Battle continues with Round 15 of the 2017 season from the Sepang International Circuit
'The result in Singapore came as a surprise for us all'
The result in Singapore came as a surprise for us all – and the danger of a result like that is to misjudge your own level of performance. But within the team, our focus since finishing first and third has been on the painful moments of the Singapore weekend - why we struggled in the long runs on Friday and our lack of performance over one lap in qualifying - to learn as much as possible for the rest of the season. We have deepened our understanding of those problems and we will take that learning with us into the final races.
The last race was a strong reminder that sport always has the power to surprise and defy all predictions. We have been on the receiving end of those bad moments before, and we know that they can happen as easily to us as anybody else. The result in Singapore doesn’t change anything in terms of how we approach the final six races, beginning this weekend in Malaysia. We will need to be at the top of our game on every track if we want to maintain our lead in both championships to the end of the season.
The first challenge, of course, is Malaysia. This will be a weekend with great resonance for us: we have a very close relationship with the country, thanks to our friends at PETRONAS, and the race has given us many moments of drama and glory over the years. Our record there in recent seasons has been mixed but the fundamental characteristics of the circuit, with its sweeping corners and long straights, should mean the car is well-suited to the circuit.
The weather conditions are challenging for the cars, the tyres, the drivers and the team personnel and can often complicate the overall picture; good reliability will be crucial in every aspect of our operations. But it goes without saying that our target is to deliver a winning performance to mark the final Grand Prix at Sepang – and to build on the good momentum we have enjoyed since the summer break.