Lewis Hamilton admits he wasn't quick enough after qualifying fifth in Singapore
2008 World Champion put in the shade by impressive Nico Rosberg
By Pete Gill. Last Updated: 22/09/13 7:45am
Hamilton visibly disappointed
A frustrated Lewis Hamilton has offered no excuses for his lacklustre performance in qualifying for the Singapore GP, simply admitting that he failed to extract the full capabilities of his Mercedes W04.
While team-mate Nico Rosberg wrung every last drop of pace out of the Mercedes to qualify within a tenth of pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel and give the World Champion an almighty fright as he watched on from the Red Bull garage, a strangely subdued Hamilton lacked pace through both of his Q3 runs and will start Sunday's race from just fifth.
After previously claiming four successive pole positions, Hamilton has now endured two poor Saturdays in a row after failing to reach the top-ten shoot-out for the Italian GP due to a performance he later termed "idiotic".
"I just wasn't fast enough today," the Mercedes driver told Sky Sports F1. "The car was quicker than I was able to get out of it."
Speaking later in Mercedes' own press release, Hamilton added: "I tried my best out there but I just didn't have a great feeling in the car and ultimately I wasn't fast enough. Clearly the car was quicker than what I was able to get out of it tonight so, of course, it's frustrating not to have qualified closer to the front as Nico did.
"So not a good day for me but that's life. We'll turn today's negative into a positive overnight and I'll be pushing as hard as I can in the race tomorrow. There are still people ahead of me that we can beat and our target will be to get on the podium, that would be amazing."
On the other side of the Mercedes garage, the mood was altogether more upbeat. Five of Rosberg's eight career front-row starts have been registered this term and the German doesn't believe that his third victory of the season is an impossibility if he can defy the disadvantage of starting on the dirty side of the grid to beat Vettel into the first corner.
"I'll give it a go," declared the German. "He's quicker on race pace, we saw that on Friday, but if I can get by then it's possible that I can stay in front."