Hamilton said he hoped last weekend was just a one-off following a period of success for the German marque that has included 26 victories in the past 32 races.
Lewis Hamilton is concerned Mercedes’ poor showing in Singapore could be repeated at the Japanese Grand Prix next Sunday and is still waiting for an explanation from his team.
“I’m not confident”, he said of his immediate prospects. We have Suzuka in one week, the vehicle is the same, we haven’t lost performance on the auto and we just need a methodical approach.
And so, suddenly, Wolff is no longer ruling out team orders in order to protect the growing threat posed particularly by Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel. “My engineers have not yet been able to give me any information on why we were struggling”. Whether that was down to the freak loss of a small metal clamp, which ended Lewis Hamilton’s race, or based on something more serious is open to question.
Sebastian Vettel’s drive from pole position to victory never looked in doubt as he hauled himself back into the title mix, while Daniel Ricciardo finished second for Red Bull with Kimi Raikkonen completing the podium.
Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg believes he can turn it around and overhaul Championship leader Lewis Hamilton, although he concedes he does have to start winning, beginning with this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix.
There have been a number of conspiracy theories about what happened, including that Mercedes were given different types of tyres than other teams. But if Mercedes get back to the level prior to Singapore, it is hard seeing any other victor apart from one of the Silver Arrows cars.
“That’s it, I didn’t think more than that”.
“This will be a very emotional weekend for us. Hopefully we will be a bit stronger again but Mercedes are the favourites”. “But I expect them to be back in Suzuka”.
“The majority of them believe at least one of the many solutions, or reasons for it that we’ve came up, with had a domino effect”.
Lotus announced their intentions to keep Pastor Maldonado for next season ahead of the race, but the future of former world champion Jenson Button at McLaren remains uncertain.
Last year’s race at Suzuka was marred by a horrific crash involving Jules Bianchi, who went into a coma after the accident and died in July. But they all came with Red Bull, and his new team Ferrari have not won there since Michael Schumacher triumphed in 2004.