F1: Hamilton happy his Mercedes ‘came alive’ during Chinese GP sprint qualifying

F1: Hamilton happy his Mercedes ‘came alive’ during Chinese GP sprint qualifying

Lewis Hamilton expressed his joy after claiming his Mercedes “came alive” during a wet qualifying session for the Chinese Grand Prix sprint race on Friday.

The seven-time world champion capitalised on the downpour that descended on the Shanghai International Circuit to put his Mercedes second on the grid for Saturday’s sprint race behind polesitter Lando Norris in the Mercedes-powered McLaren.

“It was very tricky, tricky conditions, not a lot of grip as you saw for everyone,” Hamilton said after the session. “But yeah, so happy. As soon as I saw the rain coming, I was getting excited.

“Naturally in dry conditions, we’re not quick enough, so when the rain came, and I thought I’d have a bit of a better opportunity, and that’s kind of when it all came alive.”

Despite his strong finish, Hamilton has doubts his Mercedes will have the pace to challenge for victory in the sprint race if the weather condition is dry.

“It really depends what the conditions will be. If it’s like that, maybe we’ll have a chance of being somewhere up there,” the 39-year-old explained.

“I think if it’s dry, naturally the Ferraris and Red Bulls will come by. Maybe we can hold off some of the others.”

The Chinese Grand Prix is making a return to the F1 calendar after a five-year absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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