Hamilton: To lose out by that bit is OK, we’ll fight

Hamilton mercedes f1 singapore qualifying mercedes

At one point in a damp and tricky qualifying session, Lewis Hamilton looked like he might put his Mercedes on pole position for the 2022 Singapore Grand Prix instead he will start third and is happy to do so.

But his fifth pole at Marina Bay Circuit was not to be, it turned to third on the grid as Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc and Red Bull’s Sergio Perez found a tad more pace on a drying, albeit still slippery, track to deny the Mercedes driver what would’ve been his 104th top spot start.

But it was super close! A mere 0.053s separated the top three and that pleased the seven-time F1 World Champion who said in parc ferme afterwards: “I was pushing so hard. It was, so, so close. I was trying so hard, but these guys are always so quick.

“I really thought maybe with a perfect lap, which is really hard to get, we could be fighting for first place. I just didn’t have the grip on the last lap. Nonetheless, I’m grateful to be on the second row and I’m grateful to the team for continuing to push. We’ll just keep biting down and hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

“We didn’t know how close we would be. We knew the car would be stronger than it was in Monza, but we didn’t know how close it would be. To lose out by that bit is OK. We’ll get up and fight again,” declared Hamilton.

Hamilton will make his 305th Grand Prix start on Sunday and be looking to win his first race this season on the day, which would continue his remarkable record of winning in every season he has contested since his rookie year in 2007. A better chance he might not have in the five races after Singapore.

Russell: It is one of these things that is really frustrating.

russell mercedes f1 qualifying

In sharp contrast to Hamilton, it was a very different qualifying story for George Russell who has been out of sorts this weekend; struggling to find the sweet spot with setup, he was well beaten by his teammate in a session that ranks as his worst since he stepped into a Mercedes at the beginning of this season. He was 11th.

Russell summed up his session: “I was struggling with something to do with the brakes and the engine in P1 that was pushing me into the corners and it kind of felt like I had a throttle on as I was going in and I didn’t.

“The tyres felt good but I just couldn’t get round any corners. It is such a shame, we probably couldn’t have done any better in Q3 because we couldn’t resolve the problem. It is one of these things that is really frustrating.

“It is disappointing for myself and the team, Lewis was looking good and the car was looking really fast but we just couldn’t make it work. It is definitely an encouraging weekend but encouraging doesn’t mean anything we are here to score points. Where we deserve to be fighting is probably top three,” added Russell.

Team boss Toto Wolff confirmed Russell’s woes: “It is a shame, we had a problem in P1 that came back in Qualifying that was torque following. Basically, you think the throttle is open and it pushes you into the corner then the brakes were a problem so he didn’t really have the equipment today to fight for a top position.”

2022 F1 World Championship standings ahead of Round 17, Singapore Grand Prix:

2022 f1 drivers standings after Italian Grand Prix round 16 drivers constructors top ten graphic