Sat, Sep 20, 3:58pm by Mike Randall
Circuit: Marina Bay Street Circuit
length: 5.065 km
Number of corners: 23 (9 right, 14 left)
DRS zones: 2
Distance: 308.828 km
Tyre compounds: Supersoft (red), soft (yellow)
Lap record: 1.48.574, Sebastian Vettel, 2013
Last year’s pole position: 1.42.841, Sebastian Vettel
Last year’s podium: Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull), Fernando Alonso (Ferrari), Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus).
RED Bull is the team to beat in this weekend’s Singapore Formula 1 Grand Prix.
The punters have spoken at Tomwaterhouse.com and all the money is for young Australian star Daniel Ricciardo and his Red Bull team mate Sebastian Vettel, the bookie’s spokesman Andrew Brown told AustralianGambling.com.au.
“All the money coming in is for team Red Bull,” Brown said.
“We’ve struck some good bets on Ricciardo, including one of $1000 at $11, and he’s now in to $9.
“There’s also been support for his teammate Sebastian Vettel, who’s been $31 into $19, with one punter whacking $500 on him at the $31.”
Vettel has won this race three years running, but the shift in the Red Bull ranks is certainly on, with the punters preferring his upstart team mate – Vettel has not won a race this year.
At Sportsbet.com.au, Mercedes team mates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg are one-two in the betting.
But the bookie’s spokesman Will Byrne said there had been little love for race favourite Lewis Hamilton.
“Surprisingly, Vettel is the second best backed,” Byrne told AustralianGambling.com.au.
He said Ricciardo stood alone as the punters favourite in this one.
“He has been the best backed driver – we’ve taken six times more money on him than Hamilton and Rosberg combined,” Byrne said.
“Patriotic money is flowing freely for Ricciardo, he may be the third best in the betting, but he leads the punters’ podium by a long distance.”
At each others’ throats only a month ago, Hamilton is $1.72 to eat into Rosberg’s ($3) lead in the drivers’ championship.
Seven times this season, that pair has finished first and second in races and it was no difference in Italy a fortnight ago. They need four more of the same result over the next six races to tie McLaren’s record for the most one-twos in a season, and a fourth to take the record.
Head of Mercedes, Toto Wolff, hopes the first of those will come in Singapore.
“Italy was a fantastic way to wrap up the European phase of the season after a tough few weekends at the preceding races,” Wolff said.
“It was our first one-two finish since Austria and, realistically, the results in between had not matched the high standards we set ourselves as a team.
“To see both drivers on the top two steps was a thoroughly deserved reward for all the hard work
Singapore is one of the longest races, is held under lights and drivers have to deal with factors including humidity and the spectre of torrential rain.
It has 23 corners – more than any other circuit – with drivers forced to make an average of 80 gear changes per lap. And the energy-sapping humidity can cause drivers to lose up to 3 kg of fluid during the race.
He’s coming off a fifth-place at Monza, but that wasn’t entirely unexpected with the pace of the Mercedes and Williams cars ahead of him.
After his stunning back to back wins in Belgium and Hungary, he’ll be looking to make it three out of four in Singapore.
The drive in Italy was still classy, Ricciardo overcoming a poor start and some questionable tactical decisions in that race.
The Aussie is at home in the street race.
“Modern street races like this tend to wash and scrub the track but even that doesn’t really change the fact that what you’re driving on is a public road with all the grit and grime and dirt that those have,” Ricciardo said.
“It means you’re in for a slithery, bumpy weekend – which I love.
“The important thing in Singapore is to not get caught chasing the set-up on a Friday.
“The track is going to evolve, you’ve just got to be patient and let it happen without constantly tweaking your car, trying to hit a moving target.
“It’s one of those races where you’re never completely satisfied with the amount of preparation that you do.”
The kid is on fire and the street race is perfectly suited to his skills.
In reality, though, he needs a miracle to catch the Mercedes pair – perhaps a smash up between the two testy drivers – and take his fourth win of the season.
His three other victories this season all benefitted from the Mercedes cars striking misfortune.
And it’s not entirely out of the realms of possibility.
The Singapore street track is easily one of the most demanding courses on the F1 circuit, especially on tyres and brakes, and it should ask plenty of questions about the Mercedes car’s reliability.
Hamilton to win – $1.72 with Sportsbet.com.au
Mercedes have won 10 of the 13 races this season, with Ricciardo the only other driver to salute. For us, it’s a matter of choosing which of Hamilton or Rosberg will take the checkered flag.
Give us Hamilton. He has the mettle to deal with the trying conditions, has the form after his victory in Italy and has more to lose as he hunts Rosberg at the top of the drivers’ championship.
“Despite the highs and lows, I’m still well and truly in the hunt for the championship and that is something that gives me huge motivation for the final six races – starting in Singapore. It’s a great place to begin the final flyaway phase of the season,” Hamilton said.
Vettel to finish on the podium – $2.63 with Sportsbet.com.au
Yes, I know every Australian hates him and we should be patriotic and back Ricciardo, but Vettel knows this track like the back of his hand, having won the past three incarnations.
Red Bull is beginning to bridge the gap with Mercedes and we know Vettel’s form has been anything but impressive, but he’s a champion – topping the drivers’ championship four times.
He’s led nearly half of the laps he’s been involved in that have taken place on the Marina Bay Street Circuit and we’re backing the cocky German to snare a spot on the podium – behind Hamilton and Rosberg.
Daniil Kvyat to finish in the top six – $29 with Centrebet.com
We love to hunt for value and the Russian looks a chance at $29 to crack the top six.
The up-and-coming youngster started on the back row of the grid last start in Italy but probably deserved more after finishing 11th and registering the fastest lap of any driver not on the podium.
If he can get a little more reliability out of the Toro Rosso he’s ready to break through. Singapore loves the safety car and he could use that to his advantage.
Daniel Ricciardo to finish in the points – $1.14 with Tomwaterhouse.com
Hey, it’s better than bank interest – he’s finished in the points in 11 straight races. Load up.
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