Lewis Hamilton describes Mercedes’ performance in the Singapore Grand Prix as “impactful” after turning around a difficult Friday to take pole position and win.
Kimi Raikkonen was quickest in FP2 before Sebastian Vettel led a Ferrari one-two in the final practice session, marking the Scuderia as the favorite ahead of qualifying. However, Hamilton delivered a stunning qualifying lap to take pole position and then eased to a relatively comfortable victory as Vettel could only finish third behind Max Verstappen.
“We’re really just taking it one race at a time, knowing that Ferrari have had quite good pace for the last few races,” Hamilton said. “Generally, while we’ve finished on the front foot, we start on the back foot, kinda thing each weekend — but with a mentality that, if we do a good enough job, maybe we’ll come out ahead.
“It was a tough race, a hardcore race. The cars are much quicker than usual, and obviously that moment we had with the backmarkers and the crazy day we had yesterday, with the crazy week that I’ve had — the last two weeks have just been intense.
“So, I’m looking forward to a couple of days off, these following days. Of course it feels great but I’ve been here a long, long time, so I know I can’t get ahead of myself; we can’t get ahead of ourselves. We have to continue to remain humble and just keep working as hard as we can.
“Right now I just feel, job done. I’m really happy with it. Still lots of points available but with this performance, and this focus that we have as a team, I truly believe that we can deliver impactful weekends like this for the rest of the season. So that’s the goal.”
Hamilton’s lead over Verstappen was erased around the halfway point when he was held up as Sergey Sirotkin and Romain Grosjean fought in the midfield, and the championship leader admits that was his most nerve-racking moment of the race.
“I was a little bit unlucky with the traffic. These guys were moving around, it was quite difficult to follow. I think Max was a little bit luckier getting by some of the guys in terms of what point on the track and the guys weren’t letting me by. Jeez, it was definitely close and my heart was definitely in my mouth for a minute, but once I got clear of them I was able to put the pedal down and pull away.”