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Get a grip! Lewis Hamilton blasts `weird` tyres in Singapore
The 28-year-old was more than half a second clear of Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo, who booked his spot on the front row for Red Bull with the second best time.
It was the first time Mercedes had not claimed pole since the Austrian Grand Prix a year ago. “They must have some issues. We’ll enjoy it while it lasts and I’ll be watching it on the screens while I’m going round in the middle of the pack”.
“It’s a surprise – I thought they were sandbagging yesterday, also this morning“, said Vettel of Mercedes. But I wouldn’t rule them out tomorrow.
With overtaking opportunities scarce around the narrow, 23 turn street circuit in Singapore, Hamilton and Rosberg face a tough task to make it 11 wins from 13 races this year on Sunday.
Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat was fourth, ahead of Hamilton and his team-mate Nico Rosberg as Mercedes’ 23-race stranglehold on the front spot was emphatically broken. However, the team are adamant that their new engines couldn’t have been a factor in their unexpected superiority under the Marina Bay lights.
“It’s so weird: you heat them up the same as everyone else, you do your warm-up lap the same as everyone else”, he told Sky Sports.
SINGAPORE, Sept 19 Mercedes have all but given up hope of winning the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix after a lacklustre performance in Saturday’s qualifying that they struggled to find an explanation for. While a frustrated Hamilton attributed his lack of speed to gripless tyres, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff admitted his team were at a loss to understand the scale of their defeat.
“It’s a bit of a surprise – and it’s good to capitalise on that”. “We have been surprised from the beginning onwards”.
Carlos Sainz effectively brought Q2 to a close when he hit a wall late in the session, leaving bodywork on the track and bringing out the yellow flags ordering cars to slow down. It could be many various factors.
“We have been very good for two years now and never put a foot wrong and this time it was a massive step rearwards and we need to concentrate on our strengths and get it right for Suzuka”. “Incidents happen, and we’ve got to be intelligent about the way we go racing tomorrow, strategy might play a big part”.
Hamilton has won seven of the year’s races, including the last two in Belgium and Italy, with Rosberg landing the other three but Vettel’s consistency – he has achieved eight podiums – has kept him in the hunt in his debut campaign with Ferrari.