Shanghai (AFP) – Lewis Hamilton said his car drove “like a four-poster bed” after he battled from last spot on the grid to finish seventh in the Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday.
The Briton revealed that his Mercedes had limped through the race after the front wing snapped off in a scrape with Felipe Nasr as they tried to avoid carnage caused by the two Ferraris and Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat coming out of turn one.
“I was trying to be cautious and avoid what was ahead of me but got tangled in it,” said Hamilton, who started on the back row after mechanical failure sabotaged his qualifying in Shanghai.
“I don’t really remember what happened — some aerodynamic components were damaged, but I think the suspension was as well. The car was flexing like crazy, like a four-poster bed today. It was a horrifying race, really.”
Hamilton tried to put a positive spin on another frustrating weekend after watching Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg make it three wins out of three in the 2016 Formula One season, extending his championship lead over Hamilton to 36 points.
“It’s been a bit awkward but these things are sent to try us,” said the reigning world champion. “Obviously the damage to the car had that domino effect. It’s past and all I can do is focus on the future.
“Of course it’s not a great feeling,” added Hamilton, who has failed to win a race since securing his third world title in Texas last October.
“But I have the utmost confidence in this team and I know that we will recover from this at some point — when, who knows, but I’m hoping for better races to come.”
Hamilton actually perked up when told Rosberg’s lead was 36 points.
“That’s not as bad as I thought,” he smiled. “I thought it was 50 points. I feel pretty good now, wow!”
Looking for silver linings, Hamilton pointed to his surging start from the rear after failing to make pole position count in the first two races in Australia and Bahrain.
“I had a good start, finally!” he said with a sheepish grin. “From dead last. But I can still overtake.”
Hamilton took his rotten luck on the chin, a response he might have struggled for in years gone by.
“I definitely don’t feel the dark cloud I’ve had over me in the past,” he said. “It’s a trying time and there are lots of different emotions when you see your season start to go the wrong way. But it’s part of the journey and it makes us stronger.”