Lewis Hamilton may have returned to the top ten in qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix this weekend, but the Briton is disappointed to only be lining up fifth on the grid after showing signs of good pace on Friday.
Hamilton had topped the first practice session at the Marina Bay Street Circuit, and he appeared to be one of the few drivers who could realistically stop Sebastian Vettel from claiming pole position in Singapore. However, on his final run in Q3, he failed to match the defending world champion’s time, falling four-tenths short to end up in fifth.
“Qualifying didn’t quite come together for me this evening,” Hamilton explained. “I tried my best out there but I just didn’t have a great feeling in the car and ultimately I wasn’t fast enough. Clearly the car was quicker than what I was able to get out of it tonight so, of course, it’s frustrating not to have qualified closer to the front as Nico did.”
Rosberg came agonizingly close to pipping Vettel in the dying moments of qualifying, taking one more lap than his compatriot and falling just 0.091 seconds short come the checkered flag.
Despite today’s setback, Hamilton is hoping to turn things around for the race tomorrow in pursuit of a second victory in Singapore.
“We’ll turn today’s negative into a positive overnight and I’ll be pushing as hard as I can in the race tomorrow,” he said. “There are still people ahead of me that we can beat and our target will be to get on the podium, that would be amazing.”
Hamilton will also have to fight with Romain Grosjean and Mark Webber if he is to finish in the top three, having finished directly behind the pair on Saturday. One comforting fact for the Briton is that he starts on the ‘clean’ side of the grid, theoretically allowing him to make a better getaway off the line.
The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.
IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.
This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.
INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists
IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.
“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.
“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”
It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.