Lewis Hamilton went from sick to quick at the Chinese Grand Prix on Friday only to find his tyres were falling apart.
The two free practice sessions marked the season debut of Pirelli's quick-wearing soft tyres and, while Ferrari's Felipe Massa and Lotus found them to their liking, Hamilton was of the opposite opinion.
“My tyre was the worst I've ever experienced. There were bits flying off it all over the place. It didn't last long,” said the Mercedes driver, who had retired to his hotel with an allergy on Thursday.
“It (the soft) doesn't feel like the right tyre for this circuit. I did a couple of laps and the tyre disintegrated.
“It was quite unusual,” the 2008 Formula One champion told reporters. Mercedes were one-two at the top of the timesheets, with Nico Rosberg leading, in a morning session that saw only the medium compound used.
The soft told a different story with Rosberg, last year's winner in Shanghai, fourth in the afternoon and Hamilton seventh while Massa was fastest.