Lewis Hamilton hoping for quick turnaround for Mercedes in Shanghai

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton at the Bahrain Grand Prix. (REUTERS)
Updated 09 April 2018

Lewis Hamilton hoping for quick turnaround for Mercedes in Shanghai

London: Lewis Hamilton admitted to concerns about Mercedes’ early-season form after seeing Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel remain unbeaten in Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
The 33-year-old defending four-time world champion said he had little idea how or why Ferrari had been able to outperform his Mercedes team, Vettel claiming a tense win ahead of Valtteri Bottas.
It was the German’s second win in as many races this season and installed him as a clear favorite to beat Hamilton to become a five-time champion.
“I am thinking and wondering,” said Hamilton. “My thoughts are already on the world championship — I’ve lost two races in a row now and I am 17 points down after just two races.
“Obviously, the grid penalty was difficult to swallow here this weekend, but I think the team did a really good job.
“Hopefully, when we go to China for the next race, we will have a better understanding of the tires and put up a better fight against Ferrari.
“Shanghai has been kind to me in the past so I am hoping I can bounce back.” Vettel won Sunday’s race despite admitting he felt Mercedes had him in “check-mate” when they adopted a one-stop strategy.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said he believed that move had given his team a “90 percent chance” of winning, with Bottas on durable medium tires close behind Vettel who was on soft tires and a two-stop strategy.
But Ferrari switched strategy and asked Vettel to go the full distance — meaning he ran 39 laps on used soft tires to complete the race.
“I think we had won the race already after coming out on the medium behind Sebastian, with a gap that we were able to close down, and knowing that they would either need to stop once again or they would run out of tire,” said Wolff.
“At that moment, I would say 90 percent probability was on us winning — and we lost that.”
Hamilton said he believed he lost the race in qualifying when he could not match Ferrari’s pace — as they locked out the front row of the grid and he had a changed gearbox that cost him five places.
“I could not make the moves I wanted to in the opening laps and that cost me,” said Hamilton.
Wolff added that he was encouraged by the pace of Mercedes cars in the closing laps as they chased down Vettel without avail.
“What was interesting to see was that maybe the pace of the Ferrari was not as good as we expected,” he added. “Our pace was solid on the super-soft and I think we could have probably gone a little quicker.”


DeChambeau shoots 65 to win by 3 strokes

Updated 07 July 2020

DeChambeau shoots 65 to win by 3 strokes

  • DeChambeau shot a 7-under 65 at Detroit Golf Club, birdieing four of the first seven holes

DETROIT: Bryson DeChambeau pounded protein shakes and lifted iron to transform his body, adding 40 pounds of mass, and changed his game to put a premium on power.

The plan is working.

With jaw-dropping drives and some clutch putts, DeChambeau won the Rocket Mortgage Classic by three strokes Sunday for his first victory of the season and sixth overall. He became the first PGA Tour player since 2004 to lead a tournament in driving distance, along with shots gained off the tee and putting.

“This is a little emotional for me because I did do something a little different," the 26-year-old DeChambeau said. “I changed my body, changed my mindset in the game and I was able to accomplish a win while playing a completely different style of golf. And, it’s pretty amazing to see that. I hope it’s an inspiration to a lot of people."

DeChambeau shot a 7-under 65 at Detroit Golf Club, birdieing four of the first seven holes and closing with three straight. He finished at a career-best 23-under 265.

Matthew Wolff (71) was second. He started the day with a three-shot lead and hurt his chances with five bogeys over his first 10 holes. Kevin Kisner (66) finished another stroke back as part of a relatively weak field that continued to trend of exceptional play since the PGA Tour restarted.

“The level of play on tour in these first four weeks has been incredible, cuts at 4 and 5 under every week," Kisner said.

With a strong finish, DeChambeau removed all doubt that he would win the second Rocket Mortgage Classic.

He made a 30-foot birdie putt at No. 16, which he said was his shot of the day. He also had a short putt for birdie on the next hole. And finally, he uncorked a 367-yard drive to set up another short putt at 18.

DeChambeau came into the week with six straight top-eight finishes and was the only player with top 10s in the first three events after the restart from the coronavirus pandemic. He won for the first time since the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in November 2018.

DeChambeau has dramatically altered his body, packing about 240 pounds on his 6-foot-1 body, and took advantage of the extra time he had to work on his physique during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“He understands what is the key to gaining the biggest advantage and that’s distance, and mega distance,” Kisner said. “He just has too much time on his hands. He needs to start getting married and having kids and feel like the rest of us."

DeChambeau’s power was on full display in the Motor City with drives that went 351 yards on average after looking like he might swing out of his spikes.

When DeChambeau was on the tee box at the 399-yard, par-4 13th, he waited for the next group to leave the green before hitting his drive so that he didn't hit any fellow competitors.

“No, I've never done that," he acknowledged. “I really could have gotten there."

His drive on the 621-yard, par-5 fourth went way left and landed in greenside rough on an adjacent hole. He cleared towering trees and landed just short of the green, sending his approach 276 yards and he two-putted from 37 feet.

“That was probably my second best moment of the day," DeChambeau said. “I got really quite honestly pretty lucky being able to get over these trees and let it land and roll onto the front edge of the green."