Singapore Grand Prix Betting: Mercedes good value for success

By now you don't need me to tell you that backing Sebastian Vettel for victory in the Singapore Grand Prix is not a worthwhile venture.

In Italy he became the first driver this year to score back-to-back wins, and his odds on taking pole position and winning this weekend have been cut to 2.20 and 2.30 respectively.

But there are more than a few glimmers of hope for those looking to have a punt on this weekend's race. Singapore is a gruelling Grand Prix - it may be held at night but the temperatures are high, the track is bumpy and the brakes in particular take a real pounding.


Favourable odds on Mercedes

One driver who has won here before and is definitely worth checking out this weekend is Lewis Hamilton. Mercedes did not have a great race in Italy but they expect to be back at the sharp end on Sunday as F1 returns to the kind of track they've thrived on this year.

Singapore is all about peak downforce - cranking the wings up to the maximum to plant the car on the road as firmly as possible. Mercedes have excelled in this trim so far, with Nico Rosberg winning in Monaco and Hamilton in Hungary.

Hamilton gets my nod for this weekend because he's won here before, in 2009, and was on course for victory last year until his car broke down. He offers reasonable odds of 4.50 to win on Sunday.

However his teammate is not to be ignored. Rosberg has won twice already this season, finished on the podium here for Williams in 2008 and was having a strong race in 2009 before collecting a drive-through penalty. With odds of 6.00 for pole and 15.00 for the win, backing Rosberg could pay off very handsomely indeed.

Also worth a look for the win is Kimi Raikkonen. He hit the headlines last week when Ferrari confirmed he will return to them next year despite having dropped him just four seasons ago.

Lotus are another team who thrive on high downforce circuits in hot temperatures. He's on odds of 12.00 now which is worth considering, and keep an eye on what happens to his odds if he qualified in the top two or three rows, from where he could make a bid for victory.

Podium prospects

Singapore is a race that often produces the unpredictable. You will get short odds on the Safety Car making an appearance: this is the sixth running of the race and in every previous edition it has been deployed at least once.

Given that, and the car-breaking tendencies of the punishing circuit, consider backing an unlikely name to make an appearance on the podium.

Nico Hulkenberg is a man of the moment - he was on Ferrari's shortlist to replace Felipe Massa and is tipped by many to be favoured by Lotus to jump into Kimi Raikkonen's empty seat next year.

In Italy he stunned the paddock by putting his Sauber third on the grid, then bringing it home fifth in the race. He's a very long shot for a podium in Singapore but with odds of 200.00 for a top three finish you could get a big return for minimal outlay.

Paul di Resta claimed a career-best fourth place in this race last year and impressed on his 2011 debut at the track with sixth. Force India have struggled with the new-specification tyres in recent races but he is another driver who potentially offers very rewarding odds at 175.00.

Keith Collantine is the editor of Formula One blog F1 Fanatic