Mercedes refused to allow Lewis Hamilton to copy George Russell

Sir Lewis Hamilton finished ninth at the Singapore Grand Prix following a collision with a barrier and an overall poor performance.

What looked set to be a promising Singapore Grand Prix quickly turned into yet another frustrating race for Sir Lewis Hamilton, after sliding out of fourth place and into the tyre barrier.

In what were incredibly challenging conditions, you’d usually expect to see the seven-time World Champion excel; instead, on this occasion he faltered.

The Mercedes driver made a disappointing start to the race after immediately dropping from third to fourth behind Carlos Sainz, as a result of wheelspin during the second phase of his start.

He did attempt to get straight back ahead of the Ferrari driver by hanging around the outside of Turn 1, but unfortunately ran out of room alongside the Spaniard.

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Hamilton suffered early on from the usual Silver Arrows problem of trying to generate heat into the tyres, something which was even harder than normal given the fact the circuit was wet with no natural light on it.

Once his tyres were into a good working window, he quickly closed the Ferrari driver and looked for a way past.

Unfortunately, he never really came quite close enough to dive down the inside of the 28-year-old and eventually made a costly mistake.

Hamilton out-braked himself into Turn Seven and slid straight into the tyre barrier on the exit of the corner, thankfully for the 37-year-old, though, it was a direct hit with it.

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Had it been side on then it probably would’ve been the end of his race; however, due to it being a direct impact the only damage suffered was to his front-wing.

The British driver reversed out of the tyre barrier and re-joined in sixth place, ahead of Max Verstappen.

On the following lap Hamilton was forced to pit, after damage to his front-left endplate lit the Marina Bay Circuit up in sparks, something which Verstappen was quick onto his radio to complain about.

When he pitted, Hamilton was given not only a new front-wing but was also given Medium compound tyres having been on Intermediates from the start.

By the time everyone had completed their stop, he dropped to ninth, which is where he unfortunately crossed the line.

Questions have to be asked, though, about whether Mercedes should’ve listened to their incredibly experienced driver, who asked if he should stop early.

Prior to his incident, Hamilton was on the radio to his team asking if he could pit early to try and undercut Sainz, who was very difficult to pass.

The team denied Hamilton the opportunity to pit earlier, as George Russell who was running in last on the Medium tyres was running around 7 seconds slower at the time.

“How is [George] feeling? Should we stop?” Hamilton asked his race engineer.

“Nah, I think it’s too early,” the engineer referred to as Bono replied.

“I gotta take a chance to get past this car,” insisted Hamilton, in regard to trying to overtake Sainz

“Yea but George’s best time is a 2m05. Everyone currently staying out,” Bono said.

It wasn’t the only time during the race where it appeared that Hamilton felt like he wasn’t being listened to, after saying in the opening laps of the race that he should’ve been listened to.

Sky reporter Ted Kravitz revealed after the race that Hamilton wanted to start the race on used Intermediate tyres, in the hope they’d be easier to get up to temperature.

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The Brackley-based team didn’t do this, after their only worn Intermediates were from qualifying and in no condition to be used again.

As a result, he had to start on a new set of the compound, before moving onto the Mediums.

Hamilton, it seems, actually wanted to be put onto the Softs, after he told his team during the race that going onto the softest compound would give the best grip, something the team again decided not to do.