Verstappen lap abandoned in Singapore as Red Bull ‘ran out of fuel’

Lewis Hamilton will be hoping he can celebrate his first victory of 2022 at the Singapore Grand Prix belatedly, believing such a result would reward Mercedes and its fans for their support in a difficult year.

Hamilton faces the first winless season of his Formula 1 career after losing the title.

The seven-time world champion has made six podiums this year but is still waiting to return to the top step with just six races remaining in the season.

Hamilton at least appears to have the pace in Singapore, where he qualified third on Saturday and only revealed a “moment of oversteer” at Turn 16 denied him the chance to take pole ahead of Charles Leclerc.

It was still the Briton’s best qualifying performance of the season – which surprised him – and he is looking to improve further on race day.

“It’s incredibly rewarding, I think, for everyone in the team. [to get this performance]”Hamilton said at a press conference.

“We really started with a real handle, a challenging deck of cards that we made for ourselves, and [it has meant] redesign and lots and lots of work.

“Everybody [has been] stay really positive, or as positive as possible, and everyone is just incredibly diligent and never giving up.

“So it’s been an inspiring year for me, witnessing what my team does and being a part of it, and yes, I so want to [win].

“Naturally, the will and the desire to get a good result for them, to reward them for all their great work is part of it.

“Also, my fans have been the most amazing this year, on and off the track. And we couldn’t have survived the year without them. So, I want it for them too.

“But I think we have a lot of people here this weekend. And hopefully tomorrow we can put on a good show for them.”

This weekend, in which Max Verstappen can clinch a second consecutive title, although the Dutchman’s chances have been dented by a frustrating qualifying session, has been overshadowed by speculation of a major salary cap breach.

Verstappen’s side Red Bull were forced to deny claims they were the guilty party, and Hamilton was not interested in engaging in gossip.

“I don’t really pay much attention to it, to be honest,” he said. “Those are just whispers at the moment.

“I don’t know enough to make a sensible comment. I can’t think of anything in particular.

“I am proud of my team for the diligence they have done in following the rules.

“And honestly, I have complete confidence in Mohammed [bin Sulayem, FIA president] in the way he has conducted himself so far and in terms of rigor and clarity with the rules.

“Rules are rules, and for those kinds of things, which can lead to real alterations in terms of the performance of the car, those kinds of things, we absolutely have to take it seriously.

“But like I said, I don’t know if it’s true or not, so we’ll see.”

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