Rosberg To Continue Drivers’ Championship Lead in Singapore
Singapore Grand Prix
Singapore hosts this weekend’s Grand Prix where once again, team mates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg battle it out at the top of the betting.
The Season So Far
After two races without a win, normal service was resumed for Mercedes at Monza, with Lewis Hamilton capitalising on a mistake by Nico Rosberg to take the chequered flag from his team-mate and close the gap at the top of the Drivers’ Championship to 22 points. Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas finished third and fourth respectively, helping Williams to make up ground on Red Bull in the Constructors’ Championship.
Singapore has most in common with Monaco, another twisting street circuit, but it is considerably longer and more gruelling, and as a night race, has a completely different atmosphere. Coping with the extreme humidity and the continual braking places strenuous demands on drivers, and requires both considerable stamina and finesse. With so many corners, downforce is key and the paucity of overtaking opportunities makes grid position crucial.
In The Pits
Williams have emerged as a lively challenger to Red Bull’s second place in the Constructors’ Championship and have managed five podium finishes in the last six races, thanks mainly to the calm and consistent driving of Valtteri Bottas. But downforce is key in Singapore and their car could struggle there, as it did at the other tightly configured street circuit in Monaco. Williams may still overtake Red Bull by the end of the season, but for this weekend at least neither Bottas nor Massa appeal.
An error at the chicane in Monza cost Nico Rosberg the lead and the Grand Prix, although it could be argued that he only inherited the lead in the first place because Lewis Hamilton lost power at the start. However you look at it, the truth is that these drivers are basically well-matched so there is little justification for Hamilton to be significantly shorter than his team-mate
and once again the value lies with the German, who is worth backing at 15/8 to extend his Drivers’ Championship lead.
Given the power advantage of the Mercedes, it is surprising that Red Bull have managed to be stay in any way competitive and even more surprising that it is new boy Daniel Ricciardo rather than four times World Champion Sebastian Vettel who has taken the challenge to Hamilton and Rosberg.
The Australian has bagged three victories and three more podium finishes in his first year in Formula One and this weekend offers perhaps his best chance of making it four before the season is out. The Red Bull car can’t compete with Mercedes for straight line speed but on a tight track like Singapore, its power deficit is less significant and its superior aerodynamics gives it an edge. Vettel has won this race three times, but is out of sorts and it is his team mate who is the better bet at 10/1.