During the Singapore Grand Prix, 7-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, like every other driver on the harsh track, was struggling with grip.But with the Mercedes machinery showing a struggle all year to get heat into its tyres, Hamilton wasn’t happy with the choice of tyres.
With him struggling to gain traction at the Marina Bay Street Circuit, he aired his complaints over the radio to his team:
“I told you about these tyres, in the future you need to listen to me, no grip”.
We first questioned whether the driver wanted to begin his race on full wet tyres instead of the intermediates every racer started with, but Hamilton later admitted that he wanted to start with scrubbed intermediates instead.
“No, I wanted to start with scrubbed [intermediates] and I wanted to go to the soft,” told the press. “It didn’t really make any difference, so who knows.”
So why start on scrubbed tyres? Scrubbed tyres have already been used for a few laps and because of this, warm up faster as they’ve already gone through a heat cycle and are slightly worn in. With Mercedes struggling to warm up tyres compared to their rivals such as Ferrari and Red Bull, this would have given Hamilton the leg up he perhaps needed.
“I did laps to the grid on the scrubbed set and it was better and with the new softs set it was terrible,” he admitted.
“It took several laps for the temperatures to come up and we can’t fire our tyres up as quick as the others for some reason, both on wets and on slicks.
“So we don’t really understand why. There’s something going on there with temperatures because on the long runs in the dry we’ve got good longevity, so maybe it’s something with that.”
Hamilton finished in P9 after a difficult race but some brilliant sparring alongside Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen. Currently he’s 6th in the Driver Standings.