Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Singapore, 2017

Fifth and sixth was the ‘maximum’ result, admits Mercedes

2017 Singapore Grand Prix

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Mercedes have admitted that qualifying fifth and sixth on the grid for the Singapore Grand Prix was the ‘maximum’ result they could achieve.

A third row start for both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas was disappointing for the championship leaders, who so far have been unable to match the pace of Ferrari and Red Bull with Hamilton’s rival Sebastian Vettel taking pole.

Toto Wolff admitted after the session that the result was a fair reflection of the team’s true performance around the Singapore streets.

“You always hope for better and it looked at a certain stage that [Hamilton] was really on it, but I think that was probably the maximum you could extract from our car around Singapore,” says Wolff.

“It looked close at a certain stage, but this is Sebastian’s track. He has been quick around here for many years and it suits their car, so probably this is representative from where we stand but obviously when you have it black-and-white like this, it’s never pleasing.”

Having seen his main title contender storm to pole position, championship leader Lewis Hamilton says he did everything he could to maximise his starting position in qualifying.

“I definitely couldn’t have got any more out of it, I gave it everything,” says Hamilton. “I was holding onto the reigns for dear life. I extracted everything I could out of the car.

“I don’t know if I anticipated that we would be this far off this weekend – maybe two or three tenths, but five tenths is a good gap. I think we’re all feeling it within the team, but we’ll still do the best job we can tomorrow. There’s no points for today. This is a horrible track for overtaking, so it’s going to be a long slog tomorrow.

Despite both Ferrari and Red Bull looking stronger than Mercedes around the Marina Bay circuit this weekend, Hamilton says he is looking to try and make at least some progress up the field in tomorrow’s race.

“[Vettel]’s got Verstappen next to him, so anything could happen at the start,” says Hamilton. I just have to try and see if I can get a good start and try and pick at least one of the Ferraris off. That would be very helpful.”

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    Will Wood
    Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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    12 comments on “Fifth and sixth was the ‘maximum’ result, admits Mercedes”

    1. Sounds a lot like Alonso at his worst

      1. How ? To be honest both Hamilton and Toto are just saying it as it is. Hamilton got the maximum out of the car (0.7 faster than Bottas and improved on every lap) Toto is just reflecting that the Mercedes is the third quickest car this weekend. I don’t see how any of the above relates to anything close to Alonso at his worst ? Care to elaborate ?

        1. Merc is not the third quickest car, not this weeked, not ever. It’s just that without the huge gain from Merc extreme engine mode HAM is 5th quickest driver. ROS would get the pole with this car, as he did last season, and HAM only managed 2nd row in 2016, which did not mean at all that Merc was second best car last year.

          1. You’re not taking into account that Ferrari and RBR got much better than last year compare to Mercedes. Rosberg could never get pole this year here.

          2. This guy Manule is a comedian and a half.

          3. Lol, come on. Lewis Hamilton is officially a man who got most poles in history of F1.

            If he says he got everything out of the car, then he pretty much did. Rosberg maybe – that Hamilton beater, could have gotten 1-2 tenths on him… But he would still not get pole.

            Third fastest car it is. Which make sense. This circuit is bad for Mercedes philosophy car for ages now. Their car is mostly dominant everywhere else, so not entierly a bad compromise.

          4. Don’t mince your words Manule (or should that be Manuel?) what is it you’re Really trying to say?

          5. “Ros would’ve gotten Pole in this car”…

            Like in 2015 when he qualified 1.5 seconds off pole in the all dominating W06?

    2. Lol loved his Verstappen comment.

      1. Vettel]’s got Verstappen next to him, so anything could happen at the start,” says Hamilton

        Lol Max is getting quite a reputation however I’m not sure if Lewis was indicating a possible collision or a clean overtake.

    3. TBH I thought HAM could’ve finished ahead of RAI if the latter screwed up, which didn’t happen.

    4. Puts a bit of a perspective on how Rosberg drove here last year…

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