Lewis Hamilton believes he would have been able to fight for victory in the Singapore Grand Prix before his car broke down.
Hamilton was running fourth when a problem developed with his power unit, forcing him to retire.
“I was feeling super-optimistic in the car.” Hamilton told reporters afterwards. “The guys in front were on the [super-soft] tyres and I was on the [soft], I was easily keeping up with the guys.”
“So I was thinking ‘we’ve got a race on our hands here’. Balance was nice, really under control, and I was just waiting for that time when I had to push and see what I can get from the car, but obviously I didn’t get that. I lost power – I was hoping they might have a quick fix but it never came.”
Mercedes’ domination of F1 was interrupted at Singapore where they only qualified on the third row of the grid. However Hamilton was happy with his weekend’s work.
“I feel content with the job I did this weekend,” he said. “I came here, I got here I early, I trained. I drove the best I could, I qualified ahead of my team mate. In the race I was quicker than my team mate, which is always a good thing.”
“I was feeling good in the car and everyone did an amazing job. Whilst it’s not been the most positive for the team the last couple of races I know that we’ll bounce back.”
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35 comments on “Hamilton believes he was poised to take on leaders”
20th September 2015, 16:25
He was keeping up with the top three, but that was when Vettel was really managing his pace. Hamilton would’ve been strong on supersofts after the final safety car (if his team actually put him on the options), but I think taking third from Raikkonen would have been as far as he could’ve got.
20th September 2015, 17:05
One thing: Why did ROS get on SOFTS at the end??? That would have meant that Lewis was to follow that strategy… Unless Nico used more tyres than he did? But, I don’t think so…
20th September 2015, 17:07
If Nico was on options (SS) He probably could have taken Kimi for 3rd place. Did Mercedes have a set of options or did they use all?
20th September 2015, 17:18
@krichelle Neither driver had fresh supersofts,according to Pirelli’s tweet. But neither had Verstappen and he still had a good final stint.
My best guess is they didn’t want to take a risk. Putting on softs pretty much guaranteed Rosberg of fourth place, while he could struggle on supersofts late in the race.
20th September 2015, 17:22
So that clears it up, I never thought Mercedes were going to put Lewis on 2 lap used option tyres….But I guess if Lewis didn’t retire then they would have done it…
20th September 2015, 20:22
I guess Hamilton didn’t see the lap where Vettel was 2 seconds faster than anyone :D
I agree with him; he was super-optimistic.
20th September 2015, 16:28
I thought before Vettel decided to go fast and that chap decided to go for a walk on the track, he might have had an outside shot going onto the supersofts late on.
But when Vettel showed his hand and the SC came out, he wouldn’t have had a chance even if he’d kept going.
20th September 2015, 16:35
Man….how big was that stewards decision in Monza over tire pressure. Imagine how much tighter the championship would be today if those 25 points had been taken away from Lewis and given to Sebastian, and how much tighter also had Rosberg not blown up in Monza. So despite this disappointment, Hamilton and Merc should still be feeling rather fortunate all things considered.
20th September 2015, 17:00
Why should they feel fortunate when they did nothing wrong?
25th September 2015, 22:44
They should feel fortunate because we’ve seen wacky decision by the stewards in the past, and if Hamilton had been disqualified, it would fit right in with the arbitrary rulings of the stewards…..
Adam Hardwick (@fluxsource)
20th September 2015, 17:08
@medman There was nothing fortunate about Monza. They did absolutely nothing wrong, and were cleared of any wrong doing by the investigation. Suggesting they were fortunate implies that they got away with breaking the rules.
20th September 2015, 17:34
No, they were found outside the regulations and let off lightly because the testsing procedure was not set… It is now, and by today’s procedures they would have been disqualified from monza. Their last race win is quite likely as a result of tire pressures, as this race loss.
Mark G (@)
20th September 2015, 20:12
Can you stop repeating incorrect information please?
Mercedes set their tyre pressures under the supervision of Pirelli correctly. Their tyre blankets were switched off on the grid before they were randomly tested. The only reason the tyres were under pressure was because the tyres weren’t heated to 110 degrees at the time. It’s simple maths and the FIA acknowledged they messed up.
Mercedes did nothing wrong.
20th September 2015, 20:28
Except for the fact that we don’t know the temperature for that pressures. Did anyone calculate whether those pressures would be within limits with the blankets?
Mark G (@)
20th September 2015, 22:12
No need to calculate; when the pressures were set in the garage they conformed to Pirelli’s limits and were signed off by their engineer.
Both the FIA and Pirelli have issued statements since to say the whole thing was a misunderstanding so i don’t know why it keeps getting brought up.
25th September 2015, 22:45
I’m not saying they did anything wrong, they should feel fortunate because we’ve seen wacky decision by the stewards in the past, and if Hamilton had been disqualified, it would fit right in with the arbitrary rulings of the stewards…..
20th September 2015, 20:25
FIA messed up with their measurement of pressure in Monza. We will never know if there was anything wrong with pressure.
20th September 2015, 16:46
The SC period put paid to any such chances. However, I thought that Vettels strategy was playing right into Hamilton’s hands. Running slow in these tires does not really extend them—that’s the whole point of these tires, they go off when they go off. Hamilton would have been poised to run longer and then emerge behind the leaders with fresher super soft tires in the later stages. I doubt he would have gained an undercut but he would have been competitive from behind later on.
20th September 2015, 20:30
That’s not true of course. All drivers try to save their tyres as much as they can. And they don’t push too much, they don’t lose too much rubber either.
21st September 2015, 2:38
Ermm, how does that work? Maybe Pirelli has an “off the cliff” button that they push. I guess drivers are managing the tires for nothing, then.
Luca Nuvolari (@nuvolari71)
20th September 2015, 16:58
Not today, not today
20th September 2015, 17:16
Come on, let it pass, don’t keep thinking and saying “what if”
Just show your real power by topping the fastest lap over 2 second on the next race..
20th September 2015, 20:31
That was hilarious. All of a sudden we were back to 2013 Singapore GP.
OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! - @omarr-pepper (@)
20th September 2015, 17:32
Suzuka is one of the hardest tracks… it’s fast but it also has the “esses” section, plus Spoon. I think the fight could be really interesting next race, given Ferrari can keep Mercs honest.
20th September 2015, 17:41
lol, Lewis clearly fantasizing, but it shows how mentally strong he became.
Loup Garou (@loup-garou)
20th September 2015, 18:12
I think it was more like how strongly mental he became in imagining that he could have taken on the leaders. Had he not gone out, Hamilton might have had a chance of challenging Raikkonen for P3 but that’s about it.
William Jones (@williamjones)
20th September 2015, 20:18
20th September 2015, 20:32
Yeah. At the very best he would have the opportunity to challenge Raikkonen. I wouldn’t even put my money on him seriously overtaking the Ferrari.
20th September 2015, 19:03
i need to miss more races live to make the championship exiting:
monaco: pit incindent
austria: only race nico outdrove Lewis.
hungary: nico & lewis bad race , vettel wins
singapore: lewis retires nico 4th , Vettel wins.
20th September 2015, 20:35
“Super-optimistic” being the key word I guess. Hamilton with supersofts was only as fast as Vettel with softs. Maybe he could have had a go at Raikkonen, but that’s about it.
20th September 2015, 20:58
Lewis was doing mid-to-high 1:52s, just like the leaders. When HAM retired, that’s when Vettel started doing mid-1:50s. Lewis said in his post-race interview that he wasn’t pushing at all.
20th September 2015, 21:17
this is the part of Lewis’s race craft that is a little weak – he doesn’t necessarily understand what others drivers are doing in the race. Did he assume Vettel was pushing? I know James Allison said they (Ferrari pit wall) weren’t sure themselves, as Vettel didn’t come on the radio (like he would come on the radio to let everyone know what he was doing?). But clearly Ricciardo understood that Vettel was pacing himself for the second stint and trying to stretch out the Options.
It’s also interesting that Hamilton thought he’d be up to 1-2 seconds a lap faster on the options over the Ferraris and Red Bull on Primes – because Merc clearly showed that kind of race pace all weekend. Oh, no, they didn’t.
The other interesting point is that Hamilton must’ve assumed Vettel kept on trundling along once he ran into all his issues, then retired the car, then while he walked out to the interview pen and gave his interviews on how slow Vettel was going…
20th September 2015, 22:31
“this is the part of Lewis’s race craft that is a little weak – he doesn’t necessarily understand what others drivers are doing in the race.”
The usual getting thrown around as if fact.
I think you’ll find Lewis stated numerous times on the radio to his team that Vettel was driving purposely slow.
Honestly i wonder if some people watch on mute.
20th September 2015, 20:56
Hamilton has got to be high to believe that he could have won the race. I’m not a vettel fanboy or anything but it was obvious that Vettel had this in the bag.
21st September 2015, 0:04
While Vettel was doing 1.53’s he might have thought he had a chance, but once Vettel increased into the 1.50’s (which was after he retired I believe) he’d have been left in the dust. Still, if it helps him sleep at night…
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