Chinese Grand Prix – Reigning champion Lewis Hamilton labelled his race weekend “a disaster” after being out-performed by team-mate Valtteri Bottas.
The Mercedes driver was on the back foot for the majority of the weekend; he was beaten in qualifying by Bottas and had to settle for fourth place in a chaotic Chinese Grand Prix.
Hamilton was running in fourth prior to the safety car period, but came under attack from the Red Bulls after they had decided to pit for softer tyres.
He duly fell behind both drivers, but a collision between Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen – and a subsequent penalty for the latter – meant the Briton finished in fourth, reducing the gap to championship leader Vettel.
Speaking after the race, Hamilton conceded that his race wasn’t a “normal” performance.
“I was in no man’s land today. I had no pace,” said Hamilton, “I was just trying to hold on for whatever I had.”
“We’ve been underperforming. Yesterday and today have been a disaster on my side, so I’ve got to try and rectify that and try and get back into normal performance mode, otherwise more valuable points will be lost.
“I’m thankful a couple of incidents that happened ahead today kept us in the battle.”
Thanks to an eighth place finish for Vettel, Hamilton has now reduced the Ferrari driver’s championship lead to just nine points.