Mercedes still fears repeat of Singapore nightmare

Mercedes still fears a repeat of its Singapore Grand Prix tyre woes, despite bouncing back in style to win at Suzuka on Sunday.

Mercedes still fears repeat of Singapore nightmare
Podium: Race winner Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 Team, second place Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 Team, third place Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari
Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 W06
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W06
Toto Wolff, Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director with Mario Isola, Pirelli Racing Manager on the grid
Race winner Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 Team, second place Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 Team celebrate with the team
Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 W06
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W06 leads at the start of the race
Niki Lauda

Just one week after it failed to get its cars on the podium in Singapore after suffering a mysterious lack of grip, normal service was resumed in Japan as Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg delivered a resounding one-two finish after locking out the front row of the grid.

The result has delighted the team, which expressed relief over the weekend that Singapore appeared to be a temporary glitch, but that has not ended concerns of it happening again.

Mercedes non-executive director Niki Lauda said: “Lewis did a fantastic job. Thank god we came out of the Singapore drama and we are back, that is all I can say.

“But my worry is that the next race comes in Sochi, which is a Singapore type asphalt. So it is not done and not that easy.

“We have to work hard and stay competitive, and we are looking good. But you only look good when it is done.”

Working group

Mercedes has not yet had the time to complete a full investigation into what went wrong in Singapore, but has set up a working group back at its Brackley base to go through events.

Motorsport boss Toto Wolff said that getting proper conclusions was essential, because of concerns it could be exposed to similar troubles in the future.

“We have launched a group to investigate Singapore and, as expected, there is not one single answer, but many factors that contributed to the car not being competitive enough,” he said.

“We somehow have enough of an explanation for ourselves to park it there for the group which is present here at Suzuka, and make sure that on soft tyres and high downforce tracks it does not occur any more.

“But as with any car, there are tracks where you are looking very good and tracks where you are looking less good. At Singapore last year – in qualifying that was probably our weakest track.

“We should have looked at it last year, and make sure going forward we put more emphasis on high downforce tracks.”

shares
comments
F1 facing EU investigation after Sauber, Force India complaint
Previous article

F1 facing EU investigation after Sauber, Force India complaint

Next article

Analysis: Is it game over for Red Bull in F1?

Analysis: Is it game over for Red Bull in F1?
Load comments
The long-term F1 vision causing Haas’s short-term pain Prime

The long-term F1 vision causing Haas’s short-term pain

From ranking as one of the most impressive new teams to join the Formula 1 grid, Haas’s stock has plummeted along with its on-track performances over the past two seasons. Everything now hangs on whether its reforged alliance with Ferrari can deliver a better car – and whether its rookie drivers can set aside their quarrels. Oleg Karpov asks if any of these goals are achievable…

The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race Prime

The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race

OPINION: Max Verstappen has made the 2021 Formula 1 championship. He’s taken the fight to the all-conquering Mercedes squad and its dominant champion, produced driving displays few can match. But he’s been on a controversial course too, and finally crossed a particular line in Jeddah

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An ill-tempered Saudi Grand Prix made Formula 1 more soap opera than sporting spectacle at times, but there were some strong performances up and down the field on the world championship's first visit to Jeddah

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series Prime

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series

The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a race packed full of incident as Formula 1 2021's title contenders repeatedly clashed on track. Lewis Hamilton won out over Max Verstappen to level the scores heading into next weekend's Abu Dhabi finale, as Jeddah turned F1 into a drama series

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance Prime

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance

Dropped by Red Bull last season, Alexander Albon has fought back into a Formula 1 seat with Williams. ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains what Albon has done to earn the place soon to be vacated by the highly rated George Russell

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2021
The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes Prime

The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton...

Formula 1
Dec 4, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Prime

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Prime

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021