33 year old Briton, as he was out-qualified for two races in a row by his Mercedes team mate Valtteri Bottas and only lined up fourth. Dropped to fifth after a lacklustre start, Hamilton admits he has had no pace.
Frustration and disappointment
He also expressed frustration with his team’s slow reaction when a safety car was brought in mid race. This, according to Hamilton, was further complicated when his rivals Verstappen and Ricciardo had new tyres and the decision made that Hamilton, wouldn’t.
Although such exciting and nail biting races make for good viewing – race lovers can enjoy a bird’s eye view at Ermanno Palace, Monaco, for example, https://edgeglobalevents.com/f1-hospitality/monaco/3rd-floor-ermanno-palace/ – Hamilton was justifiably disappointed with his performance, particularly as he has enjoyed previous success in China, winning five times in Shanghai, three with Mercedes and twice for McLaren.
And although Lewis Hamilton ranks fourth among Formula One drivers by number of fastest laps, he has admitted such underperforming is a real battle for him and his team.
If Verstappen hadn’t earned a 10-second penalty when he collided with Vettel – who finished eighth overall – Hamilton would have finished in fifth place; this, he said, was a godsend and without it more points would have been lost. Worryingly, Hamilton hasn’t won a Grand Prix since the US Grand Prix back in October; he was also pipped at the post by Vettel in Australia.
Along with team boss Toto Wolff, Hamilton feels that his under performance was exacerbated by the car which, he says, lacked balance. Issues with the tyres also contributed to destabilising his strategy.
In Bahrain, Hamilton qualified fourth in the second race, behind team mate Bottas; he managed to finish third overall but the team was disappointed again with its performance after Vettel took first place.
Time to focus
Even though Hamilton is often considered the best driver of his generation, he has an uphill struggle to pull back from this position.