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Hamilton is upbeat despite early problems in Singapore

By Philip Duncan

Published 17/09/2016

Lewis Hamilton's Championship assault hit another road bump yesterday after he was forced out of practice for the Singapore Grand Prix with a mechanical problem.

Nico Rosberg, who has moved to within two points of Mercedes team-mate Hamilton's title lead by virtue of winning both of Formula One's races following its summer break, set the fastest time under the lights at the Marina Bay Street Circuit.

But, ahead of today's qualifying, Hamilton was only seventh, and more than one second adrift of his rival when the issue - which Mercedes confirmed as a hydraulic problem - saw the Briton watch the final 30 minutes of the second session from the back of the team's garage.

"They have fixed the valve and it is changed now, so it should be no problem tomorrow," an upbeat Hamilton said.

"We are in a good position to go for pole position. Obviously Nico got a lot more running in, but hopefully it should not be a problem for us.

"These things happen. I feel optimistic and good at this track so we'll see."

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