Lewis Hamilton finished sixth in the wet Chinese Grand Prix, despite what he described as one of his 'worst performances' for McLaren, spinning several times during the race.
But as the world champion explained to the press, he had his reasons for this, including worn tyres, a lack of downforce and perhaps even a touch of trying too hard. AUTOSPORT was there to hear what he had to say and what his hopes are for McLaren improvement in the next few races...
Q. How was it out there?
Lewis Hamilton: Lots of mistakes. It was very, very tricky out there and I was pushing for the best, so a few too many mistakes. I think we had quite good pace at the beginning, but it was incredibly tough. I think it was almost too dangerous to drive, you saw some people sliding off, it was very wet.
Q. How tough was this race?
LH: You know me, I generally have good wet races and this was incredibly tough. I didn't have any downforce on this car, so it was a real struggle, but I am glad I got some points for the team.
Q. Was it impossible to drive on this track or was there something wrong with the car?
LH: There is nothing really wrong with the car except that we lack downforce. I was pushing as hard as I could and the aquaplaning was a lot and my tyres were finished quite early so I was struggling with it.
Q. And now for the world championship?
LH: We'll keep pushing, we'll keep pushing.
Q. Have you had any difficulties with your car?
LH: Yeah I think everyone has. It's wet so it is very tough.
Q. What were the reasons for the mistakes at the end of your stints?
LH: I can't tell you, it was just very, very slippery. So I just don't know what was going on.
Q. What was it like to drive out there?
LH: It was terrible. It was a little bit fun at the beginning when I had some grip. But as always, I don't know if it is my driving style or my car, we seem to destroy my tyres very early on. Especially at the end, there was 20 laps left, and after five laps my front left tyre was finished. So it was just really tough - aquaplaning all over the pace. I'm sure it was the same for everyone - but I could only do my best.
Q. What positives do you take from this?
LH: Just that we finished and obviously the reliability of the car is fantastic, so it was great job from the guys. Just continue to try and move forward and try and score some more points. Good points for the team!
Q. Some drivers said the conditions were 'undriveable', how was it for you?
LH: It was almost undriveable yes. It was very, very difficult; very dangerous; aquaplaning everywhere. I guess the guys with more downforce, it wasn't such a problem for them, but for me it was a lot of aquaplaning.
Q. How was your car?
LH: Not very good.
Q. Is there a hope it will improve for the next few races?
LH: I don't know, I have to speak to my team, but I hope so because we need as much improvement as possible so we will keep pushing.
Q. What do you think of Sebastian Vettel's performance?
LH: Congratulations to him. He did a fantastic job and they have been very, very fast all weekend so clearly they have one of the best cars. All the best to him.
Q. It seemed like you gave it everything today?
LH: I did. Just didn't work out for me today.
Q. Pushing too hard at times in a car that wasn't ready to be pushed that hard?
LH: For sure all weekend I have been pushing that car beyond its limits, and beyond what it is really capable of. Today just proved it, especially when the tyres dropped off, I just wasn't able to avoid the oversteer moments.
Q. Do you derive any satisfaction after that performance?
LH: No, definitely not. You know me, I love racing in the wet and I would say that was one of my worst performances, but you know these things happen. You have got to go through it and we'll come out on top eventually. We have just got to keep on working and keep pushing.
Q. How long before your car gives you what you need and you can compete at the top?
LH: I think it is going to be a good four or five races. It's going to be some time I think. But as I said the guys are doing a fantastic job so let's just keep pushing.