Chinese GP

Grid penalty is ‘opportunity’ – Hamilton

Grid penalty is 'opportunity' - Hamilton

Grid penalty is ‘opportunity’ – Hamilton

World champion Lewis Hamilton was maintaining his sunny disposition on Thursday, despite admitting his five-place gearbox change penalty was “a kick in the goonies”.

But the Mercedes driver was still notably upbeat, as the Spanish daily Marca quoted him as saying in Shanghai: “It’s not ideal, but it happens.

“I see it as a challenge and therefore another opportunity, so it’s glass half full rather than half empty.

“It’s better to take the penalty here because it’s easier to overtake than at some of the tracks that follow.”

Teammate and championship leader Nico Rosberg is also refusing to write Hamilton off, saying: “The penalty makes it more difficult for him, but we know that Lewis can always fight for victory.”

Rosberg’s first pole and win came in Shanghai, but Hamilton is also a specialist of the Shanghai layout.

“I don’t know why but I feel good when I drive here,” the Briton admitted.

Hamilton was nonplussed at the return of the 2015 qualifying format, saying only: “It’s good for the fans but for me it makes no difference.”

And when asked about Wednesday’s get-together of F1 drivers for dinner, Hamilton answered: “We were having dinner!

“There was nothing excited to write home about. We talked about food, girls, holidays … not much about F1.”

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