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Published: 16:53 | 17/4/16

Hamilton has "no more jokers" in title race

World champion trails Nico Rosberg by 36 points after three races

Lewis Hamilton admits he is playing catch-up in the 2016 world championship race after just three races.

Hamilton's Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg beat Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel by 38 seconds in the Chinese Grand Prix to record his sixth successive victory, bridging the tail end of last season and the first three races of 2016,

Hamilton, starting from last on the grid after an engine mishap in qualifying, eventually finished seventh despite 18 overtakes in a topsy-turvy race that started with a first corner collision with Felipe Nasr's Sauber.

"There's a long, long way to go, lots can happen," the world champion said following the race at the Shanghai International Circuit.

"It's just that I have no more jokers available, really.

"My start was good today, I had a good start, finally! Trust it to happen when I'm dead last.

"That's something positive we can take into the next race and hopefully utilise and use to my advantage from now on."

Hamilton, 31, feels he now copes better with on-track setbacks and is already looking forward to the next race, the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi on 1 May,

"Definitely I don't feel the dark cloud I've had in the past over me now," he continued.

"Of course it's a trying time, lots of different emotions and thoughts are going through my mind.

"As you see this season start the wrong way, you see a championship which your goals, your eyes are focussed on move further away from you as you're approaching it. But, this is a part of motor racing, and this is a part of the journey.

“Through these experiences, not only myself but my mechanics and engineers, it brings us closer, it makes us stronger.

"And as I was saying I had a good start, and I can still overtake, so there's lot of positives to take from today."

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