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Hamilton Grabs Second in Wet Shanghai Sprint Qualifier

Hamilton Grabs Second in Wet Shanghai Sprint Qualifier

19/04/2024

In wet conditions, Lewis Hamilton seized the opportunity to start second in Shanghai’s Sprint, defying slower dry speeds.

Lewis Hamilton will start from the front row of the Sprint this Saturday in Shanghai. The Mercedes F1 driver is pleased to have qualified so well and acknowledges that he could not have done it under more typical conditions.

“The conditions were very challenging. As you can see, there wasn’t much grip for anyone. As soon as I saw the rain coming, I was very excited,” said the seven-time world champion.

“Our pace in the dry wasn’t fast enough to allow us to compete at the front, so the wet weather gave us more opportunities. That’s when things came alive.”

The Briton remains cautious about his goal for the Sprint: “We need to wait and see what the conditions will be like tomorrow. We have a lot of fast cars starting behind us, but we’ll see what we can do to keep them behind.”

Russell is “frustrated” by his elimination in SQ2

For George Russell, it was a cold shower with only an 11th place finish for the young Briton, and an elimination in SQ2. He admits being frustrated by missing SQ3 by less than four-hundredths of a second.

“It wasn’t easy at all. There was only one lap in SQ2, we tried to get on the track as early as possible, but I got blocked by 12 cars in front in the pit lane and I lost temperature in the tires,” Russell recounts.

“It was tight, with a tenth better you gain four or five positions. It’s a shame to be at the bottom of that. But it’s the Sprint qualifying, and there are still possibilities to do better in the race.”

Russell knows he still has time to improve this weekend, and he is surprised by the more challenging than expected track conditions: “I was frustrated by the first lap, it was very close to going into SQ3, and it was a challenge. But there is the Sprint race tomorrow to gain some positions and the qualifying tomorrow afternoon to do better.”

“The grip is very low here, the times are three or four seconds slower than we expected, and there are no promotional formulas to help clean the track. So we slide, and we only did the practice in hard tires, before qualifying in mediums so it’s hard to judge.”

Hamilton Grabs Second in Wet Shanghai Sprint Qualifier

Hamilton Grabs Second in Wet Shanghai Sprint Qualifier. Hamilton Grabs Second in Wet Shanghai Sprint Qualifier

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