The Singapore Grand Prix is a reset, the last couple after the summer break are somewhat different to the general theme to the rest of the season. Singapore is no exception in that and expect the order to change once again as the strengths of some teams are realised more on the twisty track around the marina, rather than the long straights of the Monza park.
Despite the problems he had in Monza, Lewis Hamilton still has the upper hand in the World Championship, but only just from his ever present teammate Nico Rosberg. It hasn’t been the best of circuits for Mercedes though, despite winning in his championship season in 2014, but Mercedes are hoping to turn that around for 2016. Under the lights, the Singapore Grand Prix was the first truly night race on the calendar and brought an number of unknowns, and we have already seen that the underdogs can win here.
Its a long race at nearly two hours, but watch out for the Red Bull this weekend. The slower average speed in Singapore should help them, and we saw what pace they had in Monaco. If it wasn’t because of the dodgy pitstop it would have been an easy win for Daniel Ricciardo, the team were on it all weekend. Despite having the Renault engine, which is still underpowered, the chassis more than makes up for it on this sort of circuit and could be the last chance this season of a win in normal conditions.
Ferrari though are somewhat of an enigma. Floundering on the back of a number of technical team changes, a new engine introduced at Monza looks to have found them some pace, but it is yet to see how that power plays out on the twistier circuits like Singapore. Embroiled in a battle with Red Bull for second in the championship it will be a close run thing until the end of the season and will require both drivers to be on their game at all times. Kimi Raikkonen has looked to have been the faster driver, despite the recent podium for Sebastian Vettel in Monza.
Moves further down the grid have pushed silly season on. Felipe Massa has announced his retirement and Jenson Button stepping away from the driving seat for a year has kickstarted the next round of changes in the midfield, with more announcements due in the next few weeks. Singapore might even see some of those announcements.
Get ready for one of the most demanding races on the calendar.