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Lewis Hamilton showed impressive speed during practice for the 2022 Singapore Grand Prix (Feature Image Credit: Mercedes AMG F1 Media: Steve Etherington)

Mercedes rue lost opportunity at Singapore

Team lose opportunity to take pole position after impressing on Friday

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Saturday in Singapore proved to be a bittersweet day for Mercedes. The Silver Arrows had a chance to take its second pole of the year but saw its chances slip away. 

George Russell struggled in the wet conditions during qualifying in Singapore (Image Credit: Mercedes AMG F1 Media: Jiri Krenek)

Mercedes impressed on Friday in Free Practice One, with Lewis Hamilton finishing P1 for the first time in 2022. The speed of the W13 continued into FP2, with George Russell finishing P3, 0.324s behind leader Carlos Sainz.  FP3 on Saturday proved to be challenging for the Silver Arrows.  The W13 struggled to warm up its tyres in the wet-to-dry session.

Qualifying saw similar conditions to FP3, with Q1 and Q2 on intermediate tyres as the track slowly dried. Hamilton and Russell’s speed in Q1 saw the two Mercedes towards the top of the timesheets. Q2 saw a divide between the two drivers.  Hamilton finished at the front of the times, while Russell was eliminated, finishing a despondent P11. Hamilton went on to qualify in Q3.

Speaking to formula1.com after the session, Hamilton praised his team for the turnaround in form for FP3, commenting on the 0.054s gap to pole sitter Charles Leclerc, stating that to be “so close between the top three I think is still great”. Hamilton also added that his P3 was “incredibly rewarding”:

“It was incredibly close and a really exciting session in general. The car felt a lot better today, we did a lot of great work overnight, back at the factory but also here”,

“I think at the end it was so difficult to get that lap perfect, and I was hoping for some sort of lap like 2018, but the car definitely doesn’t want to drive like that one. I gave it everything, and to be so close between the top three I think is still great.

“It feels incredibly rewarding,”. I think, for everyone in the team. We’ve really started with a real handful, a difficult deck of cards that we created for ourselves, and reshuffling, and lots and lots of work, everyone staying really positive – as positive as possible – and everyone staying really diligent and never giving up.

“It’s been an inspiring year for me, witnessing what my team do, and being a part of that, and yeah, I so badly want to naturally, the will and desire to get a good result for them, to pay them back for all their great work is part of it…

“Let’s hope we can do something in the race tomorrow, it’s very hard to overtake here but maybe we can have a better strategy than these guys”.

 

Russell struggles

Teammate George Russell’s P11 was attributed to a “problem with the brakes”, adding at that the issue worsened as Q2 developed. The British driver is hoping that a competitive strategy will allow him to advance up the grid, adding that multiple stops will give him the best chance of a points finish:

“I mean, the grip was fine, but we had a problem with the brakes, and every time I just went into the corner, it was as if I was just going back on the throttle again, and the car was being pushed forward, so this issue just got progressively worse as the session continued.

“It was there in FP1, but obviously in the dry conditions it was less noticeable and less of a hindrance. Yeah, such a shame, because we’ve had a really strong car this weekend, and I don’t really have a lot more to say, really. Just bitterly disappointed, really.”

“If it’s going to be a one-stop race it will make things difficult, but from what we saw yesterday it will probably be multiple stops. That will give us the chance to do something different in the midfield but we’re here to fight for the win and we had the fastest car yesterday in the high-fuel running, in the race pace, so yeah, disappointing.”

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