World championship leader Lewis Hamilton thinks Mercedes does not have the pace to beat Red Bull in Singapore but will give a good fight to their main rival, Ferrari.
The Milton Keynes based outfit dominated the free practice runs on Friday. Daniel Ricciardo came first in both the sessions and created a new lap record on the circuit. His fellow driver Max Verstappen was the second quickest in the day.
On the hunt for his third win in Singapore, Hamilton admitted that it will be very hard to challenge Red Bull in the qualifying race. But he assured the team will work hard to close the gap as much as possible.
“Red Bulls were rapid so we have just got to accept that they are super fast and I don’t know if we’ll be able to beat them in qualifying,” said Hamilton. “We gave it everything we could and we’re still not anywhere near Red Bulls they just seemed to be a little bit further ahead today.
“We’re going to look at all of the options. Some fundamental things with our car may stop us from getting much quicker but we’re going to push as hard as we can and do work overnight and see if we can improve the car.
“I think we are relatively close to Ferrari so hopefully we can fight them which is a good thing.”
Singapore has never been easy for the Silver Arrows team. So it comes as no surprise that the team cannot repeat their Monza pace in Marina Bay circuit.
Ferrari, on the other hand, had a lot of promise for this circuit. But the Italian magic did not seem to work so well during the practice runs on Friday. If Hamilton finishes ahead of Vettel on Sunday, he would accept it as a victory. Needless to say, such a win will also increase his points score in the Championship title.
“We target to win races but again that’s not something I’m thinking of,” he said. “Of course we want to make sure I’m ahead of Sebastian, so that’s my goal.”