Toto Wolff predicting difficult weekend for Mercedes in Singapore
Mercedes' Toto Wolff is anticipating a difficult weekend for his team when Formula 1 heads to Singapore for the Asian leg of the 2017 season.
This season there has been a clear advantage to certain teams depending on the nature of the circuit, with Mercedes being faster on power reliant circuits such as Silverstone, Spa and Monza and Ferrari having the advantage at slower high downforce circuits such as Monaco and the Hungaroring.
Although Mercedes has had some good results at Singapore in the past having won there in 2014 and 2016, Wolff is predicting that the Silver Arrows will experience a difficult weekend which will emulate the 2015 race which saw Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel take a dominant win.
"Singapore wasn’t the best of all places for us in the past, we were extremely delighted to win the race last year as we had such a difficult time in 2015," he said.
"You can see this year slow twisty circuits have rather suited Red Bull and Ferrari, and lots of high-speed downforce was good for our car.
"Now, I don’t think that is a pattern you can’t break, it’s about understanding your car, the more we clock mileage, the more we learn about it, nevertheless I still expect it to be a more difficult weekend for us than Monza, or Spa, Silverstone, because of those characteristics but we will try to understand it in the best possible way."
Lewis Hamilton echoed the words of his team boss, suggesting that Ferrari will have the advantage at Singapore: "I will do all the due diligence it’s possible to make sure that we arrive there best prepared. We have no idea until we get there what the picture’s going to look like but I think we learned a lot from the past but on a hot track, Ferrari are often better in hot places," he said.
"I think we’ll be able to give them a good race. I think the car is continuing to improve and as I said, our understanding of the car is beginning to… it’s constantly improving. Perhaps if we went back to Hungary for example, maybe we would be in a better position today with the knowledge of being there already."
Although he is braced for a tough weekend at the Marina Bay circuit, Hamilton remained upbeat but is prepared to defend his recently earned three-point lead in the Drivers' Championship: "I go and approach it with a real positive mind-set that we are going to be fighting for a win but if that’s not the case when we get there we’ll just take it at face value and try to get damage limitation, I guess."