In an interview with the media today, Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton feared his seventh place finish at the Chinese Grand Prix would result in a bigger points deficit to team-mate Nico Rosberg in the drivers’ championship.
Rosberg won his third race in a row on Sunday to extend his advantage over Hamilton to 36 points in the standings, while Hamilton sustained damage in a first corner collision and battled back to seventh. Despite the low finishing position, in his interview with the media today, Hamilton took some positives from Sunday’s race. Hamilton said the following:-
‘A pretty horrifying race really but there’s some good experiences, with the overtaking. At one point I went around somebody around the outside of Turn 7 and around the outside of someone at Turn 8 so I love doing that stuff you know — catching people where they are not expecting it and even with the damage on the car. So there are some proud moments out there today, but is it 50 something points now?’
When he was told it was 36, he added the following:-
’36 behind? Oh ok. That’s not as bad as I thought, I feel pretty good right now. I thought it was 50 points so I was like… wow.’
It is clear that luck hasn’t been kind to Hamilton since the start of the 2016 season, but it is great to see Hamilton is still in positive spirits and still hasn’t given up hope of retaining his championship either. But you can be sure that Hamilton will learn from today’s race and use this as motivation to aspire to for the rest of the season ahead.
The damage to his car was caused by the front wing folding under the car after contact with Felipe Nasr and breaking part of the floor. He was able to pit for a new front wing, but Hamilton further on in his interview believes that the damage to the floor was of a similar magnitude to the damage he sustained at the start of the Bahrain Grand Prix. Hamilton added the following:-
‘It felt similar, but I’m not aware if it was worse and it doesn’t look as bad. I got a good start and was taken it very cautious once I got into Turn 1. Kimi went off, and a couple of the others — I don’t know if they touched — but I was trying to avoid them when Kimi came on. As I went to the inside, one of the cars on the inside was trying to avoid Kimi and turned into me.’
Overall, it is clear what Hamilton believes happened to him in the race today and there is nothing he could have done about that apart from resolve what happened and drive his own race as a result of that as well. But even though things didn’t go his way in Shanghai today, all Hamilton can do is learn from today and work on getting prepared for Sochi in two weeks time as much as possible and try to regain ground on Rosberg if he wants to retain his title which will be his ultimate aim.