Hamilton takes blame after ‘massive changes’ cost him in Chinese GP qualifying

Lewis Hamilton attributes his Q1 exit at the Chinese Grand Prix to a setup gamble that backfired, but promised a fighting drive from 18th on the grid.

The Mercedes driver finished second in the Sprint on Saturday morning after leading the first part of that race, having qualified on the front row in wet conditions on Friday. However, the grand prix’s qualifying session was dry and Hamilton dropped out after going wide at the penultimate corner, admitting he shouldn’t be so low on the grid.

“I should have got through easy, it was my mistake,” Hamilton said. “I just struggled to stop the car in Turn 14 — I just kept locking. Maybe needed one more lap.

“Just struggled, I made massive changes coming into this qualifying. It wasn’t too bad in some places, but I struggled, I couldn’t get the rear to stop in Turn 14, so… it is what it is. I’ll have fun from back there.”

Hamilton says the setup changes he made still didn’t give him the performance he was hoping for, meaning he’s keen for a wet race on Sunday to try and make more progress.

“This morning George [Russell] and I had very similar cars but then this afternoon, we just switched, trying to experiment still with the car, so I went one way, a long way, and he went the other way, just to see if we can find anything. That’s what we need to do at the moment. But, didn’t work.

“I’ll give it my best shot. 18th is pretty bad. When I was making the setup changes, I was like, ‘It can’t get any worse, surely’ and it did! But s**t happens.

“The car is massively different because we changed a lot, but I’m hoping tomorrow’s going to be a bit better. I hope it rains tomorrow now, I need the rain! So the rain dance, I need everyone to do it!” 

Story originally appeared on Racer