A disappointing result for the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team in Singapore on an evening that had promised much more.
Lewis was in the hunt for the podium until a lockup under challenging conditions caused front wing damage, costing him time and positions as he pitted to change the nose. George went to slicks early in the race and lost time but was still set to score points until a collision with Mick Schumacher caused a puncture and relegated him to P14. The W13 showed glimpses of competitive performance over the weekend, which is encouraging for the remaining five races this season.
I think we started with a pretty decent weekend, and it was just regrettable at the end. No matter how hard I tried, it was just impossible to overtake. Today was about who gets on the slicks first, and it would have been slice and dice with Carlos, which I was working towards. But that went out of the window when I had that lockup going into Turn 7. Your heart sinks slightly, but you get back up again and try. My apologies to the Team; it’s a shame we didn’t manage to secure more points today. But we live, we learn, and we will recover. We have lots to review from this weekend, and I’m looking forward to Suzuka.
We took a risk today going on slicks, and it could have paid off with the Safety Car, but then I had the incident with Mick. I don’t know what happened. We need to review it. I’m disappointed we didn’t score any points this weekend, but I’m pleased that the issues with the brakes we experienced in FP3 had been resolved and our confidence restored. We showed how fast our car could be, and I’m still proud of the team because we are making good progress. I got a lot of confidence and optimism today that we have a competitive car. It was an enjoyable race, although out of the points – I like the challenging conditions that Singapore brings, but obviously, we want to finish much higher up. We have lots of work to do ahead of Suzuka, but it was positive to experience the car’s potential today.
This season has given us several tough lessons – and today was another one. We started from opposite ends of the grid with our two cars, but we couldn’t capitalise on the car’s race pace with either of them when it came to an end result. Lewis was fighting for the podium for much of the race – but also battling a car balance that was on a knife edge today, under challenging conditions and on the bumpy surface. After he locked up and damaged the wing, the stop to change tyres and the nose cost him position – then he lost out even more when cars ahead pitted under Safety Car and jumped ahead. That left him stuck in a train of cars on very similar aged tyres, and he couldn’t make up any ground.
For George, we rolled the dice on dry tyres when he was running out of points – in hindsight, it was clearly too early, but he had nothing to lose, so we were prepared to take the gamble. Even so, as the race unfolded, he was still on course to make it back to the points until the collision with Mick, which put him last on the road. Today’s biggest frustration is that we couldn’t build on the signs of competitive performance we saw in FP2 and Qualifying. Our championship fight for P2 has got significantly more complicated with this result, but the only thing to do is to collect ourselves and throw our energy into the next race in Suzuka to rebuild momentum.”