Lewis Hamilton says the set-up gamble he took in China "worked perfectly"
Race winner had been unhappy with his car's handling at start of week
By Mike Wise. Last Updated: 21/04/14 8:53am
Lewis Hamilton said the gamble he and Mercedes took in making changes to his car "worked perfectly" in light of his cruise to victory in China.
The Briton won both his third straight race and the 25th of his career on Sunday, allowing him to close to within four points of team-mate Nico Rosberg, who finished second on Sunday.
Despite being fastest in practice on Friday, Hamilton had been unhappy with his W05's set-up at the time. Suspension problems limited his running, with the 2008 World Champion also complaining of understeer.
Rain during qualifying left Hamilton unsure whether the changes he and his engineers had decided upon would work on the dry track anticipated for the race.
But having claimed pole position on Saturday, he showed similar dominance and ultimately took the chequered flag 19s clear of Rosberg after extending his lead in the closing laps.
"It feels incredible, it really does. I just have to shout out a big 'Thank you' to the team firstly for embracing me into the team last year and for all their hard work," Hamilton said afterwards.
"I'm so, so happy; I had such a great race and I really enjoyed it - particularly the last few laps, trying to keep temperature in the tyres and pushing a little bit more just to keep the temperature up.
"The car was really good. As I said, we made lots of on Friday night and it was wet qualifying, so I didn't know what it was going to feel like today.
"We didn't guess; we really made those steps in anticipation of today and it worked perfectly."
Rosberg had a more difficult race. Starting fourth on the grid, he dropped back after banging wheels with the Williams of Valtteri Bottas off the line.
The German fought his way back but a telemetry problem meant that he also had to relay fuel consumption figures back to the team throughout the 56 laps.
By contrast, it says everything about Hamilton's perfect car and perfect day when the only hiccup he had to contend with was the chequered flag being waved a lap early.
"I was thinking, 'Am I seeing things?' I was coming across the line expecting to do another lap and all of a sudden I looked up, saw the flag and I lifted for a second," Hamilton added.
"Then I saw there was no-one on the wall so I kept going. I did lose a second or so but when I asked the team, they said 'No' and I just kept going. It was very strange."