Silver Arrows to start Singapore GP from third row after challenging qualifying session. Lewis Hamilton ended qualifying in P5 with Valtteri Bottas in P6 at the Marina Bay Street Circuit. Both drivers completed one run on the UltraSoft tyre in Q1, and two runs in Q2 and Q3.
Every year it has been relatively difficult for us in Singapore, so we knew that we would come here and it would be tricky. I thought Red Bull would be as quick as they were, but I didn’t anticipate Ferrari to be that strong. I gave it everything today but I could not get any more out of the car, I squeezed it until it was dry. There are no points for today, so we will focus on doing the best job we can tomorrow and remain hopeful. But this is a horrible track for overtaking; it will be a long race. I will have to try and see if I can get a good start to pick off at least one car. Sebastian has Verstappen next to him, so anything can happen at the start.
So far, it’s been a difficult weekend for us. We’re clearly third quickest around here, that’s just not enough. We’ve been chasing the setup of the car and made big changes yesterday and today, but we still haven’t found the optimal setup. You can see it in the lap times that I can’t really drive the car with the setup that we’ve got. We were a bit surprised by how big the gaps to Red Bull and Ferrari are. Two weeks ago, we had a great weekend in Monza and now we are really struggling. The result today highlights that we still have issues producing enough downforce and mechanical grip on a track like this; it’s an area we clearly need to work on. We know our pace alone isn’t enough to score a podium tomorrow, so we need a clean race, a good strategy and bit of luck as well.
Days like this are the tough ones. We know that our car is not at its best on these tight circuits and Lewis extracted the maximum today from the package we had. It looked close at certain stages of the session, and we kept hoping for a little bit more, but it’s never nice to see a gap like that in black and white on the timing screens. The end result, with three cars between Sebastian and Lewis, obviously makes the situation even more difficult; likewise, Valtteri has been some way off Lewis this weekend, never really feeling confident with the car, and we need to dig down into why that is. The challenge now is simple: to extract the maximum possible from tomorrow’s race, grabbing every opportunity that comes our way. It will be a long, tough race for everybody.
Source: Mercedes-AMG F1