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.”

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