MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS secured a dramatic front row lockout for tomorrow’s Singapore Grand Prix, as Lewis Hamilton took pole by just seven thousandths of a second from team-mate Nico Rosberg.

– Lewis took his 6th pole position of 2014 this evening in Singapore and the team’s 13th from 14 races this year
– This means that Mercedes-Benz power has so far taken pole at all 14 rounds of the world championship
– Nico finished second to make it the team’s 7th all-Mercedes front row in 2014 and the third in a row
– The gap between the two of 0.007s equates to just 33.5 cm around the 5.065 km lap!
– Both drivers used one set of prime tyres and three sets of option tyre during the qualifying session

Weather: Clear, dry, humid
Temperatures: Air 27 – 28°C, Track 31 – 37°C

Lewis Hamilton
That was one of the most exciting qualifying sessions I can remember. I lost a lot of time at the beginning of my last lap and at that point I thought pole was lost. But I just kept going and managed to pull some time back. As a driver, through the weekend you plan to have the last lap in qualifying as your best. By that time the track has improved and you should have the settings as close to their optimum as they’re going to get. But there was so much happening out there and I was just trying not to look at what was going on around me. I was surprised by how close everyone was – the Red Bulls and Ferraris looked quick all day – and it was really fun to be a part of that session. The team have done a fantastic job to bring the car here, to a circuit where downforce is so important, and be at the front once again, so a big thank you to them. It´s going to be a tough race tomorrow. Coming into the weekend we had an opinion about how the tyres would behave, but the long runs yesterday changed all that. Trying to manage them will be a big challenge but hopefully it will be an entertaining one for the fans. I’m on the clean side of the track so I’m hoping for a clean start and a strong race.

Nico Rosberg
In general that was the most difficult qualifying session of my career so far. It was really tough to find my rhythm. I had to change my brakes for qualifying and then had to find the right balance in the early runs which was a struggle. I just thought, “that’s it, you will be 6th or 7th”. Then, at the end, I was really happy with the balance and feeling good. When I heard that Lewis was that tiny margin quicker I thought “damn”! I directly reviewed my lap and thought there were so many places to gain seven thousandths of a second – especially in the last corner. But in the end he did seven thousandths of a better job today, so fair play to him. P2 is still good for tomorrow’s race and I’m focused on having a good start. Last year I overtook Sebastian at Turn One, so it’s definitely possible to win from here. It’s going to be all about managing the tyres and I learned some good lessons in my long runs yesterday, so I hope it will be an exciting race for the fans.

Toto Wolff
That qualifying session was great to watch and a strong advert for Formula One. From our point of view, it’s clear that we don’t enjoy the advantage here that we have had on previous weekends. But this is a unique circuit and to produce a car which can be fast at every venue on the calendar is a big task, so we must be very pleased with a 1-2 front-row lockout. Our performance this weekend so far hasn’t been totally consistent and that is what we will need tomorrow evening. But the demands of racing are different to those of a single lap. I’m optimistic that we are capable of performing well when it comes to managing the energy levels, the fuel and the brakes in the race. So, a good job today but still a lot to do tomorrow.

Paddy Lowe
We came to Singapore expecting drama and that’s exactly what we got – and it’s not even Sunday yet! It’s great to have locked out the front row after a very tense session. It was all about putting a lap together with the tyres in the right condition and we weren’t managing to do that consistently during the session. It all came down to the final laps – with Lewis and Nico in P6 and P7 respectively – and they each delivered phenomenal performances. Well done to both of them. Looking to tomorrow, we know there are still many challenges to overcome. We need to get through the first corner cleanly, make the right calls in the race and history has shown that a Safety Car period is almost inevitable at some point. There is still a very long way to go – but we’re starting from the best possible positions.

F1Weekly podcast # 663

Clark & Nasir share a pasta dish whilst discussing the Italian Grand Prix.

DRS to be introduced on GP2 cars in 2015
GP2 Series organisers have announced today that a DRS device will be introduced in the Series next season. CEO Bruno Michel talks about the decision.
Why has GP2 Series decided to introduce DRS next season?
We’ve always said that GP2 was able to produce some amazing races without the addition of DRS or any other devices, and once again the 2014 season has proved that with some close racing and exciting on-track battles. However, we also have to make sure that we keep in line with our mission statement: preparing the drivers for the next step, Formula One. Since the inception of the Series, we designed a car for a three-year cycle, but for the first time this year, we decided instead to keep the third generation car for six seasons, in order to cut the costs and support our teams. Therefore, the next generation car will be introduced in 2017 and our current chassis is already four years old. But, it is important to keep adding modifications – at a reasonable cost – that will slightly tweak the technical features of our car. Formula One is constantly evolving. It is impossible for GP2 to remain with the same car over a long period of time when its philosophy is to prepare the drivers for F1. Bearing this in mind, we thought that DRS was the best technical development to introduce and we discussed it with the teams over a year ago. They were all in favour of it as they felt it would make GP2 even more attractive to the drivers, but only if it was an identical system to the one used in F1. Finally, it is well known that some of the circuits on the calendar are renowned to be difficult in terms of overtaking opportunities – even for GP2. DRS will be an added value on those tracks.
What will the DRS device be like on the GP2 car?
It is imperative that the device we introduce is exactly the same DRS as the one used in Formula One. As I said before, we decided to add it to our cars in order to prepare the drivers for the next step. As such, it will not be a push-to-pass button or a way to be quicker on a lap. Our DRS will be the exact copy of the one used in F1, with the same DRS zones since we’re racing on the same tracks. The drivers will be able to activate it within one second of the car in front at the DRS detection point, with the same level of safety, and with the same suppliers. It will have a hydraulic activation to ensure there’s a very fast movement of the flap with a capacity to open at high speed.
How is that going to affect the budget for the teams?
When we discussed this with the teams over a year ago, they told us that the drivers who they are in contact with were eager to see DRS on the GP2 cars. So we evaluated the feasibility of it, and we could have introduced it last year, but we decided not to for economic reasons. We took the time to investigate ways to introduce it for a minimal cost, as our goal remains to keep on supporting our teams. The cost-cutting plan put in place this year will continue for next season in order to make sure that the introduction of DRS will not affect the teams.
The DRS will be tested on GP2 Series development car for the first time in late October in Europe and then again in December in the Middle East. The teams will receive the kit in January.

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RACE 14 OF 19
Described by former Williams driver David Coulthard as a ‘modern day classic’, the Singapore Grand Prix has its place firmly etched on the F1 calendar – despite this being only the seventh edition of the race. The spectacular city state gives the race a colourful backdrop, made all the more glamorous by the darkness that comes with this being F1’s original night race. The drivers and teams have got used to the nocturnal routine of the race weekend, and the heat and humidity remain as arduous as ever. The drivers lose up to three kilos in sweat during the race, as they do in the Malaysian Grand Prix just across the border, and the race’s propensity for Safety Car periods makes it one of the longest of the season. The bumpy track surface and the stop-start nature of the 3.147-mile layout make traction and braking stability crucial to lap time. Unlike other street tracks, overtaking is possible, but it requires bravery and pin-point accuracy from the driver making the move.
Rob Smedley
Singapore is a night race and even though that brings certain challenges for those who work there, it offers a great spectacle for Formula 1. The track has a few issues that we have to work around, such as the lack of grip that on a normal track would improve, but here doesn’t. This results in a lot of wheel spin and oversteer which affects the balance of the car. The main focus for the team is the Constructors’ Championship now and we have to establish ourselves in third position, which we regained from Ferrari in Monza.
Felipe Massa
The Singapore race is fantastic, but also exceptionally difficult. The temperatures are so high and the humidity really affects the drivers physically. The track is similar to Monaco but almost twice the length which adds to the challenge. Staying on European time helps with it being a night race, but it’s still a bit strange going to bed at 3am. I really enjoy the race and hope to carry the success we had in Monza into the remaining races of the season.
Valtteri Bottas
I’m looking forward to Singapore, it’s a very special race – the setting there is really cool, the track is very challenging and there’s no room for mistakes. It’s a night race but the lights are very bright so it doesn’t make a big difference to drive, everything just looks awesome which is great for the fans and builds the atmosphere. The race is long. Normally it goes up to two hours, so it’s a challenge for the cars with tyre degradation, and for the drivers physically it will be probably the toughest race of the season due to the heat and humidity. Singapore could be a little more difficult for us compared to Monza, but we have some aero upgrades which should give us more downforce. We go there hoping to fight with Ferrari and Red Bull but we know Mercedes will be very strong

WSR 3.5


Following his successes at the Moscow Raceway and the Nürburgring before the summer break, Roberto Merhi (Zeta Corse) continued his strong form in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series. With a fantastic start from seventh place on the grid, the Spaniard soon took control of the race to score his third triumph of the season. Second place, Pierre Gasly (Arden Motorsport) overtook pole man Oliver Rowland (Fortec Motorsports) in the final corner of the race. Eight days after his maiden Formula 1 test with the Caterham F1 Team, Roberto Merhi is now just 26 points adrift of his compatriot Carlos Sainz (DAMS), who finished fourth on Saturday.

This morning, Oliver Rowland took his second pole position of the year with a lap of 1:30.203 ahead of the French trio of Pierre Gasly, Norman Nato (DAMS) and Matthieu Vaxiviere (Lotus). Will Stevens (Strakka Racing) completed the top five, while championship leader, Carlos Sainz had to settle for 14th position.

A shower before the start of the race soaked the track surface. When the lights went out, Oliver Rowland held on to the lead ahead of Roberto Merhi who put in a splendid start from seventh place on the grid. Pierre Gasly, Will Stevens and Matthieu Vaxiviere followed at the end of the opening lap while Carlos Sainz was already up to sixth place.

Oliver Rowland and Roberto Merhi quickly pulled away from the rest of the field. Meanwhile, Carlos Sainz continued his march forward, passing Matthieu Vaxiviere and Will Stevens. After several unsuccessful attempts, Roberto Merhi moved into the lead on lap seven when Oliver Rowland went a bit wide at the first corner.

Now in lead, the Zeta Corse driver pulled away and went on for the win with a 29-second margin of victory from Pierre Gasly, who passed Oliver Rowland in the last corner of the final lap. Carlos Sainz finished fourth ahead of Matthieu Vaxiviere, Will Stevens, Marco Sørensen (Tech 1 Racing) and Norman Nato. FIA F3 European Championship leader, Esteban Ocon (Comtec Racing) claimed ninth place in his first race in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series while Jazeman Jaafar (ISR) was the final driver in the points.


Roberto Merhi: “We were not able to run to our potential in qualifying due to a red flag. Happily, we made up for that at the start. There was a lot of water spray behind Oliver and I wasn’t able to see. He then made a small mistake that allowed me to get by. Afterwards, I was able to pull away while taking care of my tyres because this track is very demanding when it comes to tyre wear, especially in drying conditions. “

Pierre Gasly: “The opening laps were very tough. I just tried to stay on the track because the grip was really low. We all had different strategies in terms of tyre pressure today. When Carlos caught me, I had to defend my position, and then the car became better in the drying conditions. I was able to pick up the pace and I saw Oliver in the final laps and I gave it everything I had!”

Oliver Rowland: “Right from the opening laps of the race we struggled with the traction. Roberto caught up to me very quickly and I could only defend my position for a few laps. We must remember the positive things today: a pole position in the dry, which is a good step forward. I hope the conditions tomorrow will allow us be in front of them.”

WSR 3.5


Carlos Sainz (DAMS) set fastest time in the two collective tests in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series. The Red Bull Junior Team driver dominated the morning session in the rain before doing it again on a nearly dry track in the afternoon. With a time of 1:33.273, the championship leader led from Oliver Rowland (Fortec Motorsports) and Oscar Tunjo (Pons Racing), both of whom finished second to the Spaniard during the first day of action at the Hungaroring.

The Formula Renault 3.5 Series field returned to action in rainy conditions at the Hungaroring. After only 40 minutes, Sergey Sirotkin (Fortec Motorsports) caused the first red flag. Once the track was cleared, Carlos Sainz went quickest before becoming the first driver to break the two-minute barrier.

With 11 minutes remaining, Beitske Visser (AVF) provoked a new stoppage of the session. When the action re-started, Carlos Sainz improved his best time to 1:57.309 before the session came to a premature end caused by Zoel Amberg (AVF). The Spaniard completed the morning session more than two seconds faster than Oscar Tunjo. Oliver Rowland was third ahead of Luca Ghiotto (International Draco Racing) and Marco Sorensen (Tech 1 Racing).

The conditions were more favorable in the afternoon. Carlos Sainz quickly improved his reference time of the morning. After a red flag provoked by Beitske Visser, his team-mate Norman Nato (DAMS) took over the top spot before he was dislodged by Pierre Gasly (Arden Caterham). Norman Nato answered back before another interruption following the stoppage on track of the cars of Roman Mavlanov (Zeta Corse) and Meindert van Buuren (Pons Racing).

The switch to fresh tyres accelerated the pace in the final 20 minutes. Oliver Rowland, then Carlos Sainz moved to the sharp end of the order. Luca Ghiotto took over before the Spaniard answered. In the waning seconds, Oliver Rowland posted a best time of 1:33.273, but it was not counted as he did not slow down enough with the yellow flags being shown. Carlos Sainz re-took the top spot ahead of the Englishman. Oscar Tunjo, Norman Nato and Matthieu Vaxiviere (Lotus) completed the top five.


Carlos Sainz: ” With the conditions we had two very different practice sessions. In the wet, I quickly felt comfortable and capable of pushing right from the start. For the second session, we hoped to run on a dry track, but the surface wasn’t totally dry. We did though switch to slicks. Now, we have to see what the weather has in store for us tomorrow. ”

Oliver Rowland: ”In the rain this morning, we managed to set the third best time. In the afternoon, the track was still a little wet, but we posted the best time. It was disallowed even though I think I slowed enough under the yellow flag. It was a good day and we can run for the pole tomorrow, no matter the conditions. ”

Oscar Tunjo: ”The conditions were difficult, but the day went very well! We were not able to collect a lot of information for the rest of the weekend because the forecasts call for a lot of rain. I am feeling more and more comfortable in the Formula Renault 3.5 and the team has helped me a lot to progress throughout the races and sessions. ”


Lewis Hamilton won the 2014 Italian Grand Prix with Nico Rosberg second, achieving the team’s seventh 1-2 finish.

• Lewis took his sixth win of the season, driving a great race to recover from a slow start that saw him drop to P4
• Nico took the lead on lap one and held it before a mistake into turn one allowed Lewis to regain the lead on lap 29
• Both drivers ran the same strategy, starting on the medium tyres and pitting one lap apart on lap 24 (Nico) and lap 25 (Lewis) to change to the hard tyres and race to the end
• The 1-2 finish represents the seventh this season; only three seasons in Formula One history have seen seven or more 1-2 finishes from a team
• The team now have a lead of 182 points in the Constructors’ Championship (454 points in total) with both drivers 50 points or more ahead of third place in the Drivers’ Championship
• All of the top four and seven of the top ten today are powered by Mercedes-Benz Hybrid Power

Lewis Hamilton
Firstly it was amazing to see the straight completely filled with fans from the podium today. You make this race and thank you so much for your support! Big congratulations to the team for our performance this weekend. We said we wanted a one-two and we got it today‎; this result is important for everyone.‎ It was a difficult race for me though. The launch sequence didn´t engage properly for the formation lap and then again for the start‎. I tried to pull away as fast as possible, basically I just floored it and hoped for the best! Fortunately I didn´t lose too many places‎ and was able to get past Kevin, then have a good battle with Felipe. When I closed up to Nico, I didn´t want to hold back as the car felt good and I knew from experience that the only chance would be at the start of the stint when the tyres were fresh so I went for it. ‎I´m really pleased with the win, it´s feels like I have some momentum back as we go into the final races‎.

Nico Rosberg
Lewis was quicker this weekend, so he deserved the win. That for sure is very disappointing for me. I had a lock up in Turn One and I decided to go straight to avoid a flat spotted tyre. That cost me the lead. But he was very quick behind me, so I had to push all the time. But I need to see the positive things from today. Second place is still good and I lost only seven points to Lewis, so this could have been much worse. It’s also a great result for the team, the first 1-2 since Austria. So I’m happy for everybody in our team and I have to thank everyone again for this great Silver Arrow. We were the strongest team at this unique circuit. The Tifosi created a great atmosphere for us on the podium; it was all red all the way down the straight. That was great to see. Now I look forward to Singapore, I like the track and I have great memories from last year.

Felipe Massa: It was a fantastic race for me so I am really happy. I had a good start and passed Magnussen at just the right time. I had to work hard to establish that position, sadly the Mercedes were still a bit quick, so we did the best we could. Monza is a special podium, and to hear the fans sing my name was amazing.

The Premiere Motorsport Podcast