Tyre care crucial in Singapore: Hamilton

Success in Sunday’s Singapore grand prix will be as much about nursing a Formula One car around the punishing street circuit as it will be about speed, Lewis Hamilton said on Friday.

By (Reuters)

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Published: Sat 24 Sep 2011, 11:35 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 8:22 AM

The British McLaren driver, champion here in 2009, said his team were struggling with their tyres and that a set-up change was needed to ensure they could compete with runaway championship leaders Red Bull.

“We felt we were doing pretty well but we are struggling with the rear tyres through the long runs, they drop off really, really quickly. So that’s something we can improve on,” he said after finishing practice third fastest behind Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso.

Vettel can clinch the drivers’ title this weekend with five races left.

“The temperature is very tough on these tyres. (On) this track you need to have very good downforce. We have got good downforce,” Hamilton said. “I don’t know what the Ferraris are running, they went massively quick.

“When you attack the corners the rears slide. For people to understand, if they ever play those computer games where you do the rallying and you collect kudos laps for sliding, that’s what you do on these tyres.

“But they get to a point where they just don’t work any more and then you’re done, so it is about trying to reduce that so we need to change the set-up a bit.

“So we’ve got to make some adjustments to see if we can reduce some of the sliding we have with our rear tyres and try to make them last longer,” he said. “On my strategy at least, it will be at least three stops, at the moment.

“There’s a big gap between us and Sebastian right now. Getting them at the moment will be very difficult with the pace he has right now. It will be tough for us to get that pace. There’s bits of time we can get from all over the place, so I am optimistic still.

“At least we are at the front, we are competing so I can’t complain.”

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