Lewis Hamilton was left feeling proud of his run to second place in qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix on Saturday after "battling" with his Mercedes car throughout the lead-up to the fight for pole position.

Hamilton said on Friday that he was not feeling comfortable with the Mercedes W10 car around the Shanghai International Circuit, and failed to match teammate Valtteri Bottas for pace in final practice on Saturday.

Hamilton continued making minor adjustments to his car right the way through to the second stage of qualifying, with the Briton finally hitting his stride towards the end of Q2.

While Hamilton fell 0.023 seconds shy of Bottas’ pole lap time, he was left pleased with his performance and recovery.

“I was struggling with the car throughout the weekend, even into Q2. But I made a couple of changes with some settings on the wheel and some changes to the line and managed to bridge the gap,” Hamilton said.

“Honestly, I’m quite proud of job I’ve done, considering how far I was off earlier in the session.

“I was experimenting throughout the session. I finally got the quickest sector in the end, but it was a bit too late. But still, it’s all about making improvements.

“I’ve been struggling with the car so I was just battling the thing. It’s a great car this year, but I think the first few races are always tricky with a new car. You see it shifts a little bit later on in the season and you get a better understanding.”

Qualifying saw Mercedes lock out the front row of the grid, three-tenths of a second clear of the Ferrari team that had been so dominant in Bahrain two weeks ago.

However, Hamilton did not take much from the pendulum swing back in Mercedes’ favour.

“That’s how it’s going to be from race to race,” he said.

“Some cars suit some tracks better than others.”


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