F1 Singapore Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton wonders if he has found a chink in Nico Rosberg's armour

The Mercedes team mates will be rivals again in Singapore

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The Independent Online

Lewis Hamilton heads into Sunday's Singapore Grand Prix wondering if he has found a chink in title rival Nico Rosberg's armour.

The race in Italy a fortnight ago saw Hamilton close the gap at the top of the standings to Mercedes team-mate Rosberg to 22 points following a much-needed victory.

It was aided in part, however, by two errors Rosberg made into the first chicane at Monza, the second coming when the 29-year-old German was being hounded by Hamilton.

It appeared Rosberg had finally cracked under the pressure, with Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff conceding it was "unusual" to see him commit such mistakes given his consistency.

What unfolded at Monza has certainly given Hamilton food for thought going into Formula One's only night race under the lights of the Marina Bay Street Circuit.

Hamilton said: "I was watching a movie the other day and someone said in it that when you are under pressure you really get to see someone.

"I don't know what movie it was, but I remembered that phrase which I thought was really poignant - when you are under pressure that's really what people see. It made me think about it."


Hamilton admits he has been working on what he feels are his own shortcomings, shoring up his defences in his battle to beat Rosberg.

The Hamilton of old, faced with the issues he has so far encountered, would likely have slumped into a sulk.

The Hamilton of now, however, has proven himself a far more resilient character this season, not allowing anything to drag him down.

"I am working on that because that has been my Achilles heel in the past," said Hamilton.

"It is something you cannot force. It comes with time, but it is something I've been working on for a long time.

"I am nearly 30 years old, so bit by bit, with those experiences I have had, they have helped massively.

"This year, with all the difficult scenarios I have had, what really encourages me is how I have come through them."

Ahead of qualifying, Hamilton emerged top of the timesheet at the end of the two Friday practice sessions, finishing 0.133 seconds clear of Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.

Rosberg was down in 13th as his low-fuel qualifying run on the fast supersoft tyres was thwarted by Pastor Maldonado hitting a wall in his Lotus, bringing out the red flags.

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo was third, three tenths of a second down on Hamilton, followed by Kimi Raikkonen in his Ferrari.

Four-times champion Sebastian Vettel, the winner of this event for the last three years, was a remarkable fifth, 0.551secs behind Hamilton in his Red Bull.

That was some feat given Vettel did not take to the track in FP2 until the closing 10 minutes as his mechanics had to fit a new engine following a failure at the end of FP1.