Lewis Hamilton hails “huge step” after best result of F1 2024 in China sprint

Lewis Hamilton was pleased with Mercedes’ progress as he secured P2 in the sprint race.

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W15. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 5, Chinese Grand Prix, Shanghai, China, Sprint
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W15. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd…

Lewis Hamilton has hailed Mercedes’ “huge improvement” after he secured second in the China sprint race - his best result of the 2024 F1 season.

Hamilton took the race lead on the opening lap of the sprint away from Lando Norris after an aggressive start which saw the McLaren driver go wide.

The seven-time world champion controlled the race from the front, extending his lead over Fernando Alonso to over two seconds.

Inevitably, Max Verstappen cut his way through, before overtaking Hamilton on Lap 9.

Hamilton’s pace was still good enough from that point onwards to secure second - adding seven points to his championship tally.

“That’s the best result I’ve had in a long time,” he said after the sprint. “Of course, I am super, super happy, and grateful. We couldn’t fight the Red Bulls today. This is a huge step.

“A huge improvement. At least, with the rain, that really helped naturally. The race was tough. If I was further back I would have struggled perhaps to progress. I found out a lot about the car through this short stint for the race. I am excited for tomorrow.”

For the first time in F1 history, the drivers will take to the track again for qualifying - just three hours after racing in the sprint.

With the forecast set to be dry, Hamilton isn’t hopeful of replicating his sprint qualifying heroics, conceding a number of teams are simply quicker over one lap.

“I still think we’re still not as quick on a single lap as the Ferraris, Red Bulls,” he added. “I think the McLarens are ahead of us for sure and possibly the Astons. We’re probably close to the Astons but we will see today. I don’t anticipate we will be fighting for the front row.

“The fortunate thing is that we can make some adjustments so hopefully I can improve the car in the next three hours and have a better qualifying session than we have had in the past.”

Read More