SINGAPORE — Having seen his title rival win three straight races in four weeks, Lewis Hamilton could be forgiven for fearing the worst about the destiny of the 2016 Formula One title, but the Briton still believes he can reverse the current championship tide.
Hamilton had a frustrating weekend in Singapore and was off the pace of his rival and Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg in all three practice sessions, qualifying and the race. That was compounded by a hydraulic failure in practice that cost him a lot of long-run practice.
Given that, a third place finish and an eight-point championship deficit to Rosberg represented an acceptable level of damage limitation.
“A very trying weekend, these ones come along sometimes and you just have to take it on the chin sometimes,” a philosophical Hamilton said post-race.
Hamilton has overcome championship adversity already this year. When Rosberg won the opening four races of the season, the points gap was 43, but seven races later, the Briton had pulled ahead. Now he has to do it again.
“It’s not as tough as you think, I don’t know why,” Hamilton said. “We’ve come from 43 points down, so theoretically, eight points isn’t anywhere near as steep as that.
“With everything that’s gone on this year, I’m still in the fight, there’s still a long way to go and I’m going to give it everything I’ve got.”
Hamilton suffered through the first two-thirds of the race with overheating brakes on the punishing stop-start circuit.
“I just had to slow down and watch the other guys pull away,” Hamilton said. “Once I did my (last) stop, all of a sudden my brakes were under control.”