Formula 1

Lewis Hamilton: “Today started off well with FP1, but wasn’t as great in the second session”

2 Mins read
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

It was a mixed opening day at the Singapore Grand Prix for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team, after an unexpected surprise lap saw Lewis Hamilton at the top of the timesheets for the first time this season, setting a super time of 1.43.033s in Free Practice One. However, the Second Free Practice session turned out to be not as thrilling for the British driver, as he dropped to the fifth position, setting a time of 1.43.182 on the Medium and Soft compound.

The team are feeling confident that the W13 has more to give ahead of Saturday’s qualifying and hopes to unlock the car’s potential. Both drivers noted that the W13 was particularly difficult to drive in the demanding conditions of the Marina Bay Circuit, with the intense humidity and warm temperatures pushing the drivers to the limit, mentally and physically.

Hamilton seemed to suffer a similar fate as he too commented on the tricky conditions at the Marina Bay Circuit, but was happy with his drive during the First Practice session.

“Today started off well with FP1, but wasn’t as great in the second session. The car is what it is and we’re bouncing around a lot, but it doesn’t feel like we’re massively off this weekend. There’s not too much we can do about the stiffness of the car with the tools we have, but set up wise we can find more time.

“With the set-up that I had today, there was a lot of locking, which we will fix tonight so we can come back and give it a better go tomorrow. Conditions here are tricky, I definitely feel dehydrated after the sessions, a bit heavy and very hot. But the biggest problem is not the physical challenge so much as getting the car in the window for qualifying tomorrow.”

“The track surface is very bumpy” – George Russell

George Russell managed fifth position in the first practice session setting a lap time of 1.44.066s on the Hard compound, then climbed two places later on in the day to finish in third position under the lights of the Marina Bay Circuit.

Russell commented on the circuit’s unique stop/start layout and how the new track surface has caused the team more issues than they originally thought it would.

“On paper it’s been a promising day for us, but paper doesn’t mean anything. Overall, today went okay, but there’s definitely a lot of work to do for us. This circuit is very unique and conditions here are tricky. It’s just so hot and you always feel a bit light-headed jumping out of the car.

“The track surface is very bumpy out there and I think to a degree everybody is struggling with that. We know that that’s a weak point with our car plus the tires here are quite sensitive. I was surprised about the grip levels on the new track surface and I’m sure track improvements will continue to evolve during the weekend.”

It seemed that Russell was of the same opinion as the rest of the team, as he felt confident that the team were headed for a big improvement during qualifying, but isn’t underestimating how challenging and important qualifying is at the Singapore circuit.

“I’m sure in qualifying there will be a big improvement from Q1 to Q3. If we manage to absolutely nail it tomorrow, there will be a huge amount of lap time we can find in qualifying and we all know how important qualifying performance is at this track. We feel optimistic and work hard overnight.”

Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

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