Hamilton: ‘Not been my weekend so far’ in Singapore

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Lewis Hamilton admitted to a lack of rhythm after qualifying third for the Singapore Grand Prix on Saturday night, over seven-tenths of a second slower than Mercedes teammate and Formula 1 title rival Nico Rosberg.

Hamilton arrived in Singapore leading the drivers’ championship by two points after seeing Rosberg win the last two races in Belgium and Italy.

The Briton suffered a hydraulic issue on Friday that limited his practice running, while an error in FP3 on Saturday afternoon meant he entered qualifying without a simulation under his belt.

Hamilton finished seven-tenths of a second behind Rosberg after his first run in Q3 to sit second on the provisional grid before failing to improve on his second effort.

Daniel Ricciardo was able to find a chunk of time in the final sector that lifted him onto the front row of the grid, leaving Hamilton third for the start in Singapore after he failed to improve.

“[It] wasn’t a frustrating session. Just not been my weekend so far,” Hamilton said after qualifying.

“Not really got many good laps out there, not been able to string them together.

“Nico did a great job, he showed the true potential of the car.

“Hopefully tomorrow I’ll try to get that one step up to get that front row for the team.”

Both Hamilton and Rosberg will need to remain wary of the Red Bull drivers in Sunday’s race after Ricciardo and teammate Max Verstappen (qualified fourth) got through Q2 on the super-soft tire.

While Mercedes may have the pace advantage on ultra-softs, the Red Bulls should be able to go further into the race before pitting by virtue of their alternate strategy.

The Singapore Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app from 7am ET on Sunday.

X44 Racing win 2022 Extreme E championship as Abt Cupra score first race victory

2022 Extreme E Uruguay
Extreme E
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Abt Cupra Racing’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and Klara Andersson scored their first win in the Extreme E Energy X Prix in the 2022 finale in Uruguay as Lewis Hamilton’s X44 Vida Carbon Racing drivers Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez survived a chaotic finale to edge the 2021 champion Rosberg X Prix team of Johan Kristoffersson and Mikhaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky, by two points.

“There are so many emotions,” Andersson said in Extreme E’s coverage. “I’ve been waiting for this for so long. In my second race, first full weekend to be at the top of the podium: it’s big.”

Andersson was behind the wheel at the finish.

Rosberg Racing entered the event with a 17-point advantage over X44, but the standings were close enough that four teams remained in contention in Round 5.

“It’s a crucial weekend for us,” Loeb said in Extreme E’s coverage prior to the race. “We are not in the best position to win the championship, but the only thing we can do is try to win the race and score as many points as possible.”

The top two title contenders each crashed in qualification and were relegated to the Crazy Race, Extreme E’s version of the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ). For the moment, they had the steepest hill to climb, but then the other two championship contending teams, Chip Ganassi Racing and Acciona Sainz Racing failed to advance from their heats.

Only one team advances from the Crazy Race, so the X44 drivers were in a must-win situation to simply keep hope alive.

More: Extreme E 2023 schedule

Ahlin-Kottulinsky and Gutierrez ran wheel to wheel into the first turn at the start of the LCQ.

The Rosberg racer experienced crash damage in that turn that damaged her front steering, but managed to limp back to the pits at the end of her two-lap stint. The team attempted to fix the steering, but incurred a penalty for having too many mechanics in the pit area.

Meanwhile, Gutierrez took the early lead, but knew she would need to sit through a five-second penalty for an incident earlier in the weekend. The female half of the gender equal pair erased the penalty by entering the Switch Zone with a five-second lead before turning the car over to Loeb.

That was all the nine-time World Rally Championship titlist needed to give him the advantage needed to win the Crazy Race.

But the championship was not over yet. X44 Racing needed to finish third or better in the five-car finale to earn enough points for the title and after advancing from the LCQ, they were forced to take the worst grid position.

A chaotic start to the Finale saw Loeb run as high the lead and low as fourth after getting pushed off course during his first lap. And that is how he entered to Switch Zone.

On her first lap, Gutierrez slammed into Molly Taylor. With one lap remaining, X44 and Gutierrez were still in fourth and the title hope was quickly evaporating, but it was announced halfway through the lap that the third-running Andretti United team would suffer a penalty for a Switch Zone infraction. The seven-second deduction for Timmy Hansen braking too late in the zone made the difference in the title.

Coming off a disappointing Copper X Prix when Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour crossed under the checkers first, but were relegated to fifth by penalty, the McLaren pair scored their first podium of the season in second.