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2018 F1

Hamilton on Chinese GP: “I had no pace”, thankful for incidents

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Lewis Hamilton labelled Chinese Grand Prix was a ‘disaster’ weekend for him and admitted that he underperformed in the third race of the season.

A 10-second penalty to Max Verstappen helped Hamilton to fourth and Sebastian Vettel’s collision with the Dutchman saw him only finish eighth.

Hamilton in fourth at least closed the gap on Vettel to 11 points at the top of the drivers’ championship standings

“I was in no man’s land today. I had no pace. I was just trying to hold on for whatever I had,” Hamilton said.

“We’ve got a tough battle ahead of us, particularly on my side. Also for us as a team. We have been underperforming. Yesterday and today was a disaster on my side.

“I have got to rectify that and get back into normal performance mode otherwise more points will be lost. [We were] thankful for a few incidents ahead that kept us in the battle.”

Mercedes second man Valtteri Bottas pegged his rival back and produced the perfect undercut when switching onto the medium tyre.

But, an unfortunate safety car and Red Bull’s decision to pit ultimate winner Daniel Ricciardo and Verstappen proved fatal to Bottas’ chances of a fourth career Grand Prix victory.

“The race was going pretty well for us and we were looking strong until the safety car,” Bottas said.

“We were in trouble then really and it is disappointing. It felt like we deserved victory but not today. This is racing, these things happen.”

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