Lewis Hamilton was at a loss to explain why Mercedes is so far off the pace in Singapore after he and Nico Rosberg qualified only fifth and sixth tonight.
Hamilton said he was happy with the feel of the car, but was mystified by the loss of speed relative to rivals.
“The only way I can really explain it is it’s a bit like doing a good lap on the prime tyre, then you go and do exactly the same lap on an option tyre, but it’s a second and a half faster,” he said. “And then I do the lap, and say it’s a really good lap, but it’s a second and a half slower than the guys up ahead. We’ve not lost any performance on our car, the drivers have not lost any performance, so there’s only one way it can come from, and that’s obviously the rubber. But I don’t know why it is the case.
“I’m very interested to find out. I actually challenge all of you guys to go and find what the reasons may be, I’m challenging my team to find out what is, where we lost time, whether it’s in tyre pressures, temperarures blankets, ride heights, I’m challenging everyone to find out, because I want to go and win tomorrow.”