F1: Hamilton to fight for Singapore Grand Prix win
LEWIS Hamilton feels he can repeat last year’s triumph and win today’s Singapore Grand Prix.
2010 Singapore Grand Prix Qualifying
Singapore GP starting grid (top 10 only):
1 Fernando Alonso (Ferrari); 2 Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull); 3 Lewis Hamilton (McLaren Mercedes); 4 Jenson Button (McLaren Mercedes); 5 Mark Webber (Red Bull); 6 Rubens Barrichello (Williams); 7 Nico Rosberg (Mercedes); 8 Robert Kubica (Renault); 9 Michael Schumacher (Mercedes); 10 Kamui Kobayashi (Sauber).
The 25-year-old McLaren Mercedes driver from Herts starts Formula 1’s only night race from third on the grid.
He lines up on the second row behind Ferrari pole-sitter Fernando Alonso and Red Bull rival Sebastian Vettel after another thrilling qualifying sessions yesterday (Saturday).
A winner in Singapore last year, night rider Hamilton believes he can mount another challenge for the chequered flag around the spectacular floodlit Marina Bay circuit.
Tewin race hero Hamilton said: “It’s great to know we’re a real force here in Singapore. We didn’t know how fast we’d be this weekend – so to find out that we’re only a couple of tenths off pole is a great result for the whole team.
“Our starts have been pretty good too, so we can both hopefully jump at least one guy ahead of us tomorrow [Sunday]. In other words, we can fight for a win from where we are.”
Alongside Hamilton on the second row is McLaren team-mate and defending F1 world champion Jenson Button.
After qualifying, he said: “Fourth isn’t too bad; we’re a lot closer to the Red Bulls than we feared we might be. The Ferrari looks quick, but I’m reasonably happy – much happier than I was after my qualifying here last year.”
Jenson qualified only 11th for the 2009 Singapore Grand Prix.
Like Hamilton, Button is looking to get the jump on those ahead of him when the five red lights go out on the startline gantry.
Button said: “The start will be the key. My aim will be to pass Sebastian [Vettel]. The Red Bulls’ pace off the line hasn’t been great recently, and I also think we can have a good race because our pace on high fuel has looked good around here.”
McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh is optimistic of gaining good points.
He said: “We’re within a couple of tenths of the pole, we made a lot of good progress, and we feel we’ve got a very good race car for tomorrow [Sunday].
“Bearing in mind our comparatively lacklustre pace at Monaco and the Hungaroring, two relatively slow circuits, I’m very encouraged by our performance here in Singapore, which is also a comparatively slow circuit.
“That improvement is the result of a lot of hard work by a lot of very good people, and I thank them all.
“As for the race, we now feel we can take the fight to anyone, and that’s what we intend to do.”
The 2010 Singapore Grand Prix starts at 1pm British time.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Welwyn Hatfield Times. Click the link in the orange box above for details.