Tyre change cost me, says Lewis

Lewis Hamilton has admitted he was wrong to switch to intermediate tyres in the early stages of Sunday’s Chinese GP, although he was still pleased to help McLaren take an ‘incredible’ one-two result.

Hamilton had another dramatic race, and like a lot of runners (except most noticeably team-mate Jenson Button) he opted to pit early on and switch to intermediate tyres. That decision proved to be a mistake, but he still managed to battle his way back up the order, eventually finishing just 1.5 seconds off P1.

“First of all, congratulations to Jenson – he did an incredible job and made an excellent tyre choice in what were very tricky conditions this afternoon,” said Hamilton. “It was very tough at the start – it started to rain right away, and it was a difficult call to decide to pit for intermediate tyres. I made a very late call when I thought I’d heard a comment over the radio, and pulled into the pits when I was halfway round the final corner!

“Unfortunately, it wasn’t the right choice – the tyres started graining almost immediately and I needed to stop again, this time for dry tyres. But, after that, I got my head down and made up a lot of positions before the rain got heavier.

“Towards the end of the race, my tyres really weren’t in good shape. So, while I was able to get past a lot of cars, I wasn’t able to catch Jenson. But we both had an absolutely fantastic afternoon, and I think the whole team deserves this incredible one-two result.”

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