Lewis Hamilton has been offered hope for next weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix after Mercedes chief Toto Wolff explained that the Marina Bay Street circuit should suit the Silver Arrows. Hamilton came within a whisker of claiming a record eighth F1 world title last year but has been off the pace this time around and is currently sixth in the Drivers’ Championship standings. He is looking to maintain his 15-year record of winning at least one race every season.
“The track layout should suit our car, the bumps not,” Wolff said. “On the simulations, it says it should be one of our better tracks but I’m trying to stay on the careful side with any predictions for Singapore.”
Mercedes have won the last eight Constructors’ Championships but trail current leaders Red Bull by an incredible 176 points this year with just six races remaining. The Silver Arrows’ struggles became apparent at the start of the season after teams were forced to redesign their cars in the wake of a whole host of F1 regulation changes.
Red Bull and Ferrari have dealt with the changes much better than Mercedes, with Wolff’s team experiencing severe porpoising problems during some races. Hamilton, in particular, has found his new car difficult to manoeuvre in the same way he has managed in the past, while team-mate George Russell has experienced slightly better fortunes and has accumulated 35 more points than the seven-time champion this year.
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Hamilton has made his views about his Mercedes car perfectly clear on a number of occasions this term. And at the end of May he implored his team to get to the bottom of the problems before they redesign their vehicle again when the season ends. “I think we’ve got to figure out what’s wrong with this car before we can make another car,” he said. “If we just started making another car we could easily get it wrong.
“So I think it’s about getting on top of this one fully, which we still haven’t got on top of and then give us a guideline of where [to go]. There’s definitely loads of things that I would not want from this car onto next year’s car, so I’ve already put those in.”