Hamilton targeting win over "damage limitation" after grid penalty

Lewis Hamilton says he is looking forward to the challenge of starting the Chinese GP with a five-place grid penalty after a gearbox change.

Asked if his difficult start to the season reminded him of 2014 – when he had to play catch-up to Nico Rosberg – he declined to accept the comparison.

"It feels like 2016 to me!," he said. "It's a little bit different to 2014 as far as I can remember. I was catching up already from the second race, wasn't I?

"Which I've not been doing, so 2016 is a little different. But it's a challenge, and I enjoy that.

"Of course when you hear on the Wednesday morning that you're arriving at the weekend with a penalty already, of course that changes the approach to the weekend, that changes the mindset.

"For me a challenge is an opportunity to rise, so I'm really excited about the opportunity, from where I'm going to start hopefully in the best possible position with the penalty.

"I love racing, and it's a race this weekend, rather than be at the front and have less of a race."

He was keen to point out that his teammate now has the advantage.

"It is going to be an easy weekend for Nico for sure. Most likely it will be an easier weekend for him.

"But it doesn't mean I can't give him a good run for his money from wherever I start. I'll be pushing as hard as I can... It doesn't mean I can't win the race still, which is my thought process, rather than damage limitation."

Hamilton also confirmed that the gearbox problem was not related to his collision with Valtteri Bottas in Bahrain, but he insisted he had no reliability concerns.

"I don't get concerned about much nowadays, but of course the engineers are looking into it, of course it's something that they have to work towards, it's something for sure that's on their minds.

"But reliability has been fantastic for a long time, so they'll rectify I'm pretty sure very soon."

Hamilton said he had no opinion on the change back to 2015 qualifying: "I'm neither relieved nor dissatisfied, it's made no difference to me, as I've said in the last two races.

"Maybe it is for other people further back, but for us it doesn't make any difference. The fans obviously wanted that, so that's the good part."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Chinese GP
Track Shanghai International Circuit
Drivers Lewis Hamilton
Teams Mercedes
Article type Breaking news