Hamilton more comfortable with old clutch setup

0 Comments

Lewis Hamilton feels more comfortable after reverting back to the old clutch setup on his Mercedes W06 Hybrid car ahead of this weekend’s British Grand Prix.

Hamilton has been struggling with race starts since the Spanish Gand Prix back in May when he changed to a new clutch setting, and has won just once in the past four races.

The Briton lost the lead of the race from teammate and title rival Nico Rosberg at the start of the Austrian Grand Prix two weeks ago, citing an issue with his clutch setting for his poor getaway.

Following practice for the British Grand Prix on Friday, Hamilton said that he felt more comfortable after making the switch back to his old clutch setup.

However, he still feels that there is plenty of work to be done as he trailed teammate Nico Rosberg in both practice sessions.

“It’s generally been a good day,” Hamilton said. “Not perfect – and we’ve got some work to do overnight – but the pace is decent. I didn’t have the ideal balance on the long runs and I’ve got a bit of work to do on setup.

“But otherwise it’s all been good. The tires feel strong – it doesn’t take too long to warm them up which is a positive.

“I’ve also gone back on clutch setup which feels really good so far – just like it did in the first few races. So, overall, it’s looking like a positive start.”

Just as he did in Austria, Hamilton said that he felt wary of Ferrari’s practice pace at Silverstone after finishing behind Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel in FP2.

“Ferrari look strong again here and they were right there with us today, so it should be a good battle,” the Briton said.

“Hopefully we’ll find a bit more tomorrow otherwise we could find ourselves in trouble.”

He was, however, encouraged by the support shown by his home fans at Silverstone on Friday who made it to the track in spite of traffic congestion.

“I have to say, the fans have been fantastic this weekend already. The level of support is just incredible – and it’s only Friday! Fortunately the weather has been good so far and I hope it continues that way for everyone out there cheering us on.”

Sergio Perez wins rain-delayed race in Singapore over Leclerc; Verstappen seventh

Sergio Perez Singapore
Clive Rose/Getty Images,
0 Comments

SINGAPORE — Max Verstappen’s Formula One title celebrations were put on hold after the Red Bull driver placed seventh at a chaotic Singapore Grand Prix, won by his teammate Sergio Perez on Sunday.

Perez’s second win of the season saw him finish 7.6 seconds ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, with Leclerc’s teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. in third place.

Perez was investigated for a potential safety car infringement but still kept the win after a 5-second time penalty for dropping too far back after being warned.

Verstappen had won the past five races but needed to win here and finish 22 points ahead of Leclerc to be crowned champion for a second straight season. That could happen next weekend at the Japanese GP.

Verstappen made a mistake after the second safety car restart, following AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda’s crash on Lap 36. When Verstappen tried to overtake Lando Norris’ McLaren, he locked his tires and needed to pit again.

Leclerc started from pole position with Verstappen going from eighth after a team blunder in qualifying.

The race start was delayed by more than an hour to clear water off the Marina Bay Circuit track following heavy rainfall. Drivers had to finish the 61-lap race within a two-hour window; 59 laps were completed.

Tricky conditions saw the virtual safety car deployed three times and DRS was allowed with about 30 minutes remaining.

Perez made a good start and jumped past Leclerc while Verstappen dropped several places. The first safety car was on Lap 8 when Zhou Guanyu’s Alfa Romeo was cut off by Nicholas Latifi’s Williams.

Perez got away cleanly at the restart, while Verstappen climbed into seventh behind Fernando Alonso – whose 350th F1 race ended disappointingly when his engine failed on Lap 21, bringing out the first VSC.

With the track still damp, drivers decided against changing to quicker tires – apart from Mercedes’ George Russell, who struggled for grip.

Hamilton made a rare mistake on Lap 33 and thudded into the crash barrier. Soon after, the leading drivers changed tires in a flurry of stops. They did so just before the safety car was deployed again following Tsunoda’s error.

Verstappen overtook Sebastian Vettel’s Aston Martin right at the end for seventh place.