Singapore GP
September 14 - 16, 2018
Marina Bay Street Circuit
Race Winner
Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes-Benz
1:51:11.611
1 Pit
Singapore GP
SESSIONSRESULTTIME
Free Practice 1
RIC
1:39.711
Free Practice 2
RAI
1:38.699
Free Practice 3
VET
1:38.054
Qualifying
HAM
1:36.015
Race
HAM
1:51:11.611

Singapore Grand Prix preview: Can Ricciardo give Red Bull one last highlight?

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Take a look at Fernando Alonso take a spin around Barber Motor Park.


Another Sebastian Vettel mistake in Monza saw Lewis Hamilton open up a 30-point lead in the drivers' standings -- the largest margin at any point in the season -- as Formula One heads to Singapore.

Focus on... Can Ricciardo's luck turn in Singapore?

Daniel Ricciardo has just seven races left with Red Bull before he ventures off to Renault at the end of the season and this week's Singapore Grand Prix is going to offer him the best chance of a parting victory.

The Australian has endured some wretched luck in 2018, particularly in the past six races where he's been forced to retire on four occasions. The unreliability, and resulting frustrations, is likely a primary reason for his decision to opt for a change of scenery, one that could prove to be anything from career ending to a masterstroke.

But enough about that, let's focus on this season. Although Ricciardo's only managed two podium finishes from the first 14 races, both were for wins. He put on an overtaking masterclass from P6 in China before holding off Sebastian Vettel for a memorable Monaco victory. If Ricciardo is to complete his hatrick in 2018 it's almost certain to come at the Marina Bay Circuit, a track he has enjoyed plenty of success at despite being yet to break through with a win.

Did you know? Ricciardo has only finished a race in three different places this year. First, fourth and fifth.

Ricciardo claimed an impressive third place at the Singapore Grand Prix in 2014 -- his debut year for Red Bull -- before taking three consecutive runner-up finishes from 2015-17. It's a circuit that historically has suited the Red Bull package and being situated just a four and a half hour flight away from Ricciardo's home town of Perth means he has always enjoyed plenty of support.

There's no doubt that after an enormous amount of frustration Ricciardo will be eager to remind the Formula One world of his talent and there's no better place for him to do that than in Singapore this weekend.

Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Red Bull Racing prepares to drive in the garage during qualifying for the Formula One Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza.
Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Red Bull Racing prepares to drive in the garage during qualifying for the Formula One Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza.
Mark Thompson/Getty Images

In need of a win? Sebastian Vettel

It's not the first time this season we've highlighted Vettel as a man who desperately needs a race win.

Vettel has fallen 30 points behind Lewis Hamilton in the race for the world championship after the Mercedes driver claimed impressive wins in three of the last four races.

Much has been made of Vettel's missed opportunities in 2018 -- just like in 2017 when he also lost out to Hamilton -- and he simply cannot afford to continue throwing points away, particularly in Singapore.

Behind Ferrari and Red Bull, Mercedes was the third quickest car last year around the Marina Bay and few would be surprised to see a similar form line this weekend. It means Vettel has a great chance of pulling a fair chunk of the 30 points back if he's able to put teammate Kimi Raikkonen and the Red Bulls between himself and Hamilton.

Sure, it may be a big ask but it's certainly doable in Singapore and if Vettel doesn't start to close the margin this weekend, it's going to be a long road back.

In need of points? McLaren

After opening the season with five consecutive points scoring finishes, McLaren's Fernando Alonso has only managed to finish in the top 10 in three of the last nine races.

Like Ricciardo, disappointing performances and poor reliability has seen Alonso opt for change in 2019 but you can be certain he will want to end his stellar Formula One career on a high note.

Back-to-back DNFs for Alonso in Belgium and Italy combined with Stoffel Vandoorne's ongoing struggles has seen McLaren lose touch with Haas in the constructors' standings. However, Singapore is generally a race which sees plenty of casualties, particularly in the early laps, and could provide McLaren with a great points scoring opportunity if Alonso and Vandoorne can avoid the early carnage.

It's also worth remembering what happened twelve months ago in Singapore. Alonso qualified an impressive eighth but got tangled up in the Turn 1 drama while Vandoorne managed to finish a career-high seventh.

Fernando Alonso of Spain and McLaren F1 arrives at the circuit and signs autographs for fans before the Formula One Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza.
Fernando Alonso of Spain and McLaren F1 arrives at the circuit and signs autographs for fans before the Formula One Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza.
Lars Baron/Getty Images

Tyre talk

Available compounds: Soft, Ultra-soft, Hyper-soft

Pirelli's pointers:

  • Singapore has the most corners of any track in Formula 1 (23) which means that the tyres are working constantly over the course of a long lap.
  • The rear-left is the most stressed tyre in Singapore, which is the second-slowest lap of the year after Monaco.
  • Singapore has a 100 percent Safety Car record, which has a big influence on strategy.
  • The night race means that the usual pattern of track and temperature evolution, typically seen in an afternoon race, isn't followed.

Minimum starting pressures: Front 18.5psi, rear 17.5psi

Weather forecast

Would it be a Singapore Grand Prix weekend without rain and thunderstorms? Definitely not. Expect more of the same this year, particularly on Saturday and Sunday when rain is likely to be at its heaviest. 

Singapore is also notoriously hot and humid so when you combine that with a race that almost always runs for two hours, you have arguably the greatest physical test drivers face all year.

Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen were all involved in an opening lap collision at the 2017 Singapore Grand Prix.
Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen were all involved in an opening lap collision at the 2017 Singapore Grand Prix.
Peter J Fox/Getty Images

Betting

No surprises to see Vettel as the bookmakers' favourite in Singapore. The German has won four times at Marina Bay and is in a very good position to make it five this weekend.

Hamilton and Max Verstappen share the next line of betting at 10/3 with Ricciardo just back at 4/1.

And if you think Ricciardo's horror run of luck will continue, 9/4 can be made if he fails to take the chequered flag. The quote for Hamilton to not be classified is 6/1.

ESPN's prediction

Hamilton's championship lead is out to 30 points and he will know Singapore isn't Mercedes' strongest track, despite winning three of the last four races there. Expect Hamilton to play it cautiously which will open the door for Vettel.

Winner: Sebastian Vettel

Bonus prediction: Red Bull to out-qualify Mercedes