Singapore Grand Prix Odds and Preview
It’s the first time Formula One has visited Singapore since 2019. However, the challenge remains the same around this 61 lap, 23 corner race around Marina Bay. Let’s dive into this Singapore Grand Prix odds and preview.
Weather is a constant issue in F1. Often, it’s due to road conditions from rain or moisture. However, the biggest draining factor for drivers in Singapore is the weather, both inside and outside the car. Temperatures reach 90 degrees and humidity hangs around 80%, and that’s just outside. Inside the cars, it’s even hotter, with many drivers saying that this is the hardest track on the calendar.
The abrasive heat is just one part of the challenge. The Singapore Grand Prix track features few straights and low to mid speed corners, plus 3 DRS zones. There is no let up for the drivers, especially as this race always gets close to the 2-hour racing limit. The Marina Bay circuit has been on the calendar since 2008 and was the first night race in Formula One history, with the city of Singapore providing a stunning backdrop for the nighttime action.
The biggest talking point, until it comes to fruition in any of the next 6 Grand Prix, is when Max Verstappen will win his second World Championship. This weekend is the least likely, even though he is on a 5-race winning streak. He needs Charles Le Clerc to finish 9th and his Red Bull teammate to finish 4th or lower on Sunday. The Marina Bay layout should be a negative against Red Bull too. However, we’ve seen all too often this season how the Red Bull car will adapt well to any track configuration.
Mercedes and Ferrari aren’t giving much away so far but are hoping for a positive weekend. Ferrari have exhibited a strong qualifying pace this season and should claim a front row lock out on Saturday. Their hopes of a strong race should be boosted by the tight and twisty track ahead, with passing notoriously difficult. Mercedes have run strong in races this season, with just 1 DNF for each driver so far. They will look to get the one lap pace right to put them up the front of the grid on Sunday.
In other news, Daniel Ricciardo’s future is still up for debate around the paddock. Several reports have linked him with a reserve drivers’ role for 2023 instead of a full race seat. Other developments in the driver market have Zhou maintaining his seat at Alfa Romeo and Latifi losing his seat at Williams for 2023. Staying with Williams, Alex Albon returns to the races this weekend after his appendicitis surgery during the Italian Grand Prix.
Check back for more details and F1 Fantasy Tips after Friday’s Practice.
Betting on the Singapore Grand Prix
Max Verstappen is the heavy favorite across the board and Bet365 are even juicing those odds a bit.
Singapore Grand Prix Odds
|Odds to Win Race
|Odds for Podium Finish
Free Practice 1
Lewis Hamilton produced another masterful lap around the Marina Bay Circuit to pip Championship leader Max Verstappen to the fastest lap in Free Practice 1. Hamilton found some pace in the final moments of practice, albeit on the softest compound of tyre, to set a time of 1:43.033; only 0.084 seconds ahead of Verstappen with Charles LeClerc rounded out the top 3, 0.4 secs off the pace. Whilst Hamilton and Verstappen did some solid running throughout the session, LeClerc missed half of it due to a brake issue, potentially having significant room for improvement. The rest of the field quickly spread out, with the top 10 spread by over 2.3 seconds, suggesting that only a select few have hit the ground running this weekend.
The Marina Bay circuit is tricky at best, always capable of producing some drama throughout the weekend, and whilst George Russell tried his best to avoid hitting the barrier at Turn 10 as his right front locked up, Lance Stroll had a slightly larger collision with the Turn 5 barrier, ripping the left rear tire from the suspension and ensuring the weekends first red flag stoppage. Other drivers such as Sainz, Verstappen and Alonso all had minor brushes with the wall, demonstrating how difficult this track is and that the drivers need to be switched on at all times around the lap to ensure they don’t end up like Stroll.
Free Practice 2
Practice 2 is a far more relevant session for the rest of the weekend as it’s set when qualifying and the race with run on Saturday & Sunday. Both Ferrari’s produced a much better showing in this session, topping the timing sheets and going half a second quicker than Hamilton’s fastest time in Practice 1. Sainz pipped his teammate by just 0.2 seconds, with George Russell another 0.1 secs back from LeClerc, potentially setting a 6 way battle for Pole Position on Saturday evening. Whilst Ferrari came out swinging in FP2, Mercedes and Red Bull still produced strong pace, hoping that they have left something in the garage for the all important qualifying session on Saturday.
The big news of Free Practice 2 all came from team Red Bull. The bizarre pit lane fire to Pierre Gasly’s Alpha Tauri aside, Championship leader Verstappen spent most of the session in the garage. Red Bulls problems doubled with a drivetrain issue to Sergio Perez’s car, with the Mexican only completing 11 laps. The worst news came after the session however, with pit lane reports of Red Bull breaching the budget cap of $145 million in 2021, with the team likely to face an FIA sanctioned punishment, although it is unclear what that punishment could be.
Whilst the top three teams slugged it out up front, the other big battle on the grid is for Fourth in the Constructors Championship, with Alpine looking the stronger than the McLaren’s in the opening blows. Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso finished the session 6th & 8th respectively but the McLaren’s struggled, finishing 11th and 18th, demonstrating that not all upgrade packages work as intended. They have a lot of work to do before Qualifying to try and claw back some of the momentum they inherited in Monza.
This is an extremely difficult weekend to predict, with Qualifying being all important around the Singapore circuit and both sessions producing mixed results but I see a strong weekend ahead for Mercedes ahead. Both cars appear very reliable and competitive on a track with many bumps but crucially no high speed corners that would cause the porpoising we saw earlier in the season. For drivers. Sainz had two trouble free sessions and looks in good form around the 23 corner circuit, but he always brings an element of unpredictability to his race craft. Further down the grid, Ocon and Bottas have had strong weekends so far but both cars have had their reliability and outright pace issues since the summer break. Magnussen leads the bottom group of drivers right now, but don’t count out Alex Albon, still recovering from surgery three weeks ago, to spring a surprise in the Williams.
Nick’s Suggested Fantasy Team
Post Race Report
The Singapore Grand Prix was an intriguing affair that many critics will argue produced a spectacular result for the sport. However, it didn’t quite live up to the expectations of a truly great race. The start was delayed for over an hour due to heavy rainfall during the day. By start time temperatures were in the 80s, so it says more about the drainage system of the Marina Bay circuit than anything else.
In some respects, it was a familiar story in 2022 with a Red Bull dominating the race and two Ferraris and a Mercedes within touching distance. However, it wasn’t the usual Red Bull up front. Sergio Perez, who led the field from start to finish in reasonable comfort with Charles LeClerc fulfilling his role of best man in the field. Carlos Sainz finished a distant third but was pushed the entire race by Lewis Hamilton. Hamilton eventually gave up following and in attempting a pass, misjudged his braking point and bumped his Mercedes into one of the many Tec-Pro barriers around this street circuit. The leading Red Bull had a more difficult evening as Verstappen eventually finished 7th after a sloppy start. He had a long drive stuck behind Alonso, before he retired with an engine failure.
Perhaps the biggest shock of the weekend was the performance of McLaren Racing. They looked dead and buried in their fight with Alpine on Friday and Saturday morning. However, they produced a solid race that saw Lando Norris up there behind Lewis Hamilton for a good portion of the race. Ricciardo smoothly drove his way from 16th on the grid to 5th, proving he still has the capability to be on the grid next season. Aston Martin also had a strong afternoon, notorious this season for being unreliable, they had both cars finish in the points.
Of course, the Singapore Grand Prix wouldn’t be complete without a safety car. There were seven periods in total with two being full safety cars to bunch the pack up, which illustrated the dangers this track presents with that threat tripled when the Gods send rain down on race day. The final drama was Sergio Perez’s two hour wait to be confirmed the victor as the threat of a Safety Car violation only ended up in a 5 second penalty, confirming a victory he richly deserved.
Mercedes – Hamilton 9th/Russell 14th
The Mercedes team had a race to forget with Hamilton compounding their misery by binning his car into the wall and breaking the front wing after an ill-timed move on Sainz.
Russell had a terrible day, beginning the day in the pit lane after an engine change, and never truly recovering. Russell finished a lowly 14th after being the first to experiment on slick tires, a decision that took 10 laps to see positive results.
Red Bull – Verstappen 7th/Perez 1st
Red Bull had an upside down day with one car leading the way after snatching the lead at the first corner. The other floundering in traffic until a poorly judged overtake went wrong with disastrous consequences. Perez was the lead Red Bull this weekend, leading the race from the first corner but had LeClerc chasing him the entire race to keep him occupied. He handled the pressure well, even with the multiple safety cars and a looming penalty after the race, to complete an excellent weekend. Verstappen on the other hand, didn’t fair so well. Two aborted qualifying runs left him in 7th on the grid and a poor start dropped him out of the points places. However, he smoothly worked his way back up before getting stuck behind Alonso. The safety cars helped him but his mistake into turn 7 cost him a top 4 position and he completed the race in the same place he started, 7th.
Ferrari – LeClerc 2nd/Sainz 3rd
Ferrari finally turned around their poor form to produce a solid, if not sparkling, weekend in Singapore. LeClerc started on Pole but lost the lead to Perez on the first corner. He diligently tracked him the entire race but couldn’t quite produce the move when it was available. Finishing 2nd also extended the championship race and reduced Verstappen’s lead, if only to delay his championship to Japan. Sainz struggled on his race pace on Sunday, but managed the race well enough to keep Hamilton behind him. Sainz will be concerned at how far up the road the leading pair were and whether he can close the gap in the future.
McLaren – Norris 4th/Ricciardo 5th
ALPINE – Alonso DNF/Ocon DNF
A double retirement for Alpine was compounded by a double points haul for McLaren and turned the tables on this race for fourth in the constructors championship. Both Alonso and Ocon were in points paying positions when their Renault engine decided that enough was enough and they ground to a halt on the streets of Singapore. McLaren, on the other hand, saw their fortunes turn around after a under whelming Friday and Saturday but shined bright under the lights of the Marina Bay circuit. Norris was able to match the pace of the Ferrari and Mercedes ahead of him and had a lonely but trouble free race that demonstrated his abilities around the tricky Marina Bay circuit. Ricciardo though, quietly and effectively sliced his way through the field, taking full advantage of the safety car periods, to jump up from 16th on the grid to 5th in the final standings. The double points haul pushed McLaren above Alpine in the standings going into the final 5 rounds of the season and should give them momentum for next weeks trip to Japan.
Formula One began the last leg of this years Championship at the very popular but demanding Marina Bay circuit. The day provided a reasonable amount of drama and just the right amount of entertainment. Verstappen had the chance, albeit slim, to become a double World Champion but failed at the first hurdle. He will have a second, and better, opportunity in the Japanese Grand Prix in 6 days time. The race will ultimately be remembered for a fine drive to the win for Perez and the many safety cars that this street circuit always provides the F1 circus. It will also be remembered for the hour long delay to the start of proceedings due to the poor drainage around the circuit, that should be addressed before the next race at Marina Bay.
Next week, Formula One revisits a classic circuit on the calendar and one that hasn’t been visited since 2019. The Japanese Grand Prix returns at Suzuka, one of the drivers favorite locations for a race. The fast and flowing nature of the track is a stark contrast to Singapore but presents its own set of challenges, in particular the fearsome corner 130R. This race will likely see Max Verstappen crowned Formula One World Champion for a second time.