Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Singapore, 2014

Hamilton feared he’d lost pole after mistake

2014 Singapore Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Singapore, 2014Lewis Hamilton was worried he’d missed his chance for pole position when he made a mistake at the first corner of his final flying lap.

The Mercedes driver was only sixth-fastest with his first run in Q3 and began the last with by locking his left-front wheel at turn one. But Hamilton still managed to beat Nico Rosberg to pole position by seven thousandths of a second.

“My last lap I locked up into turn one and lost a bit of time but still managed to pull it back later on in the lap,” he said.

“At that point I honestly thought perhaps it’s over because I’ve lost over a tenth and a half, Nic’s two-tenths down, but I just kept going and it got better and better throughout the lap.”

Hamilton added he was surprised to see Ferrari challenging Mercedes on one-lap pace. Although they later slipped to fifth and seventh, Fernando Alonso was only two tenths of a second off Hamilton’s pace.

“I really wasn’t expecting to see so much difference in how close everyone was,” said Hamilton. “I did some good laps in the first and second qualifying sessions and saw the Ferraris very, very close. And then obviously to end up the way it did is good obviously for our team.”

Hamilton expects there to be “a lot going on” in tomorrow’s race and admitted Mercedes had been surprised by the rate of degradation on the tyres in Singapore.

“I think coming into the weekend we had an opinion about how the tyres would behave,” he said. “And obviously when we got into the long runs yesterday we saw quite a big difference from what we thought was going to happen.”

“So I think tomorrow’s going to be a really interesting race. Looking after these tyres is not easy.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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16 comments on “Hamilton feared he’d lost pole after mistake”

  1. Formula Indonesia (@)
    20th September 2014, 16:17

    As Rosberg fan I appreciate Hamilton for being beaten Rosberg in his favoured tracks. Great job Lewis ! Hopefully we’ll have exciting race tomorrow

  2. Rosberg had a big lock-up to in his run (turn 13), so that equals things out I presume (although a lote of people won’t agree with me). The result is 0.007, so yeah ‘Damn IT’

    1. Have to correct myself, it doesn’t equal things out:
      Rosberg Q2: 28.29240.466 – 37.067 = 1.45,825
      Rosberg Q3: 28.320 – 40.488 – 36.880 = 1.45,688
      Hamilton Q3 Run 1: 28,207 – 40.816 – 37.207 = 1.46.230
      Hamilton Q3 Run 2: 28.327 – 40.36036.994 = 1.45.681

      Ultimate Laptimes:
      Rosberg: 28.292 – 40.466 – 36.880 = 1.45.638 (+0.077)
      Hamilton: 28.207 – 40.360 – 36.994 = 1.45.561

      Still very close of course!
      The lock-up cost him about 0.120 and the lock-up Rosberg suffered cost him about 0.022

      If you look at it with the naked eye though, the lock-ups looked very similar!

      1. @gdewildeOh and you criticised me earlier for saying it haha;).

  3. If Renault and Ferrari up their game this could be very common in 2015, a very close field in every track not just on Singapore.

    1. Indeed. I think both Renault and Ferrari will be similar to Mercedes next year and hopefully Honda will be hot from day 1. However, if Lotus builds a good car next season and with Mercedes power it will be interesting.

  4. This is LH ver. 2. The Lewis of old would have been demoralised and his weekend would have been downhill from then on. Nice to see.

    1. No, this is Hamilton v3.0 :)
      V1 was 2007-2008 – journey to WDC, he looked happy all the time.
      V2 was 2009-2012 – McLaren & Personal struggles, up-rise of Anti-hams.
      V3 is 2013-Presesnt – Fresh.

  5. Anyone noticed how Hamilton went wide at T2, across both white lines.

    1. It doesn’t give you an advantage, if anything it ruins your lap a bit… So it’s okay.

    2. @xtwl Rosberg and Perez did the same things on their Q3 lap, and Rosberg did the same last year, so I don’t think the FIA cares about turn 2.

  6. As in Spain, as the qualifying and practice sessions evolved it was Rosberg’s car that appeared notably more stable and compliant, and yet Hamilton still managed pole. However whilst his Spanish pole was an artistic and at times acrobatic study of oversteer control, in Singapore Hamilton was fabulously inventive to combat the front load issues his car seemed to have; often using the throttle to turn the car in the slow speed and destabilizing the rear over curbs in the chicanes to rotate the chassis around the front end. Driving artistry, and a thoroughly enjoyable watch for a vehicular dynamic looser like me…

    Also, in the past when Lewis has made mistakes early on in a lap, the rest of the lap tended to be scruffy too. And yet this time the rest of the lap was nigh on perfect, and perhaps an indicator of Lewis’ current mentality. He will be virtually impossible to beat tomorrow.

    1. It reminded me of one of Seb’s poles last year, I think in Abu Dhabi, where he made a mistake in one of the first corners only to nail the rest of the lap. Enjoyed qualifying a lot today!

      1. @paeschli – I think you are referring to Austin (Webber was on pole in Abu Dhabi), where Vettel was 0.27 down on Webber after two sectors, but proceeded to go four tenths faster in final sector. As you say, immense qualifying session; hopefully we get a barnstormer of a race too.

    2. Also, in the past when Lewis has made mistakes early on in a lap, the rest of the lap tended to be scruffy too. And yet this time the rest of the lap was nigh on perfect, and perhaps an indicator of Lewis’ current mentality

      @william-brierty
      Lewis showed a level of maturity that is really impressive. Using his skill and experience to great effect. In a similar way to how he dealt with the software glitch induced slow start in monza, he was coolness personified, tamed the Phoenix inside and executed a truly impressive performance. Great to see

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