home icon / F1 News, Reports and Results / Mercedes expects to struggle at Singapore without upgrades

Mercedes expects to struggle at Singapore without upgrades

Valtteri Bottas-Mercedes
© XPB 

Valtteri Bottas says that he's not expecting any significant upgrades on his Mercedes in time for next week's race.

That could be a problem for the team, which is wary of their prospects on the Marina Bay Street Circuit. Mercedes has performed unusually poorly in Singapore in the past, and can't afford another slump this season.

Lewis Hamilton moved into the lead of the drivers championship after winning the Italian Grand Prix. However his lead over Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel is only three points. That means the situation could easily switch around again at the next race.

Bottas is keenly aware of the risks presented by Singapore, and says the team is doing all it can to mitigate against them.

"We are going to Singapore knowing that it could be tricky for us," he said. "On circuits that require a lot of downforce, Ferrari has been really strong. Also in hot races, they seem to be really strong. Even Red Bull can be really good.

"We do have a lot of work to do with the high-downforce package we have," the Finn admitted. "It's going to be a challenge, and we don't think we are favourites going to Singapore.

"We have some upgrades on the way, but not really yet for Singapore," he added.

However the team's performance at Monza did give Bottas grounds for some cautious optimism. He said the team had made significant progress in getting the best out of the W08, which has previously been dubbed 'a bit of a diva' by team boss Toto Wolff.

"We got a good balance and we did a really good job setting up the car," Bottas said. "But [Monza] is so different to any other track, we can't rely on that."

Wolff himself agreed that Singapore is likely to see Mercedes struggle, regardless of Hamilton's impressive back-to-back wins since the summer break.

"There are certain characteristics of the tracks that suit the car or not," Wolff explained.

"This year the slow, twisty circuits have rather suited Red Bull and Ferrari," he continued. "Lots of high speed downforce was good for our car.

"I don't think that's a pattern you can't break," he added. "It's about understanding the car. The more we clock mileage the more we learn about it.

"You can see we didn't have any issues in the slow speed [turns] at Monza.

"Nevertheless I still expect [next week's race at Singapore] to be a more difficult weekend for us than Monza, Spa or Silverstone because of those characteristics."

Gallery: The beautiful wives and girlfriends of F1

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter