Hamilton hopes to pull away in title race

FAN FAVOURITE: Hamilton greeting fans at a public appearance at Marina Bay Sands on Wednesday. The Mercedes driver has won twice here, in 2009 and 2014.


    Sep 16, 2016

    Hamilton hopes to pull away in title race

    LEWIS Hamilton is relishing a return to the tough conditions the drivers will experience around the Marina Bay Street Circuit here this weekend as he looks to wrestle back control of the Formula One title race from Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg.

    The Briton leads his German rival by two points with seven rounds remaining but his seemingly unstoppable charge towards a fourth world title has stalled in the last two races, allowing Rosberg to close the gap at the top of the standings.

    Rosberg had surged to a 43-point lead over Hamilton at the start of the season before the Briton won six of seven races to seize the momentum going into F1's traditional summer break with a healthy 19-point cushion.

    In the two races since the season reconvened, Hamilton did well to surge through the field from the back of the grid to finish third in Belgium.

    But he endured a miserable start from pole at Monza as Rosberg romped to a second straight triumph.

    Hamilton, however, is one of only three men to win in Singapore since the inaugural grand prix in 2008. Rosberg has struggled to come to grips with the tight, floodlit, 23-turn street circuit, managing just a single podium in eight visits.

    "Next up is Singapore, which is always a great event. The race is a challenge with the heat and humidity... but it's a street circuit, which I love," said Hamilton, who won the race in 2009 and 2014.

    As residents have been advised to exercise extra vigilance due to the recent outbreak of the Zika virus, Mercedes will need to be equally as wary of their Red Bull and Ferrari rivals on a track that nullifies the German team's power advantage.

    Last year, Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel won his fourth Singapore Grand Prix ahead of Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo as Hamilton retired and Rosberg limped to a fourth-place finish.

    Mercedes will be keen to avoid a repeat performance.

    "This is a Red Bull track and we weren't so strong here last year," Rosberg added.

    "But I have faith in the team and my belief in myself is as high as ever."

    Vettel's triumph a year ago was Ferrari's third of a resurgent campaign but the popular Italian outfit have fallen further behind Mercedes this season and remain without a win this year, a sequence the German driver would love to end this week.

    "I have excellent memories from previous years in Singapore," Vettel said.

    "The track is very rough, bumpy, long, with long-lasting laps. So it's a hard work inside the car but I think it's something we all enjoy."



    Qualifying: 8.30pm


    Main race: 7.30pm