Lewis Hamilton makes Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc pace claim

Sir Lewis Hamilton and George Russell had a night to forget in Singapore.

Sir Lewis Hamilton feels he could have kept pace with Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc out front in the early stages of the Singapore Grand Prix, had he not been caught behind Carlos Sainz.

The seven-time champion started the race third following a splendid qualifying performance, but was eclipsed by Sainz at Turn One.

He felt as though he had been pushed off the track by the Spaniard, but the stewards did not deem that Sainz had done anything wrong, so he kept the position he had earned after a solid start.

From there, Hamilton was constantly within a second of the Ferrari, but because of how wet it was off the racing line, he was unable to make a move.

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The Briton tried to get past on a Virtual Safety Car restart, but was again foiled by the 28-year-old, before he made a critical mistake at Turn Seven.

The Mercedes driver locked up his front brake, and went straight on into the barrier, damaging his front wing.

A full Safety Car brought him back into play, but he would later lock up again while trying to pass Sebastian Vettel, allowing Max Verstappen, who was recovering from a mistake of his own at Turn Seven, so get past.

A potential podium finish turned into ninth place for the 103-time race winner, whose race was not helped by Sainz’s pace in the first stint.

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“(It was) a difficult start and then getting stuck behind Carlos,” said Hamilton, per Sky Sports.

“I don’t know why he was so slow but obviously, I was not quick enough to get past him in these conditions.

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“And then just sitting behind him, I think I could have done similar times to the guys ahead, but because I was stuck behind him, I couldn’t. I think if I was in third, I could have kept with the guys up ahead.”

The other Mercedes of George Russell was forced to start from the pit lane having initially qualified 11th due to braking troubles on Saturday, and he made contact with Valtteri Bottas and Mick Schumacher during the race.

He eventually finished 14th in what turned out to be a miserable night for the Silver Arrows.