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Hamilton explains how Mercedes 'came alive' in China - Top three verdict

Hamilton explains how Mercedes 'came alive' in China - Top three verdict

Hamilton explains how Mercedes 'came alive' in China - Top three verdict

Hamilton explains how Mercedes 'came alive' in China - Top three verdict

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has praised his team's return to form after a chaotic Chinese Grand Prix sprint qualifying session.

The 39-year-old produced a stellar performance in the rain, but had pole position snatched away from him after all of the other drivers had crossed the line, following a u-turn from the race stewards.

READ MORE: Hamilton loses pole position after CONTROVERSIAL stewards call

Lando Norris had originally had his lap time, which was over a second quicker than Hamilton's, deleted for a track limits infringement, before it was reinstated once the chequered flag had already greeted the drivers.

Nonetheless, it means that Saturday's sprint race grid will have a slightly skewered look to it, with Norris leading three multiple-time world champions off the line in Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Max Verstappen making up the rest of the top four.

Here's what the top three drivers had to say after sprint qualifying at the Chinese GP...

Lando Norris

Lando Norris claimed pole position in sprint qualifying

"I'm extremely happy. Big thanks to the whole team. It was tricky. You are always nervous going into a qualifying like this, especially when you almost know it's going to rain.

"The conditions, you just have to risk a lot and push to build tyre temperature.

"I was quick but just kept catching the Ferraris, so had to keep backing off so I didn't do the first two laps well but I did a good final one.

"I'm happy. Sad it's not for a proper qualifying, but it's good enough."

On the conditions:

"You only have three laps. The first two I aborted and the last lap was all or nothing. But it was getting wetter and wetter, so the conditions on the final two laps were a lot worse than the second lap at least, so I made a few mistakes and started to aquaplane quite a bit.

"But it's good fun and it gets your heart going. To end up on top was a nice surprise and it's a good position for tomorrow."

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton was happy with his team's return to form in China

"It was very tricky. Not a lot of grip for everyone but I'm so happy," the Brit told Sky Sports F1.

"As soon as I saw the rain coming I got excited because in the dry we were not quick enough, so when the rain came I thought we would have a better opportunity and that's when it came alive."

On what he can do in the Sprint:

"It really depends on what the conditions will be. If it's like that, we will have a chance of being somewhere up there.

"If it's dry, the Ferraris and Red Bulls will come by but maybe we can hold off some of the others."

Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso will start the sprint race in third

"Quite stressful! In SQ1, we were looking at the weather and the threat of rain," Alonso said in an interview with Sky Sports.

"We made some progress in SQ1 then just got through in SQ2, so were not super competitive in the dry.

"Then it rained in SQ3 and every lap was a bit different. The tyres were a bit better every lap but the circuit was worse with more rain. It was difficult to judge the level of grip but in the end I'm extremely happy."

READ MORE: F1 Chinese Grand Prix Sprint Qualifying Results: Verstappen THWARTED in fire and rain


Lewis Hamilton Mercedes Max Verstappen Lando Norris Fernando Alonso Chinese Grand Prix
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