Hamilton sees China penalty as a chance to race

Thu Apr 14, 2016 9:57am EDT
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By Abhishek Takle

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Triple world champion Lewis Hamilton looked for positives at the Chinese Formula One Grand Prix on Thursday after a five-place grid penalty wrecked his hopes of a third successive pole position this season.

The Briton, who has won at the Shanghai circuit for the past two years, collected the penalty after Mercedes decided to change his car's gearbox ahead of Sunday's third round of the season.

"For me a challenge is an opportunity to rise," said Hamilton, who has the words ‘Still I rise’ emblazoned on his helmet and tattooed across his back.

"I love racing so I get to race this weekend rather than be at the front and have less of a race," he told reporters.

Hamilton qualified on pole in Australia and Bahrain but suffered poor starts in both races, which were won by German team mate Nico Rosberg who now has a 17 point lead in the standings.

The reigning world champion has not won a race since he clinched his third title last October in Texas, with Rosberg now chasing his sixth successive victory, and had to fight back from seventh at the end of lap one to third in Bahrain.

Hamilton recognized it would be a tough weekend but said fighting through the field reminded him of his karting days, when others had better equipment and he had to make the difference.

"Actually, the last couple of races, being a little further back has been really exciting," he added.   Continued...

Formula One - Bahrain F1 Grand Prix - Sakhir, Bahrain - 03/04/16 - Mercedes F1 driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain celebrates after winning third place at the Bahrain GP. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed