George Russell has dismal outlook on Lewis Hamilton chances

Mercedes: What’s gone wrong at the F1 and can they recover?

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George Russell has warned Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes the team are likely to be uncompetitive in Singapore this weekend. There was some hope the Silver Arrows could be quick after Hamilton challenged at the last high-downforce circuit, Zandvoort.

Russell has previously suggested Singapore should “suit our car” on paper but it appears he has since changed his mind. The former Williams star stressed that Mercedes have been poor at street circuits after difficult weekends in Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan.

Except for Russell’s P3 in Baku, Mercedes have not scored another podium at a street circuit all year. Russell said: “I’m not too sure; there’s no stand-outs that really spring to mind.

“Singapore could be interesting, but historically it’s a circuit where Mercedes have struggled a little bit, and we know at street circuits this year we haven’t fared so well.”

Mercedes have picked up four wins at the Marina Bay Street Circuit since 2014. However, they failed to score a podium in 2015 and 2019 despite going on to dominate that season’s championship both times.

But, Mercedes bosses are not prepared to write off the weekend just yet after admitting they remain optimistic about a positive result. Mercedes are running out of chances to secure a victory with just six races remaining this season.

It means Hamiton could go a full season failing to stand on the top step of the podium for the first time in his entire F1 career. Team boss Toto Wolff added: “On the simulations, it says it should be one of our better tracks. But I’m trying to stay on the careful side with any predictions.”

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Mercedes technical director Mike Elliott has also revealed the layout of Singapore could make things “a bit better” for the Mercedes than other circuits this season. Elliott explained: “When you look back at the learning we’ve gathered over the season, I think we expect that Singapore [will] be a bit more like we’ve seen in Budapest and Zandvoort.

“It’s a bumpy circuit, which is going to provide its challenges, but in terms of the nature of the corners, we think it’ll be a bit better for our car. As always, we’ll do all the pre-simulation work we need to do, we’ll maximise our learning in the practice sessions, and hopefully we can turn that into a good result at the weekend.”

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