• Chinese Grand Prix

Race pace still lacking - Hamilton

ESPN Staff
April 14, 2013 « McLaren 'not quick enough' - Button | Massa blames poor performance on tyre graining »
Lewis Hamilton: "We just don't have the pace of the Ferraris and the Lotuses in the race conditions" © Sutton Images
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Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes needs to improve its race pace to fight for victories after he finished third at the Chinese Grand Prix.

Hamilton started on pole position in China but dropped to third over the course of the race as he was out-paced by Fernando Alonso's Ferrari and Kimi Raikkonen's Lotus. On the final lap of the race he came under intense pressure from Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull, which had started ninth on a different strategy, but held him off at the chequered flag by 0.2s.

"Of course I would loved to have won and I never like going backwards, but we just don't have the pace of the Ferraris and the Lotuses in the race conditions," Hamilton said. "That's an area we need to improve on but the guys did a great job, and generally did this whole weekend just to be where we are. It was a good race and it was so close in the last corner because I had no rubber left on my tyres but I just managed to hold onto it."

Hamilton is hoping Mercedes can make progress over the coming races, but warned against expecting too much too quickly.

"You've got to remember that as we progress everybody else is progressing at the same time," he added. "So we've got to do double steps compared to what the other people are doing. The guys are doing a great job at the factory but it's difficult to know how long it will take us [to catch up].

"It's difficult to know how much pace we will need because in qualifying we are there but in race conditions we are not. Who knows, the next race might be a real good one for us. But being on the podium for two races in a row, I'm so happy with that."

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