Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Shanghai International Circuit, 2019

Hamilton proud of qualifying effort after “battling the thing” to second

2019 Chinese Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton says he was “battling” his Mercedes in qualifying and was pleased to come away with second place for the Chinese Grand Prix.

The world champion was beaten to pole position by team mate Valtteri Bottas by just 23 thousandths of a second in Shanghai. He said he was still working on his car’s set-up and altering his racing lines to find more time during qualifying.

“I was just struggling with the car throughout the weekend, all day yesterday, today even into Q2. I made a couple of changes with some settings on the wheel and some changes to the line and managed to bridge the gap.

“Honestly I’m quite proud of the job I have done considering how far I was early in the session. Valtteri’s been quick all weekend, he deserved the pole.”

Hamilton said his team mate was “particularly quick in the first sector” at Shanghai. “I was experimenting throughout the session. Finally got the quickest sector in the end but a little bit too late.

“It’s all about making improvements. It wasn’t to do with tyre temperature it was just really to do with balance and getting the flow, utilising the grip in the right areas.”

“I’ve been struggling with the car, just battling the thing,” he added. “It’s obviously a great car this year. I think the first few races are always quite tricky with a new car. You’ll see it shifts a little bit later on in the season, you get a better understanding.”

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2019 F1 season

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17 comments on “Hamilton proud of qualifying effort after “battling the thing” to second”

  1. he really chose a bad time to change to Merc. though spell

    1. Errr… what?

    2. ;)

  2. There are probably 18 other drivers who have a ‘thing’ to say about that.

  3. I think @mrboerns is right. Since 2014, Mercedes has always been the second best car and Lewis had always been the differentiating factor in the world championship :-D

  4. What will he say when he wins tomorrow?

    p.s. I would love to be wrong.

    1. Let’s wait till the race is over, shall we?

      1. Hi…Lewis?

    2. Well of course he’ll win and still he’ll be like ‘we need to catch the ferraris and redbulls, thry are faster than us everywhere’.. Oh man this is fun as the season progresses.

  5. I really like Lewis’s approach this year. Even when he is off the pace, he is still so good, and he really digs deeper to find more time.

    Not sure if it will be enough tomorrow… much depends on yet another start!

  6. @dallein

    huh? he’s off the pace…..but he’s on the pace

    1. Barba Melville
      13th April 2019, 11:51

      Lewis had the fastest sectors across all the qualifying sessions, he just didn’t manage to string them together into one lap.If he had managed to do that he would have set a lap time over three tenths faster than Bottas’ actual pole lap.

  7. Lewis is learning from master Toto. Always exaggerate the slightest of problems .. always underplay dominant form. Give them hope … and then crush it.

  8. He was genuinely struggling for pace but pulled it out of the bag as he so often does. The points are tomorrow and hopefully, he will be in with a shout. What a great driver he is.

  9. i see BAD start and a crush sunday

    1. @spiderman whose going to have a bad start and whose going to crash

  10. petebaldwin (@)
    13th April 2019, 21:07

    Wow and in a car that is much slower than the Ferrari, they somehow battled to the front row of the grid…. Who would have imagined that!?

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