Lewis Hamilton rues couple of mistakes in F1 Singapore GP, as George Russell talks of the gamble that paid off almost.

For the Brackley based Mercedes outfit, they were left still chasing their first win of the 2022 campaign. After this weekend they now have just five more Grands Prix to break their 2022 duck. At Marina Bay, Hamilton and Russell earned just two points between them in a weekend where they could have possibly achieved that first win of the season.

For Hamilton, whose chance of WDC number eight have been over for a very long time, he achieved his best qualifying for the season so far with third on the grid and just a fraction off the front row. But his race of woe started at lights out, sluggishly away, Carlos Sainz got past him for third and from then on it was downhill.

His start caused him a great deal of irritation where a wheel bump forced him off track for a moment at Turn 1. “It was a difficult start and then getting stuck behind Carlos,” said Hamilton to TV media. “I don’t know why he was so slow but obviously, I was not quick enough to get past him in these conditions. And then just sitting behind him”.

“I think I could have done similar times to the guys ahead, but because I was stuck behind him I couldn’t. I think if I was in third, I could have kept with the guys up ahead.” Midway through the Grand Prix and pretty much stuck behind Sainz up until then, Turn 7 proved unlucky as in attempting to pressurise the Spaniard, he locked up and went straight into the tyre barrier, a clean hit with minimal damage.

But the issue was that this coincided where the track was getting slick-ready, he pitted for a new front wing as well as new tyres. His frustrations were not done with though, while overtaking Sebastian Vettel – which also involved Max Verstappen putting pressure from behind – saw another error and he ended up in ninth.

“I think we started off with a pretty decent weekend and were just really, really unfortunate at the end,” continued Hamilton. “It was difficult to overtake and that lock-up into Turn 7 – when those things happen your heart sinks a little bit. I knew it was all over from then, but these things happen. I’m not going to punish myself for a mistake”.

“It was very tricky conditions for everyone. The problems that we have with this car are magnified in the rain when it’s wet, and it’s a very, very hard car to drive in the rain.  It all went out the window when I locked up, so my apologies to the team, but we live and learn, and I’ll recover,” summed up Hamilton.

It was a big pity after such an impressive qualifying but with five races left he has a chance to escape his first ever winless season. As it was, his teammate Russell suffered a frustrating weekend too, missing out on Q3, he then had to take a power unit change which necessitated a pit lane start.

With nothing to lose and stuck at the back of the field, he was advised to switch to slicks, a little too early perhaps as he almost crashed at turn one. Well off the pace with the rest of the field, he stuck at it and began to improve greatly, so much so that other teams followed suit.

Late on in the race a collision with Mick Schumacher forced another stop. The end result was 14th and last and the fastest lap but no point earned as a non top ten finish.  Amusingly he had actually asked for fresh inters but the team asked to trust them with the decision which eventually paid off, even though he lost too much time.

“I was asking the pit for a new set of inters,” said Russell to media. “And in that situation, I trust the team, the team trust me, they thought it was time to go on slicks and try something. I was in a position where I just thought screw it, we need to do something. F1’s very frustrating when it’s like this. But out of so many races we’ve had this year – seventeen? Fifteen of them have been pretty great. So we can’t get it right every time.”

And indeed, he has had an incredibly consistent season in his first full season with the Brackley team, but the way things were for Russell today, he had nothing to lose by gambling. “There was a bit of confusion across the board, to be honest,” said Russell. “So in a race like this when you’re in no man’s land, tensions are high, and you’ve just got to try something”.

“Because when we had that safety car and the restart, I overtook three cars in one lap, and was up to P11 before the incident with Mick. So it goes both ways. We had to try something. But I think we showed we are making a lot of progress. And that gives me optimism for the rest of the year,” summed up Russell.

Mercedes worst weekend in terms of points but Russell feels they are as a team headed in the right direction. “I think firstly, confidence restored that we fixed the car,” said Russell. “And our normal pace was back.  And we definitely had a car this weekend that was capable of winning. So that’s one thing ticked off, let’s say”.

“And just bit of a shame how this weekend has unfolded. But it’s just the way F1 goes sometimes. We’ve had such a great run of form. And as a team, I feel like we’ve been pretty flawless all season. But obviously this weekend things went against us.”

He was unlucky not to reach Q3 and it might have been a different ball game if he had.  They have been incredibly consistent as a team who have not yet won a race in 2022.  They still have Ferrari in their sights for second in the Constructors championship and at the same time both Russell and Hamilton are chasing at least a win each with five races to go.

Here’s how F1 Singapore GP panned out