Singapore Grand Prix

Singapore Grand Prix 2019 Preview

charles leclerc

Charles Leclerc

Charles Leclerc made it two Grand Prix victories in as many weeks at the Italian Grand Prix just two weeks ago and the Ferrari man is hunting his third successive victory this weekend. Lewis Hamilton is still in control of his own fate in the race to win the 2019 Formula One World Championship but Leclerc’s recent form will give the Mercedes man food for thought.

However, Hamilton is still 102 points clear of the Ferrari driver as focus turns to this week’s Singapore Grand Prix. Hamilton’s closest challenger in the world title race is still Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas – though the Finnish star has had little chance to close the gap on Hamilton. At the time of writing, Hamilton is 63 points clear of Bottas with just seven races remaining.

Hamilton’s record at the Marina Bay Street Circuit is exceptional. The British driver has won the Singapore Grand Prix four times – level with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel for the most wins in the race. Mercedes have gone slightly off the boil since the mid-season summer break but it would be foolish to write Hamilton off. Without a doubt, he is the best driver in the sport, if not the greatest in Formula One history.

The five-time world champion made it back-to-back wins in this race last year as he held off a late charge from Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen. Hamilton will take some stopping if he is back to his brilliant best and the 6/4 available with Betway for the Mercedes man to sit top of the podium come the chequered flag could turn out to be a huge price.

Given the nature of Singapore’s intricate circuit, Verstappen is next in the Grand Prix betting odds at 7/4 with 888Sport. The Red Bull driver looks destined to win the Formula One world title at some point in the not-so-distant future and he can claim his eighth Grand Prix victory this weekend. Watch this space, Verstappen will be bang in contention with a good showing in qualifying on Saturday.

Verstappen is currently third in the World Championship standings and the Red Bull driver will be happy enough with his performance in 2019. With two Grand Prix triumphs and five podium places, Verstappen is heading in the right direction – especially given Mercedes’ run of dominance in recent years. The young Dutchman could be celebrating Grand Prix victory number eight with a bit of luck under the Singapore floodlights.

Valtteri Bottas and Charles Leclerc come next in the betting – most bookmakers are finding it tough to split the two drivers. William Hill are offering an industry best 10/1 for Leclerc to make it three Grand Prix wins in a row whilst BetFred are going 9/1 for Bottas to claim only his third victory of the campaign. The title dream is still just about alive for both men so expect Bottas and Leclerc to go hell for leather to try and emerge victorious.

Singapore has not been kind to Bottas throughout his Formula One career, with the Finnish driver finishing on the podium just once in seven trips to the Marina Bay Street Circuit. He will need plenty of luck to finish above the likes of Hamilton, Verstappen and Leclerc – and that’s before we even take four-time world champion and four-time Singapore Grand Prix winner Sebastian Vettel into account.

max verstappen

Max Verstappen

Meanwhile, Leclerc is now seriously challenging Vettel’s status as the number one driver at Ferrari. He has won two Grand Prix races to Vettel’s none and he has also finished on the podium seven times to Vettel’s six. Sooner rather than later, Ferrari are going to rank the two drivers equally and 2020 could be Leclerc’s time to take centre stage for the Italian team.

Vettel has struggled in recent races but we shouldn’t dismiss the German driver lightly. At the time of writing, the four-time world champion is 1/2 to finish inside the top six and that looks a huge price given Ferrari’s strength in the sport. The Marina Bay Street Circuit isn’t expected to suit the Ferrari necessarily but SportingBet customers should snap that price up.

Looking at the fastest lap markets, Verstappen could be the way to go here. As previously mentioned, this track should suit the Dutchman down to the ground and 3/1 with Betfair looks overpriced. Plenty of punters will expect the Red Bull driver to go close in his pursuit of glory and Verstappen should race prominently barring an early exit in qualifying. Driving through the field is not ideal at such a tight circuit…

If you like Hamilton’s chances but want some insurance in case Bottas comes charging up the field, you can back either Mercedes driver to win at EVS with William Hill. Placing your faith in the two World Championship leaders is easy enough and that price will look silly if Mercedes romp home with a 1-2 this weekend. The German giants haven’t been quite as dominant in 2019 as they have in previous years but that still looks a decent bet.

The Singapore Grand Prix is scheduled to stay on the Formula One calendar until 2012 and it is one of the most exciting races in the sport. With at least one safety car deployed in every Singapore Grand Prix since it was introduced to Formula One in 2008, we could be set for another dramatic edition of this great race. And with the event taking place at night, it only adds to the excitement surrounding the Grand Prix.

Expecting a straight-up dogfight between Hamilton and Verstappen would be foolish – this is one of Formula One’s more unpredictable races. Yes, Hamilton has an excellent record at the track but anything can happen at Singapore and a safety car at an unfortunate time in the race will bunch the field up. Verstappen is the master of exploiting change during a race and the Red Bull driver is just about the value pick at 7/4.

RACE WINNER: Max Verstappen (7/4 with 888Sport)

TOP 6 FINISH: Sebastian Vettel (1/2 with SportingBet)

About Singapore GP

History

One of the more modern races in the sport, the first Singapore Grand Prix in Formula One took place back in 2008. Now known all over the world, the race is unique for a number of reasons – none more so than the fact that the Grand Prix is held at night. It is the only active ‘night race’ on the Formula One calendar, with Bahrain hosting a special evening race as a one-off in 2014.

It has been a regular feature on the circuit since that first GP in 2008 and the Singapore race is as popular with the drivers as it is with motorsport fans. With humid conditions expected annually at the Marina Bay Street Circuit, the race is always scheduled for later in the evening when the conditions are at least bearable.

Last year’s race marked the highest three-day attendance since the inaugural Grand Prix in 2008 and organisers are expecting similar numbers this year. With over 87,000 motorsport fans in attendance at the Marina Bay Street Circuit, there will be an incredible atmosphere generated on track – particularly if we are treated to an open and exciting race.

Winners

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel have four wins apiece at the Singapore Grand Prix and both men should feature prominently in the 2019 race this weekend. Hamilton has won the last two Grand Prix events at Singapore and plenty of punters will be backing the Mercedes man to make it three wins in a row.

Three of Vettel’s four Singapore Grand Prix wins came during his Red Bull Racing days but his most recent triumph in 2015 was with Ferrari. With two victories in this race since 2008, Ferrari have enjoyed reasonable success at the track and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see Vettel or teammate Charles Leclerc finish top of the podium.

Mercedes are the most successful Formula One team here, with five victories since the 2009 campaign. Currently clear at the top of the Constructors’ Championship, the German giants have won this race four times in the last five years and Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas could find themselves battling it out at the top of the grid.

Fastest Lap

2018 was a particularly quick year at the Singapore Grand Prix. Hamilton was unstoppable in qualifying, romping to pole position after an extremely fast 1:36:015 lap. The Mercedes man has been rapid at the Marina Bay Street Circuit in recent years and he will be difficult to stop if he manages to secure top spot in Saturday’s final qualifying session.

Guess who recorded the fastest lap during last year’s Grand Prix? Kevin Magnusson. Put that question to most Formula One fans and the majority would get it wrong but yes, Magnusson holds the record for the quickest ever lap during the Singapore race. Racing for Haas-Ferrari, Magnusson set a blistering 1:41:905 to record the feat but will someone beat that in 2019?

Interesting Facts

singapore grand prix circuit

Marina Bay Circuit

The 2019 race will mark the 12th edition of the Singapore Grand Prix in Formula One. EVERY race so far has seen at least one safety car deployed – either due to a collision or adverse weather conditions. Because of this, the Singapore race is usually one of the longer races in the sport.

Custom-made floodlights are used at the Marina Bay Street Circuit to provide suitable light for racing. There are approximately 1,600 specially designed lights located around the track – with all 1,600 meeting Formula One’s broadcasting standards to minimise glare to improve conditions for drivers and viewers.

Red Bull have recorded 12 podium finishes at the Singapore Grand Prix – making them the most successful team in this category. To put their efforts into perspective, Mercedes and Ferrari have combined for six in total. Expect the Red Bull drivers to be bang in contention this weekend.

No driver has failed to finish more than three times at the Marina Bay Circuit. Surprisingly, Hamilton – who has four wins at the track – is tied for the joint-most DNFs with three.

The Future

In 2017, race organisers signed an agreement to keep the Singapore Grand Prix on the Formula One calendar until 2021. Now one of the biggest races in the sport, it is almost impossible to envision a campaign without the Singapore race – fans travel from all over the world to take in the splendours of the Marina Bay Street Circuit.

Most importantly, the Singapore Grand Prix takes place at a very important stage of the Formula One season. As things stand, the World Championship race is still well and truly on and the result at Singapore could determine who goes on to lift the title. Motor racing fans will be hoping that the Singapore race continues to thrive and fingers crossed for a long and successful future in the sport.