Lewis Hamilton’s Red Bull theory revealed while Oscar Piastri sets up date with Martin Brundle – F1 news round-up

Thomas Maher
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton and McLaren's Oscar Piastri at the Singapore Grand Prix.

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton and McLaren's Oscar Piastri at the Singapore Grand Prix.

Carlos Sainz is the toast of Singapore, while Red Bull’s under-performance also made headlines. Catch up on all the latest F1 news in the PlanetF1.com round-up.

Sainz’s exemplary drive at Marina Bay is, understandably, the big story of the day as the reaction to Sunday’s race rumbles on. Add in Red Bull’s poor weekend, podiums for Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton, and a major driving error from George Russell, and it’s been quite a busy day!

So, if you haven’t already, pick through the main F1 news stories from Monday here on PlanetF1.com!

Lewis Hamilton has a theory on Red Bull’s underperformance

With Red Bull failing to score a podium as their unbeaten run in 2023 came to a sudden stop in Singapore, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton has had a theory as to why the World Champions fell off the boil.

Rather than it being anything to do with the new technical directive, Hamilton believes it’s simply down to Red Bull switching their focus to next year.

“Probably, if you think about it, they haven’t been developing,” he said.

“Obviously, McLaren brought an upgrade here, others are bringing up upgrades.

“They’re working on next year’s car so… they have less wind tunnel time, so they’re probably using some of this year’s for next year’s, they would have definitely migrated before us.

“So no, I think it’s just one of the things. They’re so clear ahead that maybe they’re developing their car less and we are still pushing to develop our current one. But time will tell.”

Read more: Lewis Hamilton offers theory for Red Bull’s poor Singapore performance

George Russell facing ‘steep learning curve’ after Singapore crash

Having crashed out of third place on the final lap of the race, Toto Wolff revealed that he would be employing comfort, and not criticism, in dealing with Russell’s costly error.

But while Russell won’t be given a dressing-down for having thrown away such a valuable points finish, Wolff explained that the error is part of the young British driver’s education as he becomes a more rounded competitor.

“Of course, George is an out-and-out racer and he is devastated,” Wolff told reporters in Singapore.

“A rather steep, steep learning curve and we touched on situations, the second year with Mercedes and it’s not going to happen again when it’s not a victory or Championship. But obviously, he’s very upset.”

Read more: ‘Devastated’ George Russell facing ‘steep learning curve’ after last-lap Singapore crash

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Martin Brundle’s grid walk gaffe called out by Oscar Piastri

Eagle-eyed Sky F1 viewers might have copped Martin Brundle’s inadvertent snub of Oscar Piastri during his pre-race grid walk. Speaking to the young Australian driver ahead of the race, Brundle distracted himself when Esteban Ocon walked past – the seasoned broadcaster calling to wish Ocon a happy birthday, and forgetting all about his interviewee in the process.

With Piastri sauntering off to climb into his car, the McLaren rookie couldn’t resist poking fun at Brundle on Twitter afterward.

“Shall we finish that interview in Suzuka, Martin Brundle?” he wrote, before adding: “FWIW, I’d have done the same. Happy birthday Esteban Ocon.”

Brundle, recognising his mistake, apologised for having left Piastri high and dry.

“Um, yes sorry about that Oscar, wasn’t my finest grid walk moment in 26 years,” he said.

“Just wanted to wish Esteban happy birthday as he strode past, but you were DRS open and full battery and quite rightly dropped me like an Aussie Rules rookie.”

Read more: Oscar Piastri makes a date with Martin Brundle after Sky pundit’s ‘not finest grid walk moment’

Will Lance Stroll be back in the car for Japan?

Having gone through a terrifying crash on Saturday, Aston Martin took the decision to withdraw Lance Stroll from the race in order to give him extra rest and recuperation time ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix.

Team boss Mike Krack spoke about Stroll’s condition after the team’s poor weekend, their first race without points this year, and explained that there’s no chance that Stroll will sit out Suzuka.

“He’s generally sore,” the team boss told media in Singapore.

“If you have an incident like that, you stress your muscles anyway. The analogy is that if you spend a very hard day in the gym, then also you feel not great, so this is where we’re at.

“I think it’s the right decision to be ready for Japan because it’s already in a couple of days’ time.

“The important thing is that he is fine and everything else is secondary.”


Read more: Lance Stroll update given after Aston Martin driver misses Singapore GP

Christian Horner has a little dig at Mercedes as Red Bull run ends

With Red Bull’s undefeated run in 2023 coming to an end in Singapore, Christian Horner couldn’t resist getting in a small dig at Mercedes’ Toto Wolff’s ‘Wikipedia’ jibe from Monza.

In what is sure to be just the latest in a joke that’s set to run and run, Horner praised Verstappen’s run of form and said winning 10 in a row had been completely unexpected to Red Bull.


“For Max to have won 10 in a row is insanity,” he said.

“Last time a driver did that was Sebastian in one of our cars. Incredibly proud to have the first and the second most winningest drivers in Formula 1.

Whilst statistics apparently don’t matter, they are ones that as a team are incredibly proud of and to have got this far, to have broken the record since 1988, shows just how hard it is to achieve the kind of supremacy that we’ve achieved this year. And that’s testimony to everybody doing and playing their part.”

Read more: Christian Horner quips ‘statistics apparently don’t matter’ as Red Bull’s run ends