Singapore Grand Prix Betting: Red Bull And Sauber Worth A Shot Under The Lights


Strange things can happen when the sun goes down, the lights come on, and the racing begins at Singapore. Formula One's original night race has a habit of throwing up the unexpected.

With 23 corners packed into little more than five kilometres, on a temporary course lined with unforgiving barriers, the Marina Bay circuit is one of the most punishing in F1 - for cars as well as drivers. Although the race takes place after dark, the heat and humidity remain stifling, sapping the drivers' energy in a race which frequently hits the two-hour mark. The stop-start configuration tortures brakes and gearboxes, and the heat pushes engine temperatures towards their extremes.

This all serves to explain why it's not unusual to see damaged or exhausted machinery stopped at the side of the track at Singapore and, as a result, why this race has never gone the distance without the Safety Car appearing at least once every year since the race was first held in 2008.

So while Mercedes have claimed every pole position this year and won all bar two of the twelve races, they can afford to take nothing for granted at this tricky, oddball of a race. Twelve months ago one of their cars was struck down before the race even started - and the last race at Monza was the first where one of their cars has been halted by a technical problem.

Mercedes, of course, are favourites by miles - Lewis Hamilton is 1.48 to win, Nico Rosberg 3.25. But they are beatable, as we saw in Malaysia and Hungary, which makes odds of 9.00 on victory for Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari quite appealing: he's finished the last five races here in the top two positions.

 

Red Bull best of the rest?

Ferrari, though, may not be the closest contenders to Mercedes for once. Red Bull identified this race long ago as one which should minimise the deficit of their Renault engine and play to the other strengths of their RB11: downforce, grip and braking. The team even put fresh power units in their cars at the last race, taking grid penalties, so they would have fresher units for this weekend.

Their odds on victory are long: Daniel Ricciardo, three times a winner last year, on 46.00 and Daniil Kvyat, who grittily completed last year's race without a drinks bottle, on 61.00. They might not have the performance to take on the Mercedes outright, but their performance over a long stint on soft tyres is excellent, and in a Safety Car scenario they could be in a very strong position indeed. And even if not, 4.00 on Ricciardo for a podium and 6.00 for Kvyat is worth a look.

 

Top ten tip

With Mercedes so dominant at the moment it pays to look beyond the victory odds for the best betting options. You'll find a great return on Sauber getting both their cars in the top ten this weekend: 16.00.

They've managed that twice so far this year - in Australia and China - and have been very close in the last three races: tenth and eleventh in Hungary, the same in Belgium, and ninth and thirteenth last time out, with Felipe Nasr so far behind only because he picked up a puncture on the last lap. Intriguingly, the team also have what they call "a rather significant aerodynamic refinement" on their Ferrari-engined C34s this weekend. Despite their inexperience drivers Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr know the track well, making this a bet worth considering. 

Keith Collantine is the editor of Formula One blog F1 Fanatic