Lewis scored his 69th career victory today – his seventh of the 2018 Formula One season and fourth at the Marina Bay Street Circuit. Valtteri came home in P4, helping the team to extend the lead in the Constructors’ Championship.
Lewis (281 points) leads the Drivers’ Championship by 40 points from Sebastian Vettel (241 points) with Valtteri (171 points) in P4. Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport (452 points) leads Ferrari (415 points) by 37 points in the Constructors’ Championship. Loïc Serra, Chief Vehicle Dynamicist, accepted the Constructors’ trophy on behalf of the team.
Lewis Hamilton: I’m so excited. I came here knowing that Singapore is a hard one for us. But I’m always optimistic, thinking that if we’re really diligent and do our work, we can create some chances. Then Friday was already a good day for us. Saturday didn’t start off well, but then all of the sudden that special lap came in. Knowing that we would start on pole, I knew that it was a great opportunity for us to capitalise on. I had a great start and from then I was able to manage it. When I hit the traffic, I was just mindful not to take any risks. When you start to get closer to another car, you start losing grip and start sliding around more, so there’s a higher chance of mistakes. If you’re lucky you catch the cars at the right point and they let you by so you don’t lose any time, but today I always caught them at an unfortunate point. So when Max was right behind, I had to go on the defensive, and I thought to myself “Bro, you’re not getting by – not today!” It was physically such a demanding race, so I’m relieved that it’s over now – it felt like such a long night, but I’m super grateful for the result.
Valtteri Bottas: There was not a whole lot happening in the race, I was hoping for more variables to come into play and shake the race up a little. There was only one Safety Car in the very beginning, but it came out too early to trigger any pit stops. It’s very difficult to follow and overtake on this track, so once the Safety Car was back in, it was a fairly uneventful race. The first stint on the HyperSoft tyres was very straightforward. We knew that the second stint on the Soft tyres would be more difficult because it was so long and towards the end the tyres were pretty much gone. I can’t be happy with P4, but a better result today was made very difficult by the qualifying result yesterday. However, we still got a good result for the team, which is great because everyone has been working so hard to improve the car and the set-up for Singapore.
Toto Wolff: Singapore has been our bogey track for several years, so it is a special feeling to come here and win this race on pace. The entire team has worked so hard to understand the car and take steps forward, especially since our defeat in Spa, and this result is an indication that our work is paying off. We prepared well for this weekend, came here determined to make a step and we delivered. It was a weekend of many parts: a stardust lap from Lewis in qualifying, a chess game of tyre management this evening, and some nervous moments with traffic and backmarkers during the race – but in the end, we outscored our rivals for both championships and delivered a really satisfying result. There will be many discussions about backmarkers, who had a big influence on both drivers’ races; I think this is a topic for the drivers to discuss among themselves, but perhaps there is a way to optimise those blue flag rules on street circuits like this. From our side, we can be pleased with a very solid weekend. We have leads in both championships but they change nothing in the mind-set of this team. We have six weekends to go and we know how quickly the situation can swing back against us. We will take it weekend by weekend, feet on the ground and determined to maximise our potential every time.
James Allison: Yesterday felt great, exhilarating and breathless, but about five minutes afterwards, those feelings disappear and our thoughts turn to the race; making good on pole position takes over our world. Now, just 24 hours later, a wonderful feeling of contentment washes through the whole team from the knowledge that we’ve done a good job here and increased our lead in both championships. More importantly, we have put right the weaknesses that have plagued us at this circuit for a number of seasons and validated a lot of the theories and analysis of why we have suffered previously. This sport can beat you up, like happened recently to us in Spa, but it is days like today that remind us why we are so very fortunate to work in Formula One. But this feeling, too, will last for about 10 more minutes before we begin fretting about Sochi, because our competition is desperately strong and the remaining races cover a very wide range of challenges. We are all aware that we need to keep having weekends like this one if we are to finally achieve the results that we so crave.