Hamilton blames Mercedes strategy for Singapore result

SINGAPORE (AFP) – World champion Lewis Hamilton felt Mercedes had the car to win the Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday but strategic errors in the middle of the race cost him a chance of victory as the championship leader had to settle for a fourth-place finish.

Hamilton started alongside pole-sitter Charles Leclerc on the front row with the second Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen behind him.

After fighting off Vettel to slot in behind Leclerc on the opening lap, Mercedes opted to keep Hamilton out for longer than his rivals rather than attempt an undercut to claim the lead, but the plan backfired when he emerged from his pit stop behind the Ferraris and the Red Bull.

“It’s not been the weekend we wanted at all. I was all over Charles in the first stint and I think we had the pace to win the race today,” Hamilton told reporters after the Grand Prix finished with a Vettel-Leclerc Ferrari one-two and Verstappen completing the podium.

Mercedes’ British driver Lewis Hamilton at the Marina Bay Street Circuit in Singapore. PHOTO: AFP