Hamilton surprised McLaren didn't split sooner

Hamilton surprised McLaren didn't split sooner
By AutoSport

16/09/2017 at 10:12Updated

Lewis Hamilton says he's surprised his former team McLaren's split with Honda in Formula 1 didn't happen sooner.

McLaren's switch to Renault for 2018 was confirmed on Friday, bringing to an end its second partnership with Honda after just three uncompetitive seasons.

"I'm surprised it didn't happen sooner to be honest," said Hamilton.

"It's been a long, hard slog for the both of them.

"Hopefully this will spark a new start for McLaren, because they should be in the fight with us."

Looking at the on-track action in Singapore, Hamilton backed up Daniel Ricciardo's suggestion that Red Bull could be dominant on the Marina Bay streets this weekend.

"We've been thrown a seriously tough battle this weekend at this circuit, which is such a hard circuit to dominate, it's very track specific here with the car," he said.

"Whether or not we'll be dominating here, we shall see. The Red Bulls look like they are dominating at the moment.

Why Red Bull's hopes of domination are real

"Clearly Red Bull were out there on their own, they just seemed to have an extra bit of juice.

"I don't know where they got it from. Tomorrow it might close up a bit, but I still think they are going to be ahead.

"I don't know what we can do to close the gap with them, they are just rapid in the last sector, but that's how they always are.

"They always seem to be able to keep temperature up in their tyres, for whatever reason. We knew it was going to be a difficult weekend."

Hamilton believes that some set-up limitations may make it hard for Mercedes to improve the W08.

"The car feels OK in general, but we need a little more grip," he said. "It's a bumpy circuit, so the car could be better in some areas.

"There are some limitations with the car, so I could go faster if there were some things that we could fix.

"Whether or not we can do it with set-up - it might just be a fundamental thing.

"There are some big things, as I said I don't know whether or not we can fix the big things, but the small things we can definitely improve."