Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment?
The Singapore Grand Prix has, explains Ben Edwards, played an important role in Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 career. As the series returns to the Marina Bay Street Circuit for the first time in three years, he faces the latest challenge with an underperforming Mercedes car.
Ten years ago, the atmosphere in the paddock in Singapore was electric as Lewis Hamilton’s plans for the future sparked the Formula 1 media pack. I was part of the BBC’s broadcasting team at that time and had heard the news direct from our pundit Eddie Jordan. It was a prediction he’d made at the previous race at Monza and which was confirmed a couple of days after Singapore: Lewis was leaving McLaren for Mercedes.
While Hamilton was keeping quiet about his discussions with a new team, his style on the night-time street track was as accomplished as ever. He took pole position and was leading the race for McLaren when a gearbox failure sapped his chances for the title, dropping him from second to fourth in the points. It was a significant Singapore outing (Niki Lauda later claimed it was the gearbox issue which tipped Lewis’s choice in favour of Mercedes), but there were more to come.
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