Lewis Hamilton may head into this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix coming off the back of two straight victories, but the Mercedes driver is braced for a closer fight with rival teams Ferrari and Red Bull at Marina Bay.
Hamilton became the first back-to-back race winner in 2017 by sweeping the final two European races of the season at Spa and Monza, moving into the lead of the drivers’ standings for the first time this year in the process.
Hamilton leads Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel by three points at the top of the championship, but with the tight and twisting nature of the street course in Singapore expected to suit the Italian marque well, another swing in momentum could occur.
Another threat to Hamilton comes courtesy of Red Bull, whose RB13 car is also better-fitted to tighter layouts than the high-speed tracks of Spa and Monza, leaving the three-time world champion on his toes.
“I think Red Bull will be fast this weekend. It’s not going to be the easiest of weekends, potentially,” Hamilton conceded on Thursday.
“But man, I’m coming with positivity and with the plan of winning this race. This is still regardless of if that is the case, the others potentially have a little bit more downforce, whatever it is.
“We have worked as hard as we can to understand the car and we come here with full attack.”
Mercedes delivered its most crushing performance of the season so far two weeks ago at Monza, sweeping to a one-two finish with half a minute’s advantage over Ferrari.
After hitting the sweet spot with the Mercedes W08 car in Italy, Hamilton is hopeful it can help the team in Singapore despite being a different type of circuit.
“Our understanding of the car will potentially help this weekend, but you never really know where you are going to be able to place the car,” Hamilton said.
“If we can get the car in a place where we are comfortable and a bit like where we were in the last two races, then we will definitely be strong in the fight.”