Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton said he was baffled by the behaviour of his Mercedes W10 after lapping slower than teammate Valtteri Bottas during free practice for the Chinese Grand Prix on Friday.
The Briton, a five times winner in Shanghai, suffered a spin on cold tyres and ended the day some seven tenths of a second slower than the Finn.
“I’m just focusing on trying to figure out what the hell is going on with my car,” the Formula 1 website quoted him as saying.
“I was struggling with the car today, so we’ve got work to do, particularly on my side as Valtteri looked much more comfortable in the car.”
“We’re going to work hard tonight to find some tweaks and hopefully come back stronger tomorrow; the car has the pace in it to compete at the front, we just need to find the right set-up.”
“It is nice to see how close it is between us, Red Bull and Ferrari. As we expected, the Ferraris still look quicker on the straights, but overall it’s very close between the top cars and I anticipate that it is going to be the same tomorrow.”
Mercedes have finished the first two races of the season one-two, with Hamilton triumphant at the last round in Bahrain two weeks ago.
That was a lucky win, however, with the victory falling into his lap after Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc suffered an engine problem with 10 laps remaining.
Bottas, winner in Australia, leads the championship by a point due to the extra point awarded for the fastest lap in Melbourne. The Finn was fastest overall in Friday practice, with Hamilton fourth.