Lewis Hamilton believes Ferrari will have an advantage over Mercedes in this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix because they can generate more downforce.
“Sebastian [Vettel] is going to be quicker in other races than coming up,” said Hamilton after taking his sixth win of the season at Monza.
“In Singapore they should generally be quicker than us because they can add more downforce. But maybe we can out-pace them in other ways.”
Hamilton’s Italian Grand Prix win gave him a three-point lead in the drivers’ championship. However he warned “it could easily” swing back the other way.
Mercedes executive director Toto Wolff is not just concerned about the threat from Ferrari this weekend.
“So far this year, we have seen the pendulum swing according to circuit type,” he said. “On the surface, Singapore is the kind of circuit that should favour both Ferrari and Red Bull.”
“Both have shown strong performance on low-speed circuits demanding maximum downforce, and we have found life more difficult at those places in 2017.”
However Wolff believes Mercedes has made progress with its set-up for high-downforce track such as Singapore. “We learned a lot from our struggles in Monaco, raised our level of performance significantly in Hungary and we have made good progress in understanding what we need to do in order to get the most from the chassis.” he said.
“This is a circuit we have found difficult to master,” Wolff admitted. “In 2015, Singapore provided us with one of the most painful experiences in recent seasons so we rolled up the sleeves, learned from it and managed to bounce back with a great win last year.”