Lewis Hamilton is preparing himself for a fightback in Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix after an engine issue in qualifying resigned him to the back of the grid for the start of the race.
An issue on the MGU-H on Hamilton’s power unit meant he could not post a time in Q1, leaving him 22nd in the classification.
To compound matters, Hamilton entered the weekend with a five place grid penalty for a gearbox change, making his qualifying misery just the latest low point of a tough weekend.
“Of course, it’s disappointing not to get out there today,” Hamilton said.
“It was going to be a tough weekend anyway with the grid penalty. But these things are sent to try us. No-one wants it easy – at least I know I don’t. We might be in the mud right now – but we’ll dig our way out. We’ve got a great car and the team are doing a great job.
“There are areas we can improve but it’s still early in the season and I know we’ll get there. It’s important that nobody lets their head drop. The best thing we can do is learn from it and move on. I’m sure the guys are just as gutted as I am – but what will be, will be.
“We win and lose together, so we’ll work hard to figure out what happened and try to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Hamilton last failed to make it past Q1 at the 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix before going on to finish the race in third place and beat teammate Nico Rosberg.
“The positive news is that you can overtake here and the car is quick, so hopefully we can get it fixed for tomorrow and have a good race,” Hamilton said.
“I’ve been in this position before. I came from the back of the grid to the podium in Hungary two years ago, so anything is possible. The tires don’t last as well here, so it’s perhaps not as simple as it was in that race.
“But, of course, I’ll give it everything I’ve got to try to get back up as far as I can. We’ll at least get into the points and then I’ll see what I can do from there.
“It’s never over until it’s over.”
The Chinese Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 1:30am ET on Sunday.