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F1 champ Hamilton looking for an improved performance in Chinese GP
WORLD champion Lewis Hamilton heads to China this week hoping to avoid another crisis.

Hamilton's Formula 1 title defence has got off to a troubled start.

The 24-year-old from Herts was disqualified for misleading race stewards in Australia after the opening grand prix of the season.

His McLaren Mercedes team have subsequently been called before the FIA World Motor Sport Council in Paris on April 29 and could be kicked out of the championship.

McLaren have also sacked sporting director Dave Ryan for his role in the 'Liargate' controversy in Melbourne and investigation in Malaysia the following week.

Against this backdrop, a troubled Hamilton travels to Shanghai for race three with a McLaren car that is way behind Jenson Button's Brawn GP for pace.

Hamilton claimed victory in the 2008 Chinese Grand Prix just six months ago.

That victory in the penultimate round of the season catapulted the Tewin driver into pole position in the title race.

Hamilton doesn't expect a repeat performance around the Shanghai International Circuit this time around.

He said: "I really enjoy racing in Shanghai.

"The track is a good blend of fast and slow stuff and it throws up a few nice challenges for the drivers.

"Finding the right set-up is important; you need speed and balance through the high-speed corners but decent mechanical grip for the hairpins.

"We got it spot-on last year, and while I don't expect us to enjoy that sort of performance advantage this season, I think we're all looking forward to a good showing."

McLaren mechanics have been working overtime to try any improve the performance of the 2009 car.

Hamilton added: "Hopefully, some of the upgrades we've added to MP4-24 for this race will have a benefit.

"It would be very encouraging if we could qualify a little further up the grid and be regularly challenging for points."

The Chinese race takes place next Sunday.

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