Lewis Hamilton says he is struggling to work out what is going on with his car after spinning and finishing over half a second behind teammate and championship leader Valtteri Bottas in practice two for the Chinese Grand Prix.
Winning with a comfortable margin in Bahrain, Hamilton looked to have found a rhythm with the 2019 Mercedes, but just two weeks later, the pendulum has swung back in the favor of Bottas.
On cold tires, Hamilton spun after the long opening right-handers turn into a tight left, and it wasn’t the only moment of concern for the reigning champion.
"I'm just focusing on trying to figure out what the hell is going on with my car," said Hamilton. "I was struggling with the car today, so we've got work to do, particularly on my side as Valtteri looked much more comfortable in the car.
"We're going to work hard tonight to find some tweaks and hopefully come back stronger tomorrow; the car has the pace in it to compete at the front. We just need to find the right setup."
The issue becomes even harder to understand upon remembering that Hamilton is a record five-time winner around the Shanghai International Circuit.
With only Saturday morning’s free practice three session remaining before things get serious in qualifying, time is very limited for the Mercedes driver to discover the sweet spot of this year’s car.
Bottas and Hamilton have traded wins in the first two races of the season, with Bottas having a one-point advantage by virtue of scoring the fastest lap point in Melbourne.
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