Hamilton has a three-point advantage over Sebastian Vettel at the top of the Drivers’ Championship following his triumph at the Italian Grand Prix a fortnight ago.
But his Mercedes team are cautious that the twisty nature of the Marina Bay street circuit in Singapore will be more suited to Vettel and his Ferrari.
Hamilton has won under the lights on two occasions but failed to reach the chequered flag in 2014 before finishing a distant third last term.
Lewis Hamilton enters the Singapore Grand Prix as the Formula 1 championship leader but is wary about the threat from both Ferrari and Red Bull on the Marina Bay streets.
Hamilton was dominant in Italy, running his Mercedes with the engine turned down for the majority of the race while still maintaining a comfortable gap to the chasing pack, but the twisty Singapore layout plays more to the strengths of both Ferrari and Red Bull. Both teams have laid out their ambitions to snatch victory from the Silver Arrows, and Hamilton says that he will work hard to make sure that this doesn’t happen.
“I think Red Bull will be fast this weekend, and it’s knowing that it’s not going to be easiest of weekends potentially, but man, I’m coming with positivity and with the plan of winning this race,” said Hamilton, his lead over Sebastian Vettel in the standings just three points. “This is still regardless of if that is the case — the others potentially have a little bit more downforce — whatever it is, we have worked as hard we can to understand the car, and we come here with full attack.”
With qualifying being critical for a good race in Singapore — seven of the last eight grands prix were won by the pole sitter — Hamilton is fully aware of the need to add to his 69 poles.
“I’ve not really put any thought into it yet; the work goes into it today,” Hamilton added. “I think qualifying, of course, if that is the case … you can’t really overtake here — plus the cars are wider, so positioning is going to be very important, so getting the car set up right so you can execute in qualifying, I guess, is one of the key matters.
Vettel had led the championship since he won the opening round of the season in Australia but Hamilton has been in sparkling form since the summer break.
He matched and then surpassed Michael Schumacher’s pole record in Belgium and then Italy, while leading virtually every lap of both races.
The slow-speed Singapore track however, could provide Vettel, who finished 36 seconds behind Hamilton in Monza, with an immediate chance to move back ahead of the Briton in the championship race.
“In theory it should be better here than in Monza,” said Vettel said. “But it is more important to have the lead of the championship on Sunday night at the final race in Abu Dhabi.”