Toto Wolff is already bracing for a tough Singapore Grand Prix for Mercedes as it heads to one of its weakest circuits from recent seasons.

Mercedes endured a painful race in 2015 at the Marina Bay street circuit with Hamilton and team-mate Nico Rosberg qualifying fifth and sixth before the British driver’s power unit expired in the race while Rosberg limped home in fourth.

Despite returning to winning ways with Rosberg last year Mercedes came under relentless pressure from both Red Bull and Ferrari and a similar scrap is predicted for this year’s race having seen Ferrari triumph on tight and twisty circuits this year – mainly Monaco and Hungary - while the new technical regulations have bunched the top three teams closer together in terms of car performance.

Wolff says Mercedes has run thorough analysis into its weaknesses on the low-speed circuits with multiple tight corners and even though the team principal feels definite progress has been made to cure its problems concerns still remain clear.

“This is a circuit we have found difficult to master with its combination of short, sharp corners, relatively short straights and bumpy surface,” Wolff said. “We head to Asia this time round with the expectation that we have a big challenge ahead of us.

“Identifying clearly our strengths and our weaknesses has been a strength of our team in recent seasons. As we have pushed to become better and stronger in every area, we have put the finger in the wound in order to understand the root causes of both our good performances and the bad ones.

“In 2015, Singapore provided us with one of the most painful experiences in recent seasons, so we rolled up the sleeves, learned from it and managed to bounce back with a great win last year.”

Mercedes holds a useful 62-point advantage over Ferrari at the top of the F1 world constructors’ championship, as Hamilton edged ahead of Vettel for the first time this year with a three-point margin thanks to his dominant victory at the Italian Grand Prix.


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