Lewis Hamilton goes into the Singapore Grand Prix without much understanding on how his car works on long runs and from the second row of the grid after a tricky qualifying session on Saturday.
The Mercedes AMG PETRONAS driver was more than seven-tenths of a second down on team-mate Nico Rosberg, which also left him behind Daniel Ricciardo in the leading Red Bull, and felt his whole weekend has not gone in his favour so far around the Marina Bay Street Circuit.
“It’s not been my weekend so far,” admitted Hamilton. “I’ve not got many good laps out there. Not for any particular reason. I just haven’t been able to string it together.
“People have pointed out turn seven as the problem. But it isn’t any more difficult than any other corner on the track. It’s one of the heaviest on brakes and quite bumpy but that’s it. I had an issue with the suspension not working properly in practice which affected my braking – but we fixed that and in qualifying braking wasn’t a problem.
“Nico did a great job and showed the potential of the car today. I’ve not really looked at the long runs and I didn’t get to do any yesterday. Nico did and, although our set-ups are slightly different, I don’t think I’ll be in a bad position. I’ll find out tomorrow.”
Hamilton believes the strategy call to start on the Ultrasoft tyre compared to the Supersoft from Red Bull Racing will be the right one, and hopes to be able to move forward from his second row grid slot on Sunday.
“I’ve kind of been on the back foot for most of the year, so it’s nothing new to be in this situation,” said Hamilton. “I’ll do what I can from here. It’s tough to overtake here but I think we’ve made the right call on strategy.
“Red Bull will go longer on the SuperSofts at the start – but Nico will probably control the race from the front and make it hard to get by. Time will tell tomorrow.”