It is time for the 11th edition of the Singapore Grand Prix, as the final third of the 2018 Formula 1 season gets underway. Can Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel make a comeback and narrow the gap to the Championship leaders Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton?
Ferrari have managed to produce a car capable of winning the Championship but their lead driver Sebastian Vettel has been inconsistent this season, making mistakes in crucial races and failing to capitalize on the superior car. Can he get it together and bring Ferrari back into contention for both titles?
I have prepared a blog on the 2018 Singapore Grand Prix which includes the latest news, storylines, as well as some stats to go along with betting advice. Read on!
The History of Singapore Grand Prix
Singapore Grand Prix was officially introduced into the Formula 1 calendar in 2008 and since then Formula 1 cars have graced the streets of Singapore 10 times. The race has become a modern classic, as it has provided some of the most spectacular racing action in recent history.
Marina Bay Street Circuit provides plenty of high-speed action, as there are several areas where drivers and cars go flat out, without the needs for breaking. This is sharply contrasted with some of the low-speed technical corners, which are particularly difficult on the brakes.
Singapore Grand Prix is considered a driver’s track since the driver factor is very high in the technical corners and the flow of the lap is key to the good overall times.
Since Singapore Grand Prix is a relatively new race with just a decade of history, it is hardly a surprise that it has been dominated by the current elite drivers and teams.
Sebastian Vettel is the most successful driver in the history of Singapore Grand Prix with 4 wins in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015. He is closely followed by the reigning Formula 1 Champion Lewis Hamilton who has managed to win at Marina Bay 3 times in 2009, 2014 and 2017.
The only other drivers to win at Marina Bay are McLaren’s Fernando Alonso who won here in 2008 and 2010 and now-retired Nico Rosberg who won here in 2016 for Mercedes, on his way to the Formula 1 Championship.
When it comes to constructors, Mercedes and Red Bull are the most dominant teams with 3 wins at Marina Bay Street Circuit. Ferrari is close behind with 2 wins at the Singapore Grand Prix, while Renault and McLaren have 1 win each.
The Season So Far
The 2018 Formula 1 season kicked off with a large bang from Ferrari and their driver Sebastian Vettel, who claimed the first two races of the season, winning in Australia and Bahrain.
What followed were two chaotic races which yielded unexpected results. In China, a race full of incidents was won by Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and Lewis Hamilton scored an incredibly lucky win for Mercedes, taking advantage of the late safety car to steal the victory in Azerbaijan.
Mercedes have shown up with a dominant package which allowed Lewis Hamilton to claim his second consecutive win of the season in Barcelona, at the Spanish Grand Prix.
The Monaco Grand Prix brought a dull race on the streets of Monte Carlo where Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo delivered a strong drive in a damaged car to bring home his second win of the season.
2018 Formula 1 season entered its first-ever tripleheader of races, starting with the 2018 French Grand Prix which was won by Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in a dominant performance. The second race was the home Grand Prix for Red Bull in Austria, where Max Verstappen pulled out his first win and Red Bull’s third of the season, in a race where both Mercedes drivers retired due to technical difficulties.
The final race of the tripleheader was held at the 2018 British Grand Prix at Silverstone. An early incident on the first lap, ended up costing Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton a chance to win. Ferrari’s Sebastien Vettel ended up winning the race for his 4th win of the season.
Finally, Formula 1 season made a return to Hockenheimring for the 2018 German Grand Prix, Sebastien Vettel’s home race. In a race full of surprises, Lewis Hamilton scored a fantastic win, finishing 1st after starting 14th on the grid. Sebastien Vettel had the win secured but he made a costly mistake late in the race and ended up on the gravel and out of the race.
The last race before the summer break was the 2018 Hungarian Grand Prix where Mercedes managed to put together a dominant package that was too much for Ferrari to handle. Lewis Hamilton managed to win the second race in a row and leave for the summer break with a 24-point gap to 2nd placed Sebastian Vettel in the Driver’s Championship standings.
The first race after the summer break was the Belgian Grand Prix at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit. Although, Lewis Hamilton managed to qualify on pole in a rain-soaked qualification round, Sebastian Vettel managed to secure a win at Spa-Francorchamps with a pass on the first lap, just before the safety car hit the track due to an incident at the start of the race.
In the Drivers’ Standings Lewis Hamilton leads the Championship with 256 points, 30 points ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, while Mercedes with 415 points have a 25-point lead over Ferrari in the Constructors’ Standings.
Formula 1 moves on to the street circuit at Marina Bay for the 2018 Singapore Grand Prix. Everyone is eager to find out whether Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari can make a comeback and narrow the gap to Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton.
Stats to Consider When Betting on the 2018 Singapore Grand Prix
- Lewis Hamilton leads the championship by the largest margin for any driver in the 2018 season (30 points), a margin 10 times greater than he had with 7 races remaining last season (3 points).
- Sebastian Vettel is the record holder for most Singapore Grand Prix wins and poles (4 each), and has led the most laps in Marina Bay history (221). Vettel led the Singapore GP from start-to-finish in 2011, 2013 and 2015, with the 2013 race being a grand slam victory (led every lap from the pole with the fastest lap).
- Daniel Ricciardo has finished on the podium at Singapore in all four of his previous visits with Red Bull – the only circuit on which he has achieved this – although he has never won at Marina Bay and he’s only ever led one lap here (in 2014).
- Pole position is vitally important here. In the last nine Singapore GPs the pole-sitter has won seven times, with the exceptions being 2012, when Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren broke down while he was leading the race from pole, and 2017, when Sebastian Vettel was hit within 150 meters of the start.
- The Safety Car has appeared in every Marina Bay F1 race ever held, with 12 laps of Safety Car running last season (more than 20% of the entire race). Furthermore, Lap 1 accidents have caused a Safety Car deployment in each of the last two years.
Pole Position Betting Preview
Even though Mercedes have dominated the Singapore Grand Prix in the recent years, they are still not considered the favorite at this track. Mercedes Team Manager Toto Wolf has already said that he considers Ferrari the favorite at Marina Bay and considers this track the most challenging for his team on the calendar. There have been speculations that even Red Bull might be extremely competitive here and could endanger Mercedes.
It is no surprise then that Sebastian Vettel is the odds-on favorite for the pole position at the 2018 Singapore Grand Prix with 2.0 odds. The German driver should be able to take the advantage of Ferrari’s package and win the pole here.
Lewis Hamilton is the second favorite for the pole position with 4.50 odds and this is mostly due to the fact that he is one of the best qualification drivers in the history of Formula 1, since Mercedes car should struggle at this track. This can be easily seen in the odds for Red Bull’s drivers Max Verstappen at 6.00 odds and Daniel Ricciardo at 7.5 odds to win the pole position.
Finally, Kimi Raikkonen is valued at 8.00 odds for Ferrari but he has never qualified on pole position here in the past. Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas is even further down with 27.00 odds for the pole position due to Mercedes’ perceived weakness at this track.
I find it hard to look past Sebastian Vettel here. He is under tremendous pressure to deliver and is driving on a track that really suits him with a superior car. This one should be a lock.
Pole Position Pick: Sebastian Vettel at 2.00 odds
Race Winner Betting Preview
As is the case with the pole position, Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel are once again favored at this track. Vettel is the odds-on favorite to win at 2.25 odds at the 2018 Singapore Grand Prix, closely followed by Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton at 4.33 odds.
To my surprise sportsbooks like Red Bull’s race pace even more and have Max Verstappen valued at 5.00 odds to win, while Daniel Ricciardo is close behind at 5.50 odds. Lack of single lap pace has caused a lot of problems for Red Bull in the recent years, especially in qualifying but the sportsbooks believe that their package at Marina Bay should work great.
The final group of favorites are Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen at 8.50 odds to win the race and Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas at 13.00 odds to do the same. It is not only a matter of driver quality that separates them from their teammates but also strategies and plans put into place to ensure that Vettel and Hamilton get as many points as possible from the race, which might include team orders. This makes them a sucker’s bet to pick to win the race, since they might have to give up the lead in the race to their teammate.
Once again, I find it difficult to pick anyone but Sebastian Vettel here. He has won here on 4 occasions, more than any other driver in Formula 1 history and he has the advantage of a superior car in a very technical race. So, he is my pick here.