Hamilton Reacts To Surprising Sprint Front Row After Using 'Better Opportunity'

Friday, 19 April 2024 at 12:00
hamilton lewis mercedes latimages18
Lewis Hamilton, who scored P2 during the Sprint Shootout on Friday during the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix Sprint weekend, suggested it wouldn't be possible without the rain.
All drivers had to start the sprint shootout at the Shanghai International Circuit on medium compound tires, making it extremely challenging to keep the right temperature in them.
Mercedes struggled with this issue perhaps even more than some other teams, which was confirmed by George Russell's SQ2 knockout.
However, the track was hit by rain at the end of SQ2, which meant that SQ3 would be run on intermediate tires in extremely tricky conditions.
The seven-time World Champion explained after the race he knew it was his chance to score big because wet conditions meant it was no longer about the fastest car.

"It was very tricky. There was not a lot of grip, as you saw, for everyone. But yeah, I'm so happy. As soon as I saw the rain was coming, I was getting excited because, naturally, in dry conditions, we're not quick enough."

"So when the rain came, then I hoped I would have a bit of a better opportunity, and that's when it kind of all came alive."

The 39-year-old driver almost scored a pole position, but he was overtaken by a fellow Briton Lando Norris on McLaren in the final lap.
Initially, Norris' lap was deleted, but as the experienced Mercedes driver crossed the finish line to complete his last lap, and the last lap of the sprint shootout overall, the McLaren driver saw his lap reinstated.
Hamilton's former Mercedes teammate, Nico Rosberg, stated that the Mercedes driver's lap was the lap of the real seven-time World Champion.
On Saturday, he will be starting from the front row, which will give him good enough chance to fight for a win, even though only in a Sprint race.