Hamilton, Russell, Wolff and Shovlin comment on Singapore GP Quali

© Jiri Krenek for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Lewis Hamilton, George Russell, Toto Wolff and Andrew Shovlin give their comments on the 2023 Singapore Grand Prix Qualifying.

A surprise front-row for George, less than a tenth from pole – with Lewis in P5, completing a strong Saturday for the team in Singapore

  • The team made a strategic decision to save two medium tyres for the race, meaning we had to navigate qualifying with just four sets of soft tyres.
  • The gamble nearly caught us out in Q1, where every other car took new tyres and we ran a used set – impeded out laps left Lewis perilously close to the cut-off, but he was improving on his lap and would have been safe, when a large accident for Stroll brought out the red flags.
  • Progress through Q2 was slightly more comfortable, with George second-fastest and Lewis in P8, with both drivers able to abort their second runs and save fresher tyres for Q3.
  • With only Ferrari having two new sets of Soft available in Q3, our drivers had to jump from used to new tyres during the session. George set a time just 72 milliseconds shy of pole, while Lewis secured a third-row grid slot in P5.
  • Strategy options are finely poised between one and two stops tomorrow, with the additional set of Medium tyres a potential strategic advantage for both our drivers.

If you like SilverArrows.Net, consider supporting us by buying us a coffee!

George Russell

I’ve been really happy with this weekend as a whole. I’ve felt confident in the car and the team did a great job with the tyre strategy. We are on an offset strategy compared to everybody else, so we have an extra set of Medium tyres tomorrow which nobody around us has. So, to get to Q3, and then the front row, with just four sets of tyres and a strategic advantage, that’s an exciting place to be. It was a challenging session in the car – sitting in the garage, it’s like being in a sauna, and you just need to keep your composure and stay cool. The same will be true tomorrow: traditionally this has been a one-stop race, but the new circuit layout has possibly changed that. I think it’s going to be close between a one- and a two-stop, and with that extra Medium tyre available, we can put pressure on Ferrari and try and force an error to get the upper hand. That’s what we’re looking for.

Lewis Hamilton

The car was feeling incredible yesterday and we had hoped that with some tweaks, we’d be able to challenge the Ferraris. We made some pretty big changes overnight, and it just came away from me again, and we didn’t have the speed today. It’s obviously disappointing, especially because we clearly had a great package here and George was able to get on the front row. But tomorrow is a new day – and there is a lot to fight for. I hope George gets a great start tomorrow and puts some pressure on Ferraris; it would be great for him to get the win. On my side, I will be pushing to the maximum to go forward and see how the race unfolds in front.

Toto Wolff

I think we outperformed ourselves today. Singapore is a Ferrari track – they were strong here last year, too – so to get within a tenth of pole with George is fantastic. Lewis struggled more with the car, but we still have two cars in the top five, and that promises an exciting race tomorrow. As for our expectations in the race, we have got to stay humble and do the work tonight. I hope it’s not going to be an easy, one-stop, cruise into the sunset – and we have a potential advantage with the second Medium tyre that none of the other teams have. So I think everything is possible – and the weather may a part – it’s going to be an exciting evening tomorrow!

Andrew Shovlin

A great lap by George to get on the front row and split the Ferraris. That’s certainly helped his chances tomorrow as their ability to control the race is a lot less if we can get between them. Lewis wasn’t as happy with the car through the sessions and struggling to get the tyres to switch on; some of that was when the outlaps were compromised with traffic but even on the final run he didn’t feel that the grip was there. We made a decision in the morning to keep two mediums for the race tomorrow but that meant we only had four softs in qualifying. There were times during qualifying where it felt like we might have regretted that decision as field was much tighter than we expected but at least we got both through to the final session and importantly it’s opened up some unique options for us on the strategy and how we deal with safety cars. We looked to be competitive in the long runs on Friday and with both cars well placed on the grid we’re looking forward to the race tomorrow.

Source: Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team

Follow us on Twitter @SilverArrowsNet and like us on Facebook!

Comments are closed.