Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Shanghai International Circuit, 2019

Shanghai not a strong track for me any more – Hamilton

2019 Chinese Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by and

Lewis Hamilton says the Shanghai International Circuit is no longer “one of my strongest tracks” after a difficult first day of practice for the Chinese Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver said his team mate Valtteri Bottas, who set the pace on Friday, was “a lot more comfortable in the car today” than him.

“It’s been just a little bit harder here with the temperatures and again I would just say the car in general is not that easy to drive. But we’re going to work tonight to find some tweaks and give it all we can tomorrow.

“This track’s gone from being probably one of my strongest tracks to not being such a strong circuit for me, so [I’ve] got lots of work to do tonight.”

Hamilton, who’s taken six pole positions and five victories at the Shanghai track, believes his discomfort is down to changes in how his car handles.

“The car is not the same as it [was]. Always shifting and it’s better in other places than it is other places each year. It’s just a part of the game.

“But obviously the car’s got the pace in it to compete at the front so I’ve just got to figure it out.”

Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull were covered by two tenths of a second in today’s second practice session. Hamilton expects a close fight for pole position but is wary of Ferrari’s superior top speed.

“They’re still quicker on the straights as we expected and that’s an area that we just can’t catch back up on,” he said. “I’ve not really looked deep into it but I think as you saw out there it’s very close between the top four or five cars and I anticipate tomorrow’s probably going to be the same.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2019 F1 season

Browse all 2019 F1 season articles

Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

Posted on Categories 2019 Chinese Grand Prix, 2019 F1 season articles, F1 newsTags , , , ,

Promoted content from around the web | Become a RaceFans Supporter to hide this ad and others

  • 13 comments on “Shanghai not a strong track for me any more – Hamilton”

    1. Sure, it isn’t.

      1. @jerejj He has been successful at Shanghai in the past but that’s true of a lot of other tracks too. He was out-qualified and out-raced by Bottas at this track last year and Bottas was quicker than him today. So I can see where he’s coming from. That doesn’t mean I think he isn’t just ‘managing expectations’, to use that tedious PR phrase.

        1. @keithcollantine Yes indeed, but it’s still a bit too early to draw too many conclusions on the outcome/chances for the race (and qualifying) based on the practice times alone.

    2. it’s very close between the top four or five cars

      So not Gasly then. It’s still early in the season, I hope he can start putting it together

    3. He’s definitely not looking as good here over the past 3 to 4 seasons as he does at Australia, Canada, Britain, etc. But I definitely think he’s downplaying his chances a bit. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him right in the mix for pole come Saturday.

    4. Go Lewis go

    5. The good aspect of this circuit that I like is that you can overtake, so grid position is not as in important as other tracks. With DRS being more powerfull this year than last I am really looking forward to this grands prix.
      As for Lewis, deep down I think he realizes that he was fortunate in Bahrain and knows that this season is going to be a lot tougher than recent years past. He is just being honest. If Red Bull can sustain a good race pace, things on Sunday may get very interesting.

    6. Translation from Merc-sandbag-speak: easy pole, win with 30sec, 1-2 for the team.

    7. As soon as the Mercedes engine isn’t the fastest, a track with a huge straight is no longer one of “his” strong ones….. Makes sense I guess!

    8. Dear Mr Hamilton, ask your crew to dial out a little bit of downforce. Now you will have more speed and since you are the best driver out there you can deal with it in the corners…
      I think Lewis needs to know that his fans are thinking of him… keep him motivated.

    9. Another headline click-bait.
      You got to stop these headline click-bait when it involves Hamilton.

    10. What a liar… stop publishing this.

    11. He’s in the best team. He just needs to stick with Bottas and his luck will win him the race.

    Comments are closed.