Optimism Turns To Disappointment For Mercedes

2022 Singapore Grand Prix 2022, Sunday
2022 Singapore Grand Prix 2022, Sunday

It was a disappointing result for the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team in Singapore on an evening that had promised much more.

Lewis Hamilton was in the hunt for the podium until a lock-up in difficult conditions caused front wing damage, costing him time and positions as he pitted to change the nose.

George Russell 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.

Lewis Hamilton

‘I think we started off with a pretty decent weekend and it was just really unfortunate at the end, no matter how hard I was trying it was just not possible 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 a little bit, 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.’

George Russell

‘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 can be and I’m still proud of the team because we are making good progress. I got a lot of confidence and optimism from today that we do 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.’

Toto Wolff

‘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, in difficult 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 the 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. The biggest frustration today is that we couldn’t build on the signs of competitive performance we saw in FP2 and in Qualifying. Our championship fight for P2 has got significantly more difficult 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.’

Andrew Shovlin

‘Today was one of those races that seemed to go from bad to worse on more than one occasion. Lewis dropped a bit of ground to Sainz on the start and then got pushed wide and he lost all tyre temp going through the water. That meant the opening laps were tricky, but the bigger issue was we just couldn’t get close and without DRS there was no way to pass so we were just losing ground to Sergio and Charles. The fronts were getting a hard time in the traffic which contributed to Lewis’s lock-up and the timing of the front wing damage was unfortunate as we lost time with the change but then lost further positions as the Safety Car allowed others to pit without losing much time. George’s race was equally frustrating, there were points, where it looked like he was going to be able to make good progress, but he was also finding it tough to get through traffic. The switch to medium was a gamble, he did a great job to keep it on the track but ultimately, we got it wrong and called it way too early. However, he did have good pace in the tricky conditions, and it looked like we would have at least got back into the points as he was pulling the cars ahead by many seconds a lap. Unfortunately, that hope was short lived when he had contact with Mick that caused a puncture. Overall, a race to forget, we’re going to use the next few days to regroup and prepare for Suzuka where hopefully we will put in a better all-round performance.’

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