Defending world champion Lewis Hamilton was 1.5 seconds off the pace and will start the race alongside with teammate Nico Rosberg who qualified sixth for Singapore Grand Prix. The Brit blamed the ‘tyres as the main culprit’ for Mercedes’ miserable qualifying performance.
The Champions Mercedes struggled for pace on both the soft and super-soft tires in qualifying, In Q3, Hamilton wrung every last tenth out of his Mercedes W06, but his time of 1:45.300 was only good enough for fifth, 1.4 seconds behind pole sitter Vettel at the front.
“Tyres,” the Brit told Sky Sports when asked to explain the one and half sec margin. “I don’t know what we have got wrong, but big congratulations to the guys up ahead. To be honest it is a bit exciting to be having that fight. It is the first time we have gone into qualifying pulling even more out of the car if we can and therefore sometimes making mistakes.
“It was really challenging. These tyres, for some reason, aren’t working on our car, it’s so weird. You heat them up the same as everyone else and then you finish your lap where you think you have OK grip and then you see someone a second up the road, so it is very strange.”
“The goal is to win the race, but overtaking is very difficult here. The others, particularly the Red Bulls, were very quick on the long runs. We will fight as hard as we can, but I doubt we will find something between now and tomorrow.”