Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton (front) drives head of Ferrari's German driver Sebastian Vettel (behind) during the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix night race at the Marina Bay Street Circuit in Singapore on September 22, 2019. (Photo by Mohd RASFAN / AFP)

SINGAPORE, – World champion Lewis Hamilton felt Mercedes had the car to win the Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday but strategic errors in the middle of the race cost him a chance of victory as the championship leader had to settle for a fourth-place finish.

Hamilton started alongside pole-sitter Charles Leclerc on the front row with the second Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen behind him.

After fighting off Vettel to slot in behind Leclerc on the opening lap, Mercedes opted to keep Hamilton out for longer than his rivals rather than attempt an undercut to claim the lead, but the plan backfired when he emerged from his pit stop behind the Ferraris and the Red Bull.

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“It’s not been the weekend we wanted at all. I was all over Charles in the first stint and I think we had the pace to win the race today,” Hamilton told reporters after the Grand Prix finished with a Vettel-Leclerc Ferrari one-two and Verstappen completing the podium.

“We discussed the possibility of the undercut in the strategy meeting this morning and I wanted to take the risk but then Ferrari decided to box (pit), so we did the opposite and I stayed out.

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“I pushed hard and the tyres were feeling good, but after a few laps they started to drop off real quick. We made mistakes tonight, but in this team, we win and we lose together.

“We don’t point the finger at people, that’s always been our philosophy and that won’t change because of one race.

“We’re fighting a Ferrari team who are super hungry and pushing very hard,” he added of the Italian outfit, who have now won the last three races. (AFP)



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