Lewis Hamilton and George Russell ready to spoil Max Verstappen’s party

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell are optimistic about their prospects on the Marina Bay Street Circuit.

Mercedes is setting its sights on challenging Red Bull for podium positions in Singapore. 

With Max Verstappen currently on an unprecedented winning streak of ten consecutive victories, Red Bull remains the favourite to dominate the upcoming race.

Despite fervent efforts by Ferrari to end Red Bull’s flawless record this season, Verstappen’s blistering pace at Monza proved insurmountable, even with the Tifosi’s passionate support for the Italian team. 

However, Mercedes believes that their drivers, Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, may be the best candidates to challenge the Red Bull juggernaut on the Marina Bay Street Circuit.

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Andrew Shovlin, Mercedes’ trackside engineering director, expressed his optimism in a video statement released by the team, saying, “There is a reason to think that the car will work better, and that is because Singapore is a maximum downforce circuit. 

“Our performance at the high downforce tracks like at Barcelona, Budapest, and even Zandvoort, the car was working well, and we’ve had pretty strong performance. 

“We’re hoping to be able to be a bit quicker there and get back to a position where we can challenge for podiums.”

However, Shovlin also acknowledged the unique challenges posed by the Singapore Grand Prix, including layout changes for this year’s race. 

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He explained, “There is a sequence of four corners near the end of the lap that have been removed where the track used to go underneath a grandstand through a tunnel. 

“That’s now gone, so we’ve got a longer straight which will change a little bit how the tires are working.”

In addition to the changes in layout, Shovlin emphasised the race’s tough conditions, noting the abrasive tarmac, the use of the softest three tire compounds, and the bumpy street circuit. 

Moreover, the race takes place at night, adding further complexity.

Despite these challenges, Mercedes remains optimistic about their prospects. 

This optimism comes on the heels of the Italian Grand Prix, where Hamilton and Russell finished fifth and sixth, with Russell narrowly edging out his more experienced teammate. 

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The result was seen as positive, considering both drivers faced penalties during the race, and the Red Bulls and Ferraris were faster throughout the weekend.

Toto Wolff, the team principal of Mercedes, emphasised the team’s relentless pursuit of success, saying, “That was a pretty incident-filled race for us, and we maximised the points that were in there today. 

“But, like always, we need to be careful not to be too happy about finishing fifth and sixth.”