Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas qualify P2 and P5 at the Marina Bay Street Circuit. Lewis claimed his sixth front row start in Singapore in P2. Valtteri will start the Singapore GP from P5. Both drivers set their best Q2 times on the Soft tyre and will start Sunday’s race on this tyre.
I don’t think we were expecting the Ferraris to be so quick today, they’ve clearly made some improvements to their car and it’s working really well, so fair play to them. We had a deficit after the first run in Q3 and I was sitting in the garage thinking “Oh my God, it’s a second – where am I going to find a second?” But all you can do is tighten your seat belt and launch the car through those corners, and I managed to improve by about second. I gave it everything I had tonight, but I couldn’t find any more time. Nonetheless I’m really glad to be on the front row and I hope that I can fight tomorrow with the Ferraris – it’s going to be a tough one, but not impossible.
This is a disappointing result because I think we had the possibility to achieve more today. I felt much more comfortable in the car in qualifying than I did in any other session of the weekend. I was actually pretty happy after Q1, thinking that we might be able to fight for a spot on the front row today. But the Ferraris just kept getting quicker and quicker, they kept improving their times and ultimately we just couldn’t match them. Unfortunately, Q3 was pretty messy for me; I never managed to get the ideal tyre preparation because I was stuck in traffic on both of my out-laps, which compromised my timed laps. Tomorrow will be tricky, starting fifth is far from ideal, but we’ll go into the race with a fighting spirit. There’s usually a lot of action in Singapore, so we will see if there are any opportunities and try and make the best of it.
That was a tricky qualifying session for us. We needed to get every detail right between the out-laps, the tyre warm-up and track position, and we didn’t quite manage that when it counted today. Likewise, Ferrari were very strong: as usual, they were gaining time on us along the straights, but they were also very competitive through the corners all the way through the lap. We have Lewis on the front row and Valtteri back in fifth: our car is strong in race trim and although overtaking is difficult here, this is a very long race where much can happen and keeping the tyres in good shape will be key. We will be targeting strong starts and aiming to move forward from there with both cars.
Source: Mercedes-AMG F1