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Hamilton Admits Fault in F1 Setup at China GP

Hamilton Admits Fault in F1 Setup at China GP

22/04/2024

Lewis Hamilton accepts blame for a critical setup error during the Chinese Grand Prix, leading to poor performance and strategic regrets in a challenging race for the Mercedes F1 team.

Lewis Hamilton admitted that he was responsible for an overly aggressive change in the settings on his Mercedes F1, which led to his poor performance at the Chinese Grand Prix.

He finished Saturday’s sprint race in second place behind Max Verstappen after qualifying on the front row of the grid during a rain-affected session. However, after taking advantage of the new opportunity to make setting changes between the sprint race and the Grand Prix qualifying, Hamilton admitted he had made a wrong turn.

“Ultimately, I made a bad change to the car settings on Saturday and I paid the price,” he said.

His own boss Toto Wolff has started to get annoyed with Lewis Hamilton’s choices to sometimes shake everything up from one session to another (read here).

Indeed, Hamilton is somewhat accustomed to this kind of last-minute upheaval. And while it sometimes seemed like strokes of genius on the pre-2021 F1s, it has rarely paid off on the ground effect ones.

“I plan to make sure I don’t do that in the future,” he responds to this critique. “You always try to do better, but it might not be the right approach with these ground effect F1s. At least with ours, it’s too unpredictable.”

Jokingly, next to his driver, Wolff suggested that Mercedes F1 would not be affected by Hamilton’s departure in this regard.

“The fact is that the driver’s role in the development of a car is overestimated. It’s worse to lose an engineer than a driver.”

Hamilton then replied, somewhat sharply: “I’m not a car designer. I wish I was, it might have helped our team!”

Hamilton qualified 18th. From there, after initially struggling to advance on soft tires, he moved up through the pack to finish ninth.

“I moved forward and scored points, but it was a tough race.”

“The car seems to work in a narrow window, and I thought that was the right thing to do. Unfortunately, it made the day very difficult. The team did an excellent job with the pit stops and George did well to score solid points.”

Hamilton repeatedly complained about the behavior of his W15 during the race. Hamilton said he “never had so much understeer in my life” as during this Chinese Grand Prix.

“I thought maybe at the beginning I might have hit someone because I never had so much understeer in my life, so I was turning at slow speed and waiting, waiting, waiting.”

“So, I thought I had damaged something like some of the others because there were debris everywhere at one point, but it’s just the setup of settings I chose.”

“With better decisions on settings, we might be about where George is, but we just have to keep fighting.”

Commenting on his short attempt to make his start on softs work, he said: “Oh my God, I was the only one, I think, on softs and everything fell apart after the first lap. It was very tough.”

Hamilton Admits Fault in F1 Setup at China GP

Hamilton Admits Fault in F1 Setup at China GP. Hamilton Admits Fault in F1 Setup at China GP

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