Singapore Grand Prix – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton says he thinks Ferrari’s ‘hunger’ has taken them past Mercedes in recent races.
Lewis Hamilton finished P4 in Sunday’s race at Marina Bay, having started from the front row. The Mercedes driver harassed the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc throughout the opening stint of the race, but was caught out by the undercut strategy taken by the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel right behind and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in P4.
With Hamilton then staying out for a further six laps after the team realised the error of not pitting immediately, teammate Valtteri Bottas had to be told to slow down to ensure that he, as well as the other Red Bull of Alex Albon, didn’t shuffle Hamilton down to P6.
Re-emerging in P4 after he finally did stop on Lap 28, Hamilton spent the rest of the race staring at the back of Verstappen’s Red Bull as they negotiated the various Safety Car and green flag periods but was powerless to get back into the podium positions.
“I knew we should have undercut and I said that this morning in the pre-race brief.” said an annoyed Hamilton afterwards. “I said ‘let’s just take the risk’, but we didn’t. I wanted to take the risk but then Ferrari decided to box, so we did the opposite and I stayed out. I pushed hard and the tyres were feeling good, but after a few laps they started to drop off real quick. We win and lose together as a team so we’ll take this on the chin. It’s painful for us because we could have easily won today but it didn’t work out.”
Asked about whether he felt Ferrari’s recent upgrades have changed the pecking order at the front as Mercedes hold onto the top spots in both championships, Hamilton said: “It feels like Ferrari are hungrier at the moment, we’ve got to take it higher and step it up. We’ve got the ability and we’re still the best team. We’ve to stop dragging our feet and get on.”
“We don’t point the finger at people, that’s always been our philosophy and that won’t change because of one race. We’re fighting a Ferrari team who are super hungry and pushing very hard. It’s on each one of us to do a better job. I believe we’re the best team, but we’ve got to push on. We’ll debrief tonight, put our heads back in the scrum, and then come back fighting at the next race.”
When @LewisHamilton drops by to say "great job" 😍🤝
— Formula 1 (@F1) September 23, 2019