Lewis Hamilton admits he cannot afford to lose any more ground to Nico Rosberg in these early rounds as his dismal run of luck continued into the Chinese Grand Prix race with a compromised run to seventh.
On a weekend that saw him take a gearbox change penalty before the event only for his ERS to fail in qualifying - leaving him last on the grid and needing a new engine - Hamilton went on to suffer his third turn one collision in a row when he was caught up in the concertina effect prompted by the two Ferraris colliding much further up the road.
With Hamilton losing his front wing against the Sauber of Felipe Nasr as the Brazilian moved to avoid the damaged Kimi Raikkonen, Mercedes attempted to play him into contention with early pit-stops to clear the unfavourable rubber, the Briton making a total of five in the race,
However, with damage to his W07 hampering his efforts to recover ground, though Hamilton's efforts took him all the way to third place as strategies played out, he faded to seventh in the closing stages.
“Definitely, it [was a rollercoaster ride],” he lamented. “A pretty horrifying race really but there some good experiences, with the overtaking. At one point I went around somebody around the outside of Turn 7 and around the outside of someone at Turn 8 so I love doing that stuff you know -- catching people where they are not expecting it and even with the damage on the car, so there are some proud moments out there.
“With the damage on the car it had that domino effect and pretty much like the last race we were trying to recover with the damage on the car. These things happen and it's in the past, so all I can do is focus on the future.”
Though Hamilton was determined to remain upbeat about his run of poor form – joking he finally got a good start from dead last -, with three-time race winner Rosberg now 36 points clear at the top of the table, the defending champion admits he cannot face any more problems.
“My start was good today, I was dead last and had a good start finally! Trust it to happen when I'm dead last so that's something positive to take into the next race and hopefully utilise and use to my advantage from now on.
“It doesn't feel any nicer than it did back then, if anything it probably feels worse. Perhaps now because it has just gone one negative after another but of course there is a long, long way to go. Lots can happen, it's just I have no more jokers available really.”