Hamilton haunted by Mercedes decision in ‘worst’ race

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Lewis Hamilton described his Chinese Grand Prix as the “worst” race of the season, as he was left to rue his decision to change set-up.

After finishing second in the sprint on Saturday, Hamilton was knocked out in Q1, starting 18th after a mistake on his final lap.

The six-time China winner described how he had made a call on set-up after the Sprint to diverge from team-mate George Russell, who finished sixth, as he took a third straight race finish of ninth – and fourth in the last five, including the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

It continues the worst start of Hamilton’s F1 career in his final Mercedes season, as he described how starting on the soft tyres led to him believing he had damage.

Hamilton’s failure

“It wasn’t better than expected, we expected to be somewhere around there,” Hamilton told media including RacingNews365.

“I thought maybe at the beginning, I had tapped someone because I’ve never had so much understeer in my life.

“I was turning in the low speed and just waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting [for the car to turn], and so I thought maybe that I had damaged something as there was debris everywhere at one point, but it was just the set-up I chose.

“It was the worst race so far, but we had a second obviously in the sprint, and with some better decisions with set-up, I would be around where George was, but we just have to keep working.”

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