Engine problems prevented Mercedes –

Lewis Hamilton; photo: Mercedes

Again, engine problems were at the root of the time lost by the Mercedes drivers in the today’s qualifying at the Marina Bay circuit. George Russell failed to qualify at all for the final phase of the session and Lewis Hamilton lost a lot of time in the final sector of his final lap to finish third, albeit just over 5 hundredths of a second.

“I was hitting the brakes but the engine was just pushing me forward and I had massive understeer,” explained Russell

“There were no worries about the temperature of the tires, they were fine. It just had the same problem that we had in the first practice, and the throttle was staying at 10% open, so I just couldn’t do much. There was also a lot of power coming out of corners, which was not good news.”

Lewis Hamilton was less specific and said he pushed as hard as possible. According to Toto Wolff, due to the performance of the car, he blocked several times during the stops for the turns in the third sector after the excellent second. In the paddock, it is claimed that Mercedes this season does not have a flexible enough engine in general, which in terms of maximum power was actually not so far from the leaders, but not in terms of handling comfort. Valtteri Bottas indicated recently that the Ferrari unit in his Alfa Romeo has better handling.

“I was pushing a lot and I was really close,” was Hamilton’s comment on his qualifying

“I thought that maybe with a perfect lap we could also fight for first place… In the last lap I didn’t have enough grip, but I’m grateful to be on the second row,” he added.

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