A Look Ahead to the Singapore Grand Prix: Who Can Steal a March in the Title Race?
September 14, 2016
After Lewis Hamilton’s thrilling performance to secure third place from the back-row during the Belgian Grand Prix, the Formula One season seemed to have taken a decisive turn in the Englishman’s favour. After all, this not only defied the odds and denied Rosberg the chance to reclaim his lead at the top of the Championship, but it also underlined Hamilton’s resolve and ability to win from even the most unenviable positions.
Hamilton looked to have cemented this advantage during qualification for the Italian Grand Prix in Monza, as he secured pole and looked certain to record his seventh win of the season. Instead, a disastrous start saw Hamilton slip to sixth place at the first corner, as human error left him facing a huge task or holding on to his Championship lead.
While he fought back to earn second place, Rosberg slashed his lead at the top to just two points with seven races remaining.
A Look ahead to Singapore: What Twists and Turns will follow in the Drivers’ Championship?
Now the title race will head to Singapore for the very first night-race of the season, as the drivers prepare for what is likely to be one of the more interesting meetings to date. From the expected humidity and the complexity of the Marina Bay Street Circuit to reported security concerns at the track, there are plenty of distractions around so both Hamilton and Rosberg will need to remain focused and trust their team to create a viable race strategy.
Certainly it is hard to look beyond these two as potential winners, and both are dominant among the initial Singapore Grand Prix favourites. After all, Rosberg (seven) and Hamilton (six) have won 13 of the 14 races to date, with the formers consistency crucial in sustaining his challenge. In contrast, Hamilton won his six times during a seven-race period in the middle of the season, sandwiched between a torrid start and his recent stutter.
Of course, qualifying is likely to play a huge part in determining the outcome, but the driver who best adapts to the conditions is likely to prevail. Given Hamilton’s star quality and natural ability to perform in adversity, it would be a brave man who bets against him extending his lead in Singapore this time around.
Who Else May Challenge?
Outside of these two, Red Bull’s precocious driver Daniel Ricciardo seems well-placed to challenge and appears confident ahead of the race. Ricciardo, who occupies third place in the Drivers’ Championship and has managed to accumulate 161 points without running a race this season, also claimed the fastest lap during last season’s event and seems to have a particular liking for both the track and the conditions.
The race is certainly suited to a young, fit and hungry driver, as the conditions are gruelling and physically draining. With this in mind, Ricciardo seems the most likely to challenge the top two for a prominent place on the podium.