Hamilton in need of Russia remedy


Lewis Hamilton said his Mercedes drove "like a four-poster bed" in the Chinese Grand Prix last time out and the world champion is in need of a win in Russia this weekend to end a nightmare start to his Formula One season.

The Briton started from the back of the grid at the Shanghai International Circuit after enduring power unit problems in qualifying, having already been hit with a five-place penalty due to a gearbox change.

Hamilton finished seventh in the third race of the season, with Nico Rosberg extending his winning streak to six races to stretch his lead over his team-mate to 36 points.

Three-time world champion Hamilton has two wins out of two in Russia and does not require a reminder to know he could really do with maintaining his perfect record in Sochi on Sunday.

Sebastian Vettel took second in China after colliding with team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, with the German blaming Daniil Kvyat, and Ferrari can ill afford any further incidents this weekend.



Mercedes hold a 53-point advantage over Ferrari at this early stage of the season, but Rosberg believes the Italian team are still capable of ending his purple patch.

He said: "I'm not really sounding any notes of caution, I'm just realistic. Ferrari, amongst others, haven't shown what they can do yet. They took each other at the last race and, from there, it was just messy.

"A lot of things have been going wrong but, for sure, they are a lot quicker than they have shown, and we think they're very, very close to us."



Kvyat finished third in Shanghai ahead of Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo and the Russian, who turned 22 on Tuesday, is relishing the challenge of building on that podium finish at a circuit where the grandstand was named after him two years ago.

He said: "I think Turn Four is the nicest corner and it's also the grandstand named after me. I see my face on that corner often during the race and that support is really nice. Any time I want to say something cool I say: I have a grandstand named after me.

"It will be a hectic week and thinking about Daniel's busy week in Australia it's a bit of a payback for me in a way, but you already got into quite a good rhythm after the first few races so you're used to it in a way. In the end it's my home race and that gives me an extra boost as well. It's very nice to have a home race. It's very special for every driver, so I think I'm very lucky to have one."



The 5.8-kilometre Sochi circuit includes 12 right-hand corners and six left with drivers able to really open up on the 650-metre straight between the first and second turns. The track, which will host an F1 race for the third time, offers a technical test for drivers as they work their way around the Olympic venues in a 53-lap race at the 55,000-capacity circuit.



Dry and sunny weather is forecast for Sochi throughout the weekend, with temperatures reaching around 18 degrees Celsius. 



Rosberg and Hamilton have opted for one set of medium tyres, four sets of softs and eight sets of supersofts. Ferrari duo Vettel and Raikkonen, on the other hand, went with six sets of supersofts as many softs as well as just the one set of mediums. 

Red Bull selected just the one set of mediums, two sets of softs and 10 sets of supersofts for the semi-permanent Sochi track.