Mercedes needs its ‘A-Game’ – Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton says that his Mercedes team is bringing there ‘A game’ to every race and warned the teams main rivals Ferrari, that they need to do the same if they want to regain the momentum in the championship.
Mercedes were expected to struggle against Ferrari and Mercedes in Singapore, however, the Englishman put in one of his dominate drives on his way to his fourth victory at Marina Bay and seventh of the season.
That win means he equals Sebastian Vettel on four wins in Singapore, and leads him by forty points, with a maximum of a hundred and fifty before the end of the season, as they fight for a fifth world title. Hamilton believes that Mercedes are performing at the peak of its power.
He told Sky Sports, “I mean even coming into this weekend we still felt they were [the team to beat]. I have tremendous belief in this team.”
“I truly believe we’re more united and I think I’ve got the smartest group of guys in my team and I think they’re all bringing their A game. They’re bringing their A game and I am bringing my A game so unless you’re coming up with straight with the ace and that’s what we’re bringing every weekend right now.”
Hamilton hasn’t finished outside the top two, when he has completed the race, since June’s Canadian Grand Prix. He only had one retirement in July’s Austrian Grand Prix, with a fuel pressure problem.
But while he says that Mercedes need to maintain its current approach and aim win every race, Hamilton still believes he is learning more about the car and tyres, which allowed him to pull out the lap he did in qualifying.
He added “”We will keep going through these next races and there will be more improvements with the car, with the ride, with the bumps, with all these different things. We’ve just got to keep on it. We can’t change our approach, we’ve just to keep going hard.”
Ferrari has “nothing to fear” – Vettel
Sebastian Vettel believes Ferrari has “nothing to fear” with six Grand Prix’s remaining, despite him losing more ground in the championship battle with Lewis Hamilton.
The German went into the weekend as the favourite as the circuit was expected to favour the Italian team. But Vettel was only able to manage third in the race after a disappointing qualifying.
Meanwhile, Hamilton capitalised on that disappointing session by Vettel with a dominating drive to victory and extending his lead to forty points with a hundred and fifty up for grabs. Vettel is insisting that he still has confidence with Ferrari’s title hopes and believes that the circuits left on the calendar should suit the Italian team’s 2018 challenger.
He told Crash.net “We started off the season half a second behind and it was crucial to get back, which we managed to. Then we had a bit of rough time. I think overall the speed is there but I think it’s a match as much in qualifying as in the ace.”
“On Sunday we were a little bit slower and we have to understand that, but also it’s difficult to draw a conclusion because our race was very different.”
Vettel says that there are key things which have been different between Mercedes and Ferrari. He says that Ferrari speed is a match in qualifying, but in racing the team is slower and the team needed to understand why.
Adding “There are a couple of differences that are standing out, about Saturday, about Sunday, so there are things that we can learn from the others because they simply did a better job – if they finish ahead of us by half a minute then clearly they did something better than us.”
F1 signs betting rights deal
Formula One’s owners Liberty Media has signed a £76m deal to sell the betting sporting rights to Interregional Sports Group, which will allow them to develop in-pay betting during races. F1 will also work with Sportradar to monitor betting-related fraud.
Commercial managing director Sean Bratches said the deal would give fans “new ways to engage with the sport”. Liberty Media completed an $8bn (£6.4bn) takeover of F1 from Bernie Ecclestone in January 2017.
As part of the deal, betting brands will be shown on physical and virtual trackside signage, as well as branded on-screen graphics.
Perez and Ocon not allowed to race – Szafnauer
Force India’s team principal Otmar Szafnauer says following the first lap incident between its drivers Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon at the Singapore Grand Prix, that the two will not be allowed to race each other.
The pair made contact exiting the third corner when Ocon tried to pass him going around the outside and then Perez moved over pushing the Frenchman into the wall. Szafnauer felt that the Mexican could have left more room.
After past incidents, Szafnauer had reminded both drivers before the Belgian GP, when they both started in the top four. The revamped team was restarting on zero points and a good result was crucial of the importance of not coming into contact with other.
He told Motorsport.com “I didn’t remind them here, maybe I should have done. But they know it now, and again they’re not going to race any more if they can’t do it. There wasn’t any room, Checo should have given him room, and Checo had plenty of room.
“Esteban put himself in a position where if Checo moved over, he couldn’t do anything about it. But your teammate shouldn’t do that to you.”
“If it’s another car, then you shouldn’t have put yourself there. But if it’s your teammate, you’ve got to have that respect. It’s just a matter of fact, it is what it is.”
Regarding the FIA decision to take no action, he said: “They looked at it and said racing incident, and I’m sure it was if they weren’t teammates. But from my perspective, you leave your teammate room, the team comes first. And he had room to leave him.”
Revising timing app a priority
Formula One says improving its new app is a priority after an upgrade for timing app received a barrage of complaints during the Singapore Grand Prix weekend.
The sports owners Liberty Media introduced a new version of the app on mobile devices, which featured a revised timing screen reducing the amount of data which could be viewed on a single screen. Reviews of the app online criticise the limitations on live timing.
Complaints include the number of drivers visible on the screen without scrolling being reduced to as few as seven, and the new arrangement requiring users to switch between multiple screens to gather information previously available on one.
Speaking to Autosport, a spokesperson said “We have updated the app platform with a view to introduce an additional range of new features both in the short and long term.”
“As part of the usual development program of an app, there are a number of new releases already in the pipeline. We are aware of the issues related to the live timing feature and this is one of the priorities of the next releases.”
However, it is understood that downgrading the app is not on the cards, as the upgrade has heavily improved other areas. The main reason why the upgrade was introduce was that some people were finding it too difficult to read, leading to an increase in font size and the ill-fated attempt to make it easier to use.
While the timescale for changes to the live timing function is not clear, it is believed that there will be upgrades made to the app over the remaining races of the 2018 season.