Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport boss Toto Wolff believes that Scuderia Ferrari should be on paper favourites to win the Singapore Grand Prix due to the team’s struggles at the track over recent years, but has hasn’t dismissed them out on winning the race.
Mercedes arrive to Singapore fresh from their victory at the Italian Grand Prix, with Lewis Hamilton winning at Ferrari’s backyard.
Valtteri Bottas reached the podium in third place thanks to Max Verstappen’s penalty for hitting the Finn off the track during the race. The results helps Mercedes and Hamilton extend their leads in both championships.
Toto Wolff says the result was a great reward for the team for their hard work to improve the car.
“The result in Italy was a great reward for everyone in the team who has been working tirelessly to improve our performance,” said Wolff.
“We knew that the race in Monza would be another big challenge for us, after the defeat in Spa, but we managed to prevail through a combination of individual skill and fantastic teamwork.
“However, we also know that we’ve been strong at Monza in recent years and the track characteristics make the Italian Grand Prix a bit of an outlier.”
F1 heads to Singapore for the start of the flyaway races at the end of the season. The Marina Bay Street Circuit has been a bogey track for the Silver Arrows, having suffered a bad result in 2015 and starting on the third row last year, which Hamilton was able to turn into victory thanks to the first lap carnage.
Wolff admits that Singapore is a track they’ve struggled at in the past and has put Ferrari favourite on paper, but has dismissed the team on winning it due to the unpredictability of the championship.
“Singapore, on the other hand, has features that we’ve struggled with in the past. The short straights, the slow, tight corners and the bumpy surface all make the Marina Bay Street Circuit one of the trickiest tracks of the season for us.” Wolff continues.
“In 2015, we endured one of our most painful experiences in recent years there. Last year, we started the race from the third row – and came home with a win and a third place.
“On paper, the track should favour the Ferraris, but the Championship fight is so close that predictions are almost meaningless.
“One thing that’s guaranteed in Singapore is a great spectacle; the track under the lights looks stunning both for the TV audience and the fans in the grandstands.
“For the teams, the race is one of the most demanding ones as the high temperatures and humidity levels make life in the garage tough.”