Monday, June 14, 2021
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‘Three Rs’ spell out championship lead for Lewis Hamilton

For a Singapore Grand Prix that began with confusion over self-censorship and concluded with Lewis Hamilton leading the standings, the race weekend can be summed up by using the ‘Three Rs’ — Radios, Rosberg and Reliability.

The teams arrived in Singapore unsure of what engineers could or could not tell drivers over the radio after Formula One had rushed through a ban on race assistance following the last grand prix in Monza without going into a great deal of detail.

After a series of meetings to thrash out the finer points, the Bernie Ecclestone-instigated clampdown was relaxed shortly before Friday practice and the paddock breathed a sigh of relief after voicing concerns over a lack of preparation time.

For Nico Rosberg, it was a weekend to forgot after he saw his 22-point lead at the top of the standings transformed into a three-point deficit to Mercedes team mate Hamilton when the Briton stormed to victory on Sunday as the German looked on from the garage.

Rosberg had told of his hatred for the demanding two-hour trawl around the floodlit streets of Singapore, yet he would not have been that relieved to have completed his night’s work after just 14 of the scheduled 61-lap race.

Starting from second on the grid behind Hamilton, Rosberg appeared frozen to the spot as the other 20 cars filed past him on the formation lap, the German unable to coax any sort of life out of his listless Mercedes.

His steering wheel was faulty and he started the race from the back of field in the pitlane but only managed to reach quarter distance before calling it a day when a lengthy pitstop failed to resolve his mechanical woes.

“It was a horrible feeling really, to see everybody go. Because then I knew it was over,” Rosberg said of his retirement.

“Then the whole steering wheel just wasn’t working so I didn’t have any hybrid power and the shifting… I would shift two gears at once all the time and I had no DRS.

“The car just wasn’t working at all and then there was no point to continue. It was a tough day really.”

These next five races I just pray that we continue,” Hamilton said.

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