“It kind of all came alive” — Lewis Hamilton delighted with P2 starting spot for F1 Sprint at Chinese GP

Photo Credit: Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team
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Friday was a rollercoaster for Lewis Hamilton.

The seven-time World Champion set a time of 1.37.181 in SQ1, placing him 12th on the timesheet. He logged a 1.36.287 in SQ2 to be P9, squeezing through by 0.058s as teammate George Russell missed out.

Rain entered the scene nearing the end of SQ2 changing the possible outcome for the Brit. Hamilton first lap time got deleted for track limits at turn 6 due to the lack of grip.

But he came back stronger with a 1.59.201 — comfortably topping the timesheets until Norris lap time of 1.57.904 which was previously deleted got reinstated. Hamilton had to settle for P2 in Sprint Qualifying. 

Nonetheless, the 39-year-old delivered a brilliant lap in the final segment of qualifying and opened up on the excitement of having rain to give him an opportunity to get such a good grid spot.

“It was very tricky, tricky conditions. Not a lot of grip as you saw for us, for everyone. But yeah, so happy.”

“As soon as I saw the rain coming I was getting excited because naturally in dry conditions we’re not quick enough.

“So when the rain came then I kind of thought that I would have a bit of a better opportunity and then that’s when it kind of all came alive.”

The 7-time-world champion also hopes that the wet conditions continue for the Sprint tomorrow as Mercedes are still much slower on the dry conditions.

Hamilton believes he has a chance of being up in the podium places if it rains. He also stated that if the dry conditions return, the Ferraris and the Red Bulls will pass his W15 easily.

The Red Bull of Verstappen and the Ferrari of Leclerc sat P1 and P2 in SQ2 respectively before the change of weather conditions saw them drop away in the classification, finishing P4 and P7 in SQ3.

“It really depends what the conditions will be. If it’s like that then maybe we’ll have a chance of being somewhere up there.

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