Lewis Hamilton believes Red Bull could be in a 'very strong position' if he cannot get the better of Daniel Ricciardo at the start of the Singapore Grand Prix.
On a compromised weekend for the championship leader – who holds a two point advantage coming to Singapore -, the three-time champion faces losing the overall lead to Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg if he cannot finish ahead of his pole sitting team-mate in Singapore today.
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A mammoth seven tenths down on the German in qualifying, Hamilton also faces the task of getting ahead of Red Bull's Ricciardo, who qualified ahead of him in second place.
Admitting the Australian is in a strong position if he cannot get past at the start, Hamilton makes no mention of the possibility of challenging Rosberg at all.
“Getting past Daniel could be a pit stop or a Safety Car, generally that's the only way to get past. I don't know which one is going to work for me. Obviously I will try and get him at the start, but if I don't then I will just try and stay close behind but their tyres should be able to go a long way and they've got more downforce as well so they are in a very strong position.”
SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX – Qualifying results
Reflecting on the start after a dismal getaway in Monza fluffed his pole position opportunity, Hamilton admits the trickiness of the three-apex first turn adds to the drama.
“It is a difficult Turn 1 because you defend on the inside and people can brake really late on the outside, we've seen Fernando floor it down the outside. And a lot of people the further back you go they generally just go straight and don't get in trouble. It's really weird, you can't do that in the first five or six cars but further back you look at replays and people just go straight to avoid an incident.
“Some have gained positions and not been penalised for it in previous years. But it is quite a tight Turn 1 and it comes back on you and we go in there at quite a rate. It's just about trying to get through it clean in general. Risk reward is kind of the same as any other race but this is definitely not the easiest Turn 1.”
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