What can we expect from the Singapore Grand Prix?
After closing out the European season with a win at Monza last time out, Lewis Hamilton heads to Singapore leading the championship for the first time this year. But with Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari still hot on Hamilton’s heels, this title fight will go down to the wire. So what can we expect from the Singapore Grand Prix?
Ferrari should be the favourites
The tight and twisting nature of the Singapore circuit, which celebrates 10 years on the calendar this weekend, should suit Ferrari more than Mercedes. The Scuderia were supreme at Monaco earlier this year and should expect the same success in Singapore. Mercedes will be close, but this circuit doesn’t depend on pure horsepower. Vettel has won four times at the Marina Bay circuit, twice more than any other driver. If team-mate Kimi Raikkonen can play rear-gunner and finish ahead of Hamilton as Vettel returns to one of his favoured stomping grounds, expect the German to retake the championship lead.
Red Bull set to rise again
The Singapore circuit should also suit Red Bull, as it plays to their strengths and the power deficit from their Renault engines is reduced. Max Verstappen is due for some good fortune, so could be a podium contender. Singapore’s layout also gives him plenty of opportunities for some spectacular overtakes. Team-mate Daniel Ricciardo will also be in the hunt as the seeks to chase down Valtteri Bottas for third in the Drivers standings.
McLaren in with a shot
With their engine supplier for 2018 seemingly set to change to Renault, McLaren will be shifting their full focus to developing next year’s car. In the meantime though, Singapore is likely to be a good track for them as their strong chassis should shine through under Marina Bay’s bright lights. In Alonso’s hands especially, McLaren could be a real threat to score plenty of points this weekend, and could even be the fourth fastest team if their reliability holds.
Williams’ weakness = Renault’s gain
After a strong showing at Monza, both Force India and Williams could be under threat from Renault this weekend. The gap in engine power shouldn’t be a factor and the French constructor could battle Force India and McLaren for the final four scoring spots. Williams and Toro Rosso will be close behind, and the Italian team will be keen to replicate their success at Monaco earlier this year. Haas could struggle yet again with brake issues and pure pace.