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Hamilton sees penalty as chance to shine

NEWS STORY
14/04/2016

Having essentially lost two races at the start, one might think that Lewis Hamilton would be seriously miffed at having been handed a grid penalty for this Sunday's race. Not so.

In Melbourne a poor start from pole not only allowed the Ferraris through but teammate Nico Rosberg, who went on to take victory, the subsequent red flag following Alonso's crash allowing Hamilton to get back in to a podium scoring position.

Then came Bahrain where another poor start meant the Briton was clipped form behind by Valtteri Bottas, though again Hamilton was able to salvage a podium result.

In China, his team having opted to change the gearbox on his car after it was damaged in the Bahrain clash with Bottas, Hamilton will start, at best, from sixth on the grid, however, he sees this as an opportunity to have some fun.

"For me a challenge is an opportunity to rise," he told reporters. "I am going to start in the best possible position and then I look forward to racing. So, it will be a race this weekend, instead of being at the front."

"Actually, the last couple of races, being a little further back has been really exciting," he insisted. "Maybe five years ago I would have taken it as a negative, but I now see it as a chance to shine, given the challenge to overcome that challenge and excel. It is to do with age, I guess. I can't pinpoint a reason."

Not wanting to pass up the opportunity of a sly dig at his teammate, who has won the opening two rounds of the season, he said: "It is going to be an easy weekend for Nico, for sure. But it doesn't mean I can't give him a good run for his money, from wherever I start. I will be pushing as hard because it doesn't mean I can't win the race. That will be my thought process, rather than damage limitation.

"I love racing so I love coming through from the back. That's how I started. When I started, we had a crap kart because it was all we could afford and I grew up doing this. I didn't start in a top team and that is what I love so much about my early days, starting further back. Maybe that is why I am in such a good mood because I am going to have a race with some people. This is a track where you can overtake on the long straight. But it is obviously better to get a good start."

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