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Hamilton made 'right choice' in joining Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton wasn't talking about tyres when he confirmed that he had 'made the right choice' at the Chinese Grand Prix.
Qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix focused heavily on which tyre to choose for the timed run, but that wasn't the choice Lewis Hamilton was talking about when he said that he had got it 'right'.

The Briton has thus far kept his counsel when it comes to comparing the respective form of his current employer, Mercedes, and former team McLaren but, having claimed pole position in Shanghai, conceded that things were looking better for the Brackley-based squad in 2013.

“You can't really answer it in one result but, definitely, bit by bit, the more and more we impress and improve, [the critics] have to stand to be corrected,” he said of those who claimed his off-season switch was a mistake, “Obviously, the team are just doing an incredible job and I'm just grateful, because it could have gone either way.

“Of course, people have an opinion, but I'm just really grateful that I'm here and I'm in the fight. Today, it is such a blessing to be here, because it was such a big change for me - and a big step – [but] I think I made the right choice.”

Having qualified in the top three in Australia, and finished on the podium last time out in Malaysia, Hamilton has made a strong start to his Mercedes career. Along with team-mate Nico Rosberg, he was always towards the top of the timesheets in China, where the German took the team's first win last season, and is looking forward to a strong showing on Sunday.

“I think the knowledge we've had, and the experience [we've gained] from the last two races really is what mostly counts with where we've put the car,” he explained, “I think, obviously, last year they had a very competitive car here but, at least from what I've seen, none of last year has really come into this year. Of course the car is competitive, as it was last year, so that's a big plus for us and I really hope we can maintain the kind of pace that we have today, going into tomorrow.”

The Mercedes team has been among the biggest critics of the current breed of Pirelli F1 tyre, and the compounds chosen for Shanghai only added to the debate that perhaps the levels of wear had become too extreme. With the top ten qualifiers divided over whether to use the soft or medium compound for their flying lap, Hamilton admitted that the race could be even more tactical than ever.

“I think everyone was really saving their tyres for the race,” the polewinner opined, “The [soft] option is the one that we don't really want to use and there was no point in saving options or using a prime considering everyone will probably want to use them tomorrow.

“Making the option tyre last is almost impossible, so it's probably going to be quite a short stint at the start. Everyone has the same [problem] ... except for [Kimi Raikkonen] - he seems to be able to look after them a little bit better than most people. Still, I think we'll have a competitive race.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
13.04.2013- Free Practice 3, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W04
13.04.2013- Qualifying, 3rd position Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F138, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W04 pole position and 2nd position Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E21
13.04.2013- Qualifying, (L-D) Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F138, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W04 and Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W04
12.04.2013- Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W04
13.04.2013- Free Practice 3, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W04
13.04.2013- Qualifying, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W04 pole position
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Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas
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Lewis Hamilton tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner

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prof-x - Unregistered

April 14, 2013 1:28 PM

actually locking up the left front didn't hurt him that bad given his attack angle, in fact it might have helped him skip it, most of the weight was on the right side of the car and he had plenty of room to run out while achieving a uniform velocity approach down the straight. The (at least 2) back markers hurt Lewis the most in the last lap.

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