Will Ferrari really dominate in Singapore?
Ferrari are Singapore favourites
Mercedes have improved
The circuit suits Red Bull
All of the talk in the build up to this weekend is focussing on whether Mercedes will be able to contain Ferrari. The expectation in Singapore is that Ferrari are going to become the dominant force at a circuit which suits their car.
Mercedes were outperformed by their Italian rivals at Monaco and Hungary – two circuits with similar characteristics to Singapore. But they are the only occasions where Ferrari have been able to finish both cars ahead of the Silver Arrows.
Therefore, it would seem likely that Ferrari will be ahead for the course of the weekend. But Mercedes have appeared to make progress with their car over the summer. Although circuits at Spa and Monza naturally suit their car anyway, two huge performances from Lewis Hamilton have not harmed the team’s confidence. Coming into the weekend following back to back wins, he must fancy himself for a third.
Red Bull seem to have been disregarded completely. It’s strange because the team have finished with at least one driver on the podium in each of the last 6 races in Singapore. Even with their engine deficit, Daniel Ricciardo, who has scored six podiums including a win this season, has finished 2nd two years on the spin. Expect Red Bull to perform well this weekend.
So, can Ferrari come back from their drubbing in Monza? Sebastian Vettel was over half a minute behind Hamilton. To put that result into perspective the gap in Hungary, where Mercedes struggled, was only 12 seconds.
Last year, the gap between Mercedes and Ferrari at Monza was 20 seconds. Mercedes beat Ferrari comfortably in Singapore.
Perhaps the assumptions that this race will be Ferrari’s to lose are slightly hasty. It’s a long, hard race, the toughest challenge on the calendar. Even if they do have a performance advantage, reliability is a massive element of this event.
A one-two finish is by no means guarantee for Ferrari on Sunday. Even if Mercedes do struggle, Red Bull are going to be right in there too. There is every chance that this race could be an absolute classic.