|Team||Mercedes AMG Petronas|
|Date of Birth||07 Jan 1985|
|F1 Debut||Australia 2007 with McLaren Mercedes|
|F1 Team||McLaren • Mercedes|
"I have always really enjoyed the Singapore Grand Prix weekend and the unique 'night' timetable that we have to follow there. As a street circuit, the Marina Bay track layout really suits my style. It's quite a testing circuit and you need to work the car hard the whole way round the lap to make the most of the tight corners and braking zones."
“It's almost two tracks in one: there are quite a few fast corners, which require good set-up and a bit of commitment, but there are also lots of tighter 90-degree bends, which are slower and more technical. You've got to keep it precise through these and just be patient, waiting for the tyres to bite before getting on the throttle. If you're impatient, then you end up losing time because you over-stress the tyres and you over-drive the car."
Hamilton in Singapore:
2008 McLaren: qualified 2nd, finished 3rd
2009 McLaren: qualified on pole and won the race
2010 McLaren: qualified 3rd, did not finish
2011 McLaren: qualified 4th, finished 5th
2012 McLaren: qualified on pole, did not finish
2013 Mercedes: qualified 5th, finished 5th
Lewis came close to a dream start in his new Mercedes home when he claimed fifth place in the 2013 season-opener – a better result than either he or his new team had publicly anticipated. Later in the season he went one better, with his first victory for the “Silver Arrows” in the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Many had predicted that Hamilton’s move from the McLaren team, which initially took him aboard as a teenage kart racer and groomed him to win the 2008 World Championship, would lead to a struggle to handle the new environment and changing technical structure of the Mercedes team. Those fears clearly proved unfounded.
It was clear too, that although Nico Rosberg, already comfortable in the team and perhaps with a car better suited to his more gentle driving style had an advantage, it didn’t detract from either Hamilton’s pace or their friendship which dates from when the two raced karts together. While Rosberg scored two victories to Hamilton’s one in 2013, the British driver’s natural pace shone through with five pole positions, compared to Rosberg’s three.
Hamilton has always impressed by matching his pace with a high level of technical feedback to his engineers, which may prove vital this season. Mercedes certainly appear to have an early advantage in masterminding both the turbocharged hybrid power units and ‘fly-by-wire’ electronic braking technology which are a feature of the new cars. If that advantage is maintained through the 2014 season, it could again be Hamilton’s year.