Lewis Hamilton felt glad to have finished on the podium in Sunday’s Singapore Grand Prix despite giving up the lead of the Formula 1 drivers’ championship to Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg.
Hamilton started third in Singapore and dropped behind Kimi Raikkonen during the second stint of the race as he struggled for pace on the soft tire.
Mercedes opted to change Hamilton’s strategy mid-race, bringing him in for a third stop late on to put pressure on Ferrari ahead.
Raikkonen was pulled in one lap later, only to emerge from the pits behind the Briton, allowing Hamilton to take third place behind Rosberg and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo.
“First of all big congratulations to Nico. He drove fantastically well all weekend and fully deserved the win,” Hamilton said on the podium after the race.
“Very tough day today, but as always it is in Singapore. This weekend’s just been a bit of a tricky one for me. I’m so glad I could get back up on the podium and get some points for the team.”
Hamilton was unable to push in the early part of the race due to a minor brake issue that prompted Mercedes to warn him on a number of occasions about his pace.
“It was my brakes, I was struggling with my brakes which were overheating, so I had to slow down and watch the other guys pull away,” Hamilton said.
“We were looking at different ways to try and get them back under control. In the end once I did my second stop or third stop, my brakes were under control. Of course towards the end I got a bit of heat in them.
“I’ve got a lot of support out there this weekend and I just want to say thanks to everyone who came out. We’ll keep pushing.”
Rosberg’s victory saw him take the lead of the drivers’ championship for the first time since the British Grand Prix in the middle of July, demoting Hamilton back into second place.
“It’s a lot different to when I was here last year,” Hamilton said, reflecting on his 41-point lead following Singapore in 2015.
“All in all, with all that has gone on this year, I’m still in the fight but still a long way to go.
“I’m going to give it everything I’ve got.”