Silver Arrows claim double podium after intense battle on the streets of Singapore. Nico Rosberg today took his 22nd career victory – his first at the Marina Bay Street Circuit and eighth of the 2016 season so far on his 200th Grand Prix start. Lewis Hamilton produced a battling drive to claim P3 – his 50th podium finish since joining the Silver Arrows in 2013. The team extends its congratulations also to Mercedes-Benz stalwart Bernd Marylander, who today marked his 300th race as official Formula One Safety Car driver. Nico (273) leads the Drivers’ Championship by eight points from Lewis (265) in P2. MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS (538) lead Red Bull (316) by 222 points in the Constructors’ Championship.
That was a fantastic weekend! In the past the Singapore track has not treated me so well, so this win is a very special one and an even more emotional one for me. The weekend started perfectly with a good qualifying session. Then, I had a good start and was able to keep the Red Bulls and the Ferraris behind me – both of which had beaten us comfortably last year. It was a bit tight at the end after Daniel [Ricciardo] did a clever pit stop timing wise. If I would have also pitted I would have come out behind him because I was stuck in traffic on my in-lap, so we chose the best strategy to stay out and a big thanks to the team for that. It’s great that we learned from our mistakes last year and won at what is clearly a Red Bull track. This shows the competence and strength of our engineering group. I look forward to Malaysia now – but first I will definitely celebrate this win tonight!
A difficult day and a difficult weekend. At one stage it looked like I might even miss out on the podium but fortunately it didn’t work out that way. It was an okay start. I didn’t lose any ground which is a good thing after the last one. But then I was struggling so much after the Safety Car went in. The brakes were near critical temperature for most of the race, so I kept having to back off to cool them down. I then ended up making a mistake and ran wide which let Kimi past. Fortunately, with the car a bit lighter, I was able to bring the temperatures down, push a bit more on fresh tyres and get back past him in the stops. Pace and strategy weren’t the issue – it was all down to the brakes. I was just watching the leaders pull away right from the start, so P2 was the maximum today. If that’s the worst weekend of the year, I’ll definitely take it. These things are sent to try us and now I’m just looking forward to the next one and a chance to give it another shot. I need a couple of strong weekends to get back to where I need to be.
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
What an incredible race: that was F1 at its best today. Nico did a perfect job all weekend – after the stunning lap yesterday in qualifying, he managed his race in the most controlled way today, all the way to the final metres. We wanted to make a third stop with him but Ricciardo put in a stunning out-lap after his final stop – and Nico had traffic on the lap, which cost him time. When those factors combined, they meant he would have lost the position, so he had to tough it out in the lead – and he just made it. Initially we thought it would be comfortable, then it became clear it would be very close, and we saved all the tricks and engine modes for the final laps so he could fend off Ricciardo if he needed to. As for Lewis, it was a great recovery to come back to the podium after a difficult first half of the race and a tricky weekend. It just shows how important all the practice laps are if you want to reach the perfect set-up and preparation for the race – and we didn’t give those to Lewis this weekend, which left him on the back foot from Saturday onwards. Taking a step back from the race, though, most of all I want to congratulate our team. A year ago this circuit, we were nowhere; today, we have come away with a double podium and an amazing win. It shows that we are able to learn the lessons of our failures and turn them into strengths. Next we head to Malaysia, another circuit where we failed to win last year, and we will be aiming to turn that around, too.
Source: Mercedes-AMG F1