After a mixed qualifying session in Singapore for qualifying, Mercedes, team Principal Toto Wolff remains hopeful that the team’s understanding of the car is headed in the right direction for the rest of the season and for next year.
Lewis Hamilton secured his best qualifying result of the year ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix with a P3 result while teammate George Russell will start off the grid from P11. Hamilton narrowly missed out on claiming his first pole of the season with a strong Q3 performance that was only five hundredths off from pole sitter Charles Leclerc’s time of 1:49.412.
Speaking to media after the qualifying session in Singapore, Wolff explained that it was a small lock-up on Hamilton’s final lap in Q3 that cost the seven-time World Champion the pole.
“Lewis came close today, being only five hundredths off. Unfortunately, he had a small lock up in Turn 16 and that cost him momentum through the rest of the lap. Even so, he almost took pole, it was a great effort.”
Russell, however endured brake issues on the W13 during his final run in qualifying and was not able to advance into Q3.
“George had braking issues with his car so, unfortunately, he didn’t have the right equipment to fight for a top position and we need to find out what the cause is,” Wolff said.
Despite Russell’s disappointing P11 result, Wolff remained optimistic about the progress that he and the team have made towards better understating the W13.
“We were hoping that this weekend would go well because our simulations had predicted it and that reflects our growing understanding of the car; generally, it seems that we are heading in the right direction, especially for next year.
Looking ahead to the race, Wolff takes a realistic approach while managing the expectations for both drivers.
“Hopefully tomorrow, we can fight for the win, but we also need to keep our expectations in check and maximise the opportunities we have in the race,” Wolff said.