Lewis Hamilton has said that Mercedes are targeting a podium at the 2023 Singapore Grand Prix, owing to their improvements from their 2022 car.
The Silver Arrows and British driver qualified third for last year’s race at Marina Bay, and ran third for a while before Hamilton made a mistake trying to overtake Carlos Sainz.
They return to the circuit with a W14 car that has a greater operating window than its predecessor, making it more predictable to set-up thus maximising its opportunities.
For the seven-time Formula 1 world champion, the improvements have given him hope that he can step onto the podium of the Singapore circuit for the first time since 2018.
“We were relatively competitive last year, but we didn’t have such a great race,” Hamilton said to the media. “But given the car we had last year, I’m hoping this year’s car has progressed quite a lot since last year.
“So hopefully maybe we’ll be a little bit closer, I’m hoping we can fight for the podium and we’ll find out tomorrow [Friday] whether we really will.”
Impact of Singapore GP track changes
For the 2023 edition, the Marina Bay circuit has been re-profiled in the final sector to add an extra straight.
Corners 16 through 18 have been lost to add the straight, which will not feature a DRS zone.
Lap times are thought to be around nine seconds faster as a result, but Hamilton doesn’t expect there to be a major advantage gained by teams.
“I don’t know, I won’t be able to tell you until I’ve been on track just how much difference it made,” Hamilton said. “It gives fewer corners for the Red Bulls to be further ahead so in that particular section they were always very strong with that car.
“Maybe there’s a chance that it could potentially create more overtaking opportunities to overtake, because that’s a huge problem around here.
“It’s a short straight, so I don’t think anyone would have a huge advantage to be honest.
“Except that the Ferraris might be quicker on the straight and maybe the Red Bulls, but it’s such a short straight so I don’t expect it to be a huge issue.”