Hamilton feels Mercedes is chasing Ferrari in Chinese GP

Lewis Hamilton says Formula 1 rival Ferrari's impressive pace during Friday practice in China is real, and he faces a fight to reach the podium on Sunday

Hamilton feels Mercedes is chasing Ferrari in Chinese GP

Ferrari appeared to be in good shape after Kimi Raikkonen led Sebastian Vettel in a one-two for the team in second practice with Mercedes duo Nico Rosberg and Hamilton third and fourth.

Raikkonen admitted Ferrari only has strong pace on the super-soft tyre but Hamilton believes his rival's pace is genuine.

The reigning world champion will also start no higher than sixth on Sunday, owing to five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change.

"I think the numbers are real but we shall see," said Hamilton.

"I haven't spoken to the engineers but that's my assumption.

"The Ferraris are particularly strong so it looks like we're going to have a real fight this weekend.

"I'm behind them. It means that it's going to be harder to overtake them so getting into the top three is going to be hard on Sunday for sure.

"It seems that we're going to have a bigger fight than we ever have, so it should be good for the fans."

Hamilton said he struggled to find a good balance and that Mercedes has a lot of work to do overnight.

"On my side it has been a difficult day, but you have those days, in terms of getting the balance," he said.

"I definitely don't have a perfect balance.

"The balance is not that great at the moment but we're working on it.

"There has been a couple of mistakes but it has generally been that we had some brake balance issues on the first couple of runs.

"We're struggling a little bit in some areas but we'll work hard this evening to try and fix it.

"We've learned a lot, we've just got some improvements we need to make, that's for sure."

shares
comments
McLaren's Alonso to manage rib pain during Chinese Grand Prix
Previous article

McLaren's Alonso to manage rib pain during Chinese Grand Prix

Next article

Grosjean slams Pirelli's Chinese GP tyre pressures as 'undriveable'

Grosjean slams Pirelli's Chinese GP tyre pressures as 'undriveable'
Load comments
The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance Plus

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance

Dropped by Red Bull last season, Alexander Albon has fought back into a Formula 1 seat with Williams. ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains what Albon has done to earn the place soon to be vacated by the highly rated George Russell

How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes Plus

How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1
Dec 3, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Plus

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Plus

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Plus

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Autosport's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer explains

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated Plus

Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated

Humble yet blisteringly quick, Charles Leclerc is the driver Ferrari sees as its next
 world champion, and a rightful heir to the greats of Ferrari’s past – even though, by the team’s own admission, he’s not the finished article yet. Here's why it is confident that the 24-year-old can be the man to end a drought stretching back to 2008

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2021
The downside to F1's show and tell proposal Plus

The downside to F1's show and tell proposal

Technology lies at the heart of the F1 story and it fascinates fans, which is why the commercial rights holder plans to compel teams to show more of their ‘secrets’. STUART CODLING fears this will encourage techno-quackery…

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2021
How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits Plus

How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells STUART CODLING about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021