Hamilton: Our pace was enough to winSeptember 23, 2019
In Singapore, Mercedes pilots hoped to compete for the victory, but in the end did not even go up to the podium. The main reason was a mistake in strategy – Mercedes did not dare to call riders to a pit stop before Ferrari pilots …
Lewis Hamilton (4th): “The weekend ended not at all the way we wanted. The entire first segment I rode right after Charles. I think we had the pace to win the race.
This morning we discussed the possibility of an earlier pit stop, and I wanted to take a chance, but Ferrari decided to call our pilots into the pits and we decided to use the opposite strategy – I stayed on the track. I attacked, the tires kept up well, but after several laps, they began to wear out very quickly.
Today we made a mistake, but in our team we win and lose all together. We will not point a finger at someone, this has always been our philosophy, and it will not change due to one race.
We fight with Ferrari, a team that really wants to win and attack with all their might. This means that each of us should work even better. I believe that we have the best team, but we must add. In the evening we will summarize and return to the fight in the next race. “
Valtteri Bottas (5th): “I was hoping for an eventful day, but not so much happened, so the race was like a long Sunday ride by car, only without air conditioning.
We tried to create some opportunities for ourselves, keeping the tires in better condition than the rivals ahead, in order to get a chance to attack at the end of the race, but failed to do so. The car was fast today, but in order to overtake in Singapore, the difference in pace should be almost two seconds.
We have rules regarding pit stops, as we don’t want to use them to exchange positions between team racers. The car in front always gets priority, and if the car behind stops earlier and gets an advantage, we will arrange for another car to finish first.
We cannot be satisfied with the results this weekend, therefore we will analyze and carefully study everything – we can learn a lot from this qualification and race. Now we go to Sochi, on the track, where I am usually strong, but there are very long straight lines, so Ferrari cars will be fast again. It will not be easy, but I look forward to a chance to compete again next week. ”
Toto Wolff, team leader: “A disappointing weekend for us, many of the problems in today’s race were created by our qualifications yesterday. But today we have not worked out well enough, and cannot be satisfied with fourth and fifth places.
An early tire change was more effective than everyone expected, and that would be the right decision for us. After we missed this opportunity, we hoped to create a second chance at a later stage, preserving the tires, but this plan did not work.
I think our car yesterday made it possible to earn a pole, and today it won a race, but we made too many mistakes. This weekend we did not meet our own standards, so we will study what happened and try to understand what we can add before the stage in Sochi. These are not easy days, but they make us stronger.
The race in Sochi, with its long straight lines, will not be easy for us, so we must get the maximum out of our car and do everything right. ”
Andrew Shovlin, chief racing engineer: “Today we missed our chance by not calling the pilots for a pit stop on lap 19. We talked about this, but did not respond quickly enough to how quickly Charles tires wore out.
We decided not to call Valtteri to use a different strategy compared to Verstappen, but, of course, we had to call Lewis. It was our chance to win, and when such an opportunity eludes, it is very frustrating.
In the end, we called Valtteri first, so as not to lose our position regarding Elbon, and therefore had to ask him to keep the gap, otherwise this would force Lewis to go to the boxes earlier. Lewis tried to stay on the track as long as possible to get more fresh tires in relation to other leaders and see if a safety car appears.
We lost the position to Vettel, but Verstappen was deliberately skipped to maximize the possibilities in this game of chance. A series of safety car appearances didn’t help us, but it probably didn’t matter much.
Feels like we have not won for a very long time, and there is no one reason for this. There are many areas in which we must add, and we will work hard. We expect that a fierce battle awaits us again in Sochi, and we do not believe that we are guaranteed anything, but we are glad to be able to return to the track in a few days. ”
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