Shanghai: Lewis Hamilton declared his Chinese Grand Prix a "disaster" on Sunday and said Mercedes would find it tough to repeat their F1 championship victory unless they can sort out issues with a car he feels uncomfortable in.
Hamilton finished only fifth in the Chinese Grand Prix -- a race he has dominated -- though he was bumped up to fourth due to a 10-second penalty assessed on Red Bull's Max Verstappen.
Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull won, ahead of Hamilton's Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas in second. Hamilton has yet to win a race this season and is nine points behind Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel in the Formula One driver's standings.
"Saturday and Sunday felt like a disaster from my side," he said. "It is clear from this weekend we are not the quickest. We have lost performance since Melbourne and maybe even more so this weekend." "We are the second or third-fastest team at the moment, so we have some improving to do, but that's not impossible."
Germany's Vettel and Ferrari put champions Mercedes on the defensive with a season-opening victory in Australia, followed last weekend by a close win in Bahrain.