Although there were a number of incidents that were quite shocking about the qualifying session in Singapore, but the performance by Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton was not one of them. As teammate George Russell ended the race right after Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz, the pole sitter, Hamilton qualified with the fifth spot despite being merely a split second behind him. Russell, however, missed the pole only by 0.072 seconds.
Post the race, the Briton was quite disappointed with the performance of the car. According to him, “The car was feeling incredible yesterday and there was so much hope that with some tweaks, we could challenge the Ferraris. One of the cars was able to do that and I wasn’t today. We made big changes overnight and it got away from me again. I was just so slow today.” He was discouraged by the fact that the last-minute changes as it pushed him behind Russell.
Lewis’ reaction: “Clearly, we had a really great package here. The car was feeling incredible yesterday, and it was so much hope that with some tweaks, we would be able to challenge the Ferraris […] We made big changes overnight, and it just went away from me again. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/Homquf6o87
— Sir Lewis Updates (@LH44updates) September 16, 2023
It was a strong showing for Mercedes at the Marina Bay Circuit, all thanks to 25-year-old George who pushed in to nab a podium for the team. In contrast, Red Bull faced a challenging time in Singapore as the drivers failed to advance beyond Q2 securing the eleventh and thirteenth spots respectively. It was a spectacle when rookie driver Liam Lawson overtook Max Verstappen which sent shockwaves among the drivers and spectators.
Lewis Hamilton wants George Russell to win the Singapore Grand Prix and ruin Red Bull’s winning streak
Regardless of how the race turned out, Hamilton displayed positive team spirit when he talked about how he wishes Russell should take over and win this week’s race on Sunday. He said, “I think George has really good shot at potentially winning. I really hope that he does. I hope he gets a great start and gets ahead of the Ferraris that would be amazing for the team and for him.”
While George is sandwiched between the Ferrari drivers, there must be no questioning of Verstappen’s potential to nab the pole.
Lewis Hamilton is rooting for his teammate when the lights go out tomorrow, as Mercedes look to take their first win of the season 🏆#Hamilton #Russell #Mercedes #SingaporeGP #F1 #Formula1 pic.twitter.com/zsrPBWdDNW
— PlanetF1 (@Planet_F1) September 16, 2023
The almost 40-year-old Briton, who received a contract extension with the team quite recently, has been vocal about his concerns regarding Red Bulls’ domination over the sport and wanted to put a stop to it. Though he failed to do what he intended, Hamilton and Mercedes have new-found hopes to achieve it on the track after the rival’s subpar performance.
As Lewis Hamilton shares a longstanding rivalry with Max Verstappen which extends beyond the paddock and has led to some cold arguments, the icy waters of their relationship have seemed to have thawed slightly. The tensions between the two do add an extra layer of excitement during the races, especially among their fans who wish their favorite driver to win at the destruction of the other.