• Chinese Grand Prix - FP2

Hamilton primed to fight through the field

ESPNF1 Staff
April 13, 2012 « Button struggling to extract pace | 'Trouble-free day' for Schumacher »
Lewis Hamilton expects to be competitive in the race regardless of where he starts © Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton says he is ready to fight through the field in Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix as he prepares to take a grid penalty ahead of qualifying.

Hamilton is set to change his gearbox on Saturday morning which will result in a five-place grid penalty once qualifying has taken place. Though it ran the old gearbox during Friday practice McLaren still expects to have to replace it, and Hamilton admitted that he was relishing the prospect of having to make his way through to the front from a lower grid slot.

"I always do like the challenge of trying to come through but it's incredible at the start of the race," Hamilton said. "Trying to gain positions while staying out of trouble is always key, but I'm really looking forward to qualifying tomorrow. Hopefully we can be as high up as possible so then the penalty is not too bad."

Having set the fastest time in the first practice session and the second quickest of FP2 Hamilton added that he felt he would be in with a chance of victory wherever he starts the race, citing Fernando Alonso's victory in Malaysia as an example of winning from a low grid slot.

"I think we'll still be in the race, in amongst the group. If you see at the last race with some of the drivers; Fernando won from quite far back, so hopefully that gives us a positive going in to the race."