Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment?
The Singapore Grand Prix has, explains BEN EDWARDS, played an important role in Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 career. As the series returns to the Marina Bay Street Circuit for the first time in three years, he faces the latest challenge with an underperforming Mercedes car
Ten years ago, the atmosphere in the paddock in Singapore was electric as Lewis Hamilton’s plans for the future sparked the Formula 1 media pack. I was part of the BBC’s broadcasting team at that time and had heard the news direct from our pundit Eddie Jordan. It was a prediction he’d made at the previous race at Monza and which was confirmed a couple of days after Singapore: Lewis was leaving McLaren for Mercedes.
While Hamilton was keeping quiet about his discussions with a new team, his style on the night-time street track was as accomplished as ever. He took pole position and was leading the race for McLaren when a gearbox failure sapped his chances for the title, dropping him from second to fourth in the points. It was a significant Singapore outing (Niki Lauda later claimed it was the gearbox issue which tipped Lewis’s choice in favour of Mercedes), but there were more to come.
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OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.
Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…
The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…
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Albon prepared for Singapore F1 return after missing Monza