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Lewis Hamilton 'not in the best place' in Chinese GP - Toto Wolff

Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff reckons Lewis Hamilton's lacklustre Chinese Grand Prix was largely down to the Formula 1 world champion 'not being in the best place'.

Hamilton labelled his fourth place at Shanghai as a "disaster", admitting that his side of the Mercedes garage underperformed for much of the weekend.

Wolff felt his star driver was not quite on song in China.

"Like the car, he was maybe not in the best place this weekend," said Wolff.

"He's the best driver in my opinion, but also the best ones have days when it's just not 100%.

"And if underneath you have a car that's not performing as expected, and tyres that are not doing what you think they should do, and then the strategy goes against you...

"Actually we discussed that scenario this morning. Then everything just... goes in the wrong direction."

Wolff added that Hamilton's woes were emphasised by a huge swing in tyre performance, going from struggling to turn the Pirellis on in qualifying to overheating on both compounds during the race.

Lewis Hamilton Mercedes Chinese GP 2018

He says Mercedes will use the dominant pace it showed at the season-opener in Melbourne as a pointer to the car's potential, and methodically come up with solutions rather than panicking.

"We were overheating the tyres," he said. "We're not in a good place. We're bouncing between freezing and overheating.

"You can see when we hit the sweet spot like we did in Melbourne we are very fast, the lap pace of the car is very good.

"We didn't hit it yesterday and today we're just too slow.

"In Formula 1 there is never a quick fix.

"You can see how fast the picture can change. In testing and in Melbourne you could predict that we would run away with the championship because the car was so dominant. And here we go three races in and we're not.

"In my opinion this is a great group of people. We just need to stick our heads together, stay calm, get the head down, and come up with solutions.

"[I have] huge confidence in the people. They've proved that in the past."

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