Hamilton: I made a bad set-up change and paid the price

Hamilton: I made a bad set-up change and paid the price

Hamilton: I made a bad set-up change and paid the price

Lewis Hamilton blamed a setup change between Formula 1 Sprint race in China and qualifying for his poor form during the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix.

Hamilton endured a miserable Chinese GP as things went wayward for him after the highs of Sprint qualifying and race in which he qualified and finished second.

The seven-time F1 Champion was knocked out of qualifying’s Q1 and started the race from 18th and while he scored points finishing in ninth, it was far from being an encouraging experience as he was vocal throughout the grand prix about the woeful pace of his W15

After the race and speaking in Mercedes‘ race report, Hamilton said: “I went forwards and got into the points, but it was a tough race.

“Ultimately, I made a bad set-up change to the car yesterday and I paid the price for it. I plan to make sure I don’t do that in the future! The car does seem to work in a small window, and I did think it was the correct thing to do.

“Sadly, it made today [Sunday] very difficult. The team did a great job with the pit stops though and George did well to score some solid points. I’m sure the next race in Miami will be better,” he concluded.

A slightly better race in the second Mercedes

George Russell in the other Mercedes had a slightly better though unspectacular race and finished sixth, managing to stay ahead of a late-charging Fernando Alonso in the Aston Martin.

Russell said: “Starting P8 and making up a few positions was what we were expecting from today’s race. The result is probably a fair one and we know we have work to do. We’ve had a similar battle with Alonso and [Oscar] Piastri in the last three races so P6 is about where our car is at present.

“It was interesting weekend, overall,” he added. “With the Sprint format, we ended up having two very different set-ups on the car from Friday and Saturday morning into the rest of the weekend. There’s lots to pick through and hopefully things to build on.

“We need to keep on adding performance to the car in order to finish higher up the grid. We will keep working hard to do so,” Russell concluded.

Mercedes need to focus on the basics when setting the car up

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff summed up another disappointing weekend for his team who are seemingly unable to make any advances with their current package.

He said: “Considering where we started today and more importantly, where we had put the cars in terms of their set-up after the Sprint, P6 and P9 was the best prediction from our pre-race simulations.

“The car that we have under us is not currently fast enough. However, we must make sure that we are not trying to find a silver bullet each weekend when it comes to how we run the car; we need to focus on getting the basics right, and maximising the package we have.

“Today, we didn’t have the car in the right window,” he admitted, “we made too many extreme changes after the Sprint and that made the most important part of the weekend much more challenging. We know that today’s result is not strong enough overall, so we must dig deep to make improvements. The pack behind Red Bull is close, and small details can make a big difference in terms of finishing position.

“We have developments to bring in the coming races which we hope are a step forward and will improve the car,” the Austrian concluded.