Mercedes explain problem which held Lewis Hamilton back at F1 Chinese Grand Prix

Mercedes detail the reason for Lewis Hamilton's P9 finish in Shanghai

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

Mercedes have explained that an F1 Chinese Grand Prix to forget for Lewis Hamilton was due to tyre temperature.

Hamilton came home in P9 in Shanghai after recovering from starting from 18th.

George Russell, Hamilton’s teammate, was sixth.

Notably the two Ferraris finished ahead of both Mercedes.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won the Chinese Grand Prix, his domination a stark contrast to the ongoing problems at Mercedes.

“From where we started, the final result was close to the maximum with the car we had today,” a Mercedes spokesperson said.

“George’s main objective was to clear Fernando Alonso and Piastri which he did.

“A strong final stint managing the degradation ensured Alonso didn’t become a threat at the end.

“Lewis struggled with rear tyre temperature all race, likely as a result of the balance of the car.

“He benefitted from the Safety Cars but ultimately was unfortunate not to take P8 at the end, not quite able to get into Piastri’s DRS range.

“It’s been a weekend of contrasts. Likely the sweeping changes made after the Sprint didn’t help but we were able to race competitively against the McLarens, Ferraris, and the Aston Martin of Alonso.”

Hamilton experienced a topsy-turvy weekend at the fifth round of the 2024 F1 season.

He was bouyant after Friday qualifying for the sprint race when he insisted that the W15 "came alive" in the wet conditions that he typically excels in.

Hamilton started second on the grid for the sprint race but was overtaken by eventual winner Verstappen.

But his weekend suddenly came crashing back down to Earth after qualifying for the grand prix in 18th.

An uncharacteristic error from Hamilton saw him eliminated in Q1. He later explained that he made "massive changes" in his car set-up between the sprint race and qualifying for the grand prix.

Hamilton's hint that he and Russell ran with different set-ups on Saturday was somewhat refuted by his teammate, though.

“We're pretty similar on the setups, we both went in a similar direction, but there’s a small difference,” Russell said.

Nico Rosberg, Hamilton's ex-teammate who was commentating for Sky Sports, criticised the seven-time F1 champion for "excuses" about his set-up.

Sky Sports' Karun Chandhok then insisted that set-up changes were not to blame for Hamilton's terrible qualifying.

Ultimately, his grand prix was rescued with a P9 finish.

But his final year with Mercedes, before joining Ferrari next season, is not going to plan so far.

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