Singapore GP, Practice One: Daniel Ricciardo and Red Bull set the pace

Vettel trailed home in third place, more than half a minute behind the Briton, and lost the overall lead he had enjoyed all season with Hamilton now three points clear and seven races remaining.


The Englishman’s dominant victory at Monza ensured his first visit to the summit of the title race this season, but his Mercedes team are cautious that the twisty nature of the Marina Bay street circuit will be more suited to Vettel and his Ferrari vehicle this weekend.

Yes, Red Bull should join Ferrari and Mercedes to make it a fantastic challenge between six of the best drivers in the world.

This is a vehicle which caused Mercedes considerable angst in Monaco, with Ferrari in a different pace league all weekend at the Principality.

Red Bull, who took Vettel to three of his wins, boast the best record of all teams in Singapore and see this year’s race as a real opportunity.

But it will not be easy to conquer the tight and twisty circuit, which is also one of the most humid tracks, with drivers required to perform an average of 4,800 gear changes (compared to 2,000 for Silverstone and 3,100 for Sepang) while losing 4kg of sweat during the race.

Hamilton has 112 podiums to date and is second on the all-time list behind Schumacher (155).

“We will aim to put all the pieces of the puzzle together and finish strongly”. “In theory it should be better here than Monza, but I think it will be close”. Arrivabene made several comments over the course of the last race weekend that this track would be more favorable to his cars and Sebastian Vettel will come to the circuit in Marina Bay as the driver to beat.

“I expected this”, said Ricciardo, runner up in Singapore in each of the last two years.

As he has done so many times this season, Max Verstappen showed real pace at Monza, but had nothing to show for it. Vettel has excelled throughout 2017 and, aside from the occasional blip, his performances have been back to the level we saw consistently when he was at Red Bull.

“Red Bull seem like they’re very strong. but nothing is out of reach”.

Lewis Hamilton has been on the top of the podium twice around the Marina Bay circuit. The 26-year-old Englishman is one of only two drivers yet to score a point this season, and he has been out-qualified by his Renault team-mate Nico Hulkenberg at every round this year.

“So far this year, we have seen the pendulum swing according to circuit type”.

Monza was another race of what could have and should have been for Verstappen, and he will be hoping that he can have a clean, and strong race weekend in Singapore, where Red Bull are quietly optimistic of challenging for victory.

“We all know that Daniel is very, very quick here”, Verstappen said.


“If we can get the auto in a place we’re comfortable in, then I think we’ll definitely be strong”, said the Briton. “I’m enjoying things so far and it’s great fun driving these cars around this circuit”. Absolutely. I think that would complete the story as well.

Mercedes chief Toto Wolff fears a Ferrari and Red Bull revival at the Singapore Grand Prix