The Formula 1 season has entered a crunch period with only seven races left to go, starting with this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix. These are desperate times for Sebastian Vettel after he saw Lewis Hamilton move 30 points clear in the Drivers’ championship in Italy.
The Marina Bay Circuit is supposed to be a Ferrari track, but the same was said of Monza and look at how that ended. This is the venue where Vettel’s title dream died last year and he risks a repeat of that heartache if he does not win this time around.
Sebastian Vettel to win the Singapore Grand Prix @ 23/20
Lady luck was not on the side of the German this time 12 months ago when he took to the streets of Singapore. Qualifying on pole, the four-time world champion was wiped out at the first corner after a collision with Max Verstappen and team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.
Hamilton went on to win the Grand Prix and never looked back from that point on, winning two of the next three races to clinch the title. Given the Brit’s lead heading back to the Far East, Singapore could again be the pivotal race in the season.
Vettel was the pick to get back on track in Italy a fortnight ago but a first lap coming together with Hamilton ruined that suggestion. We go back to the well with the 31-year-old again because Singapore is a circuit he usually enjoys, winning four times since its re-introduction to the F1 calendar.
The tight and twisty street circuit, lit up by 1,500 lighting projectors, is the second slowest on the calendar, behind Monaco, a track Ferrari were strong at this year.
The Scuderia’s case is strengthened by the suggestion this is a track Mercedes traditionally struggle on. However, that looks an oversight given they have won three of the last four races. Hamilton, who has won three times in the city-state, is a tempting 33/10 to effectively seal the Drivers’ Championship.
Max Verstappen podium position @ 5/7
It would be wise not to sleep on the Red Bulls come this Sunday given their success around the streets of Monaco earlier in the year, Daniel Ricciardo taking the chequered flag.
The Australian is 20/21 to grab a space on the podium in Singapore but it is team-mate Verstappen who makes a stronger case after another fine drive in Italy. A questionable five second penalty saw him demoted from third to fifth but he can go close on Sunday.
Verstappen had looked quick in the Far East last year before his first lap crash and you may even fancy the Dutchman at 15/4 to grab his second win of the season.
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