x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Hamilton hopes walk will help

Ossain Shine SINGAPORE // The championship leader Lewis Hamilton is hoping a gentle night-time stroll will help him stretch his lead at the top of the drivers' standings at the Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday. The McLaren-driving Briton, who leads Ferrari's Felipe Massa by 78 points to 77 with four races left, said yesterday that he was scrutinising his team's analysis of the inaugural Singapore street circuit and strolling the streets himself for tips ahead of the race.

"The track looks pretty special," Hamilton, 23, said of the steel barrier-lined 5.067 kilometre circuit, which stretches through the downtown part of the city. "The team have done a lot of analysis and tried to find out as much as they can and it is the same for me. I've just come here and got all the information they have. "I am going to walk the circuit and that just gives you some insight. Walk it slowly to get some information.

"When you get out there, though," he warned, "it is completely different." Hamilton said he expected an exciting race on the unfamiliar floodlit track. "I think the race is going to be really exciting, more exciting than some of the races we have had this year," he said. "Just because it is a night race a lot will be unknown. We won't know what to expect. This circuit is a mixture of Valencia and Monaco."

He added: "I've driven the simulator of this track and that is about as accurate as you can get, it gives us a good idea of where the track goes. But other than that I think when you get out on the track it is going to be a completely new experience. "Simulators can give you an indication of where the first corner is but otherwise you have to learn it all over again because you are doing it at speed. I think overtaking here is going to be very tricky."

* Reuters