Sir Lewis Hamilton said that the level of bouncing he was experiencing during the Singapore Grand Prix weekend was “crazy,” and the Silver Arrows’ weekend ended with a thud.
The Briton went fastest in a practice session for the first time this season on Friday when he topped FP1 ahead of Max Verstappen, and he went on to take third in qualifying.
Hamilton was passed off the start by Carlos Sainz, and later found the barrier at Turn Seven, before locking up at Turn Eight while trying to clear Sebastian Vettel towards the end of the race.
That allowed Verstappen through after the Dutchman qualified eighth due to fuel issues, and the seven-time champion was forced to settle for ninth.
Mercedes were expected to perform well last weekend at a downforce-oriented Marina Bay Street Circuit that, on paper, suits their car quite well.
However, the 103-time race winner, having been running comfortably in fourth for much of the evening, suffered a rocky end to the race.
It was arguably not as tumultuous as that of his team-mate, George Russell, who finished 14th having started from the pit lane.
The 24-year-old was eliminated in Q2 on Saturday after suffering brake issues, and he was twice involved in contact on Sunday, first with Valtteri Bottas, then with Mick Schumacher.
It had been relatively bumpy all round in more than a metaphorical perspective for the Silver Arrows, with the bouncing issues, caused by the ground effect aerodynamics, coming back to the fore on the street track.
“It started off well, it wasn’t as great in the second session,” Hamilton told Sky Sports on Friday after finishing fifth in FP2.
“But yeah, pretty much like every other weekend I would say, the car is as it is, and we’re bouncing round like crazy, but it doesn’t feel like we’re massively off here this weekend.
“We’re still a second down I would say, or something like that, but yeah, we’ve just got to keep working.”
Hamilton conceded that, in terms of the lack of comfort, there is not an awful lot of work Mercedes can do on the W13.
“There’s not really much we can do with the bouncing, it’s just as it is, but set-up-wise, I think George was finding a little bit more time,” he added.
“I think there’s definitely, on my side, more time [to find]. I just didn’t get a clear lap, and I think with the set-up I have, I have a lot of locking.
“But, we’ll fix it tonight, and come back and give it a better try tomorrow.”
Hamilton apologised to his Mercedes team after the race, and did so again in the media pen, before turning his attentions to next week, and the build-up to the Japanese Grand Prix.