[F1 Form Guide: Singapore Grand Prix
F1 heads back to the lights of Singapore this weekend where changes to the circuit are set to test the teams with their set-up and potentially bring some unpredictability into the mix.
A sequence of four very slow and tight corners towards the end of the lap has been cut out and replaced by a new straight section, which will shorten lap times and provide a new chance for overtaking – which was previously very difficult.
The circuit, which is one of few that run counter-clockwise, retains its previous high downforce focus but teams expect it to be kinder on tyres and the effects of this on the rest of the lap could make old data of limited use.
Teams will have to be quick to work out how to get up to speed, and with thunderstorms predicted through the day on Sunday – albeit lessening by race start – there could be some opportunities for upsets.
Carlos Sainz took pole for Ferrari at the last race, in Monza, but it is his team-mate, Charles Leclerc, who has actually been on pole in Singapore in F1’s last two visits – albeit by taking his chances in a drying session last year. Verstappen is still pole favourite at 23/50, with Perez 37/5, but Leclerc is valued at 10/1.
Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23
Photo by: Erik Junius
The high downforce nature of the Singapore track mimics circuits like Spain and Hungary – and earlier this year the latter saw Lewis Hamilton start from the front for the only time this season. His Mercedes keeps improving and he is currently also 10/1 for pole, also good value.
Out of the rest of the field, McLarens was strong in Hungary, qualifying third and fourth with Norris actually topping the times in Q2, and after a difficult recent run, they will be looking to bounce back. At 15/1, a Norris pole is not particularly great value, though.
Sergio Perez won a chaotic rain-affected race in Singapore last year, but those rare conditions make it difficult to follow form from that event, particularly given the changes in the circuit for this year could also make a difference.
Clearly, with a record-breaking 10 consecutive wins, it is hard to predict anything other than a Verstappen victory. However, his run must surely stop at some point. That said, he won 15 times last year and is 13/50 for the win.
Victory for Perez is at 43/5 (just over 8/1) so even he is looking decent value, while if Hamilton – who has won Singapore three times – can repeat his Hungary form or close to it, his 17/1 for a win or 7/4 for a podium could be interesting.
Aston Martin is currently blowing hot and cold – Fernando Alonso was second in the Netherlands, but ninth in Italy – but the Spaniard has won twice at Marina Bay and had five podiums. His odds to get back in the top three again are 9/4, but given the form fluctuation that could be risky.
Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL60, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60
Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images
Lando Norris is at 2/1 for a podium, but considering Leclerc was second last year his 3/1 for a podium could be seen as better value, especially if he shows signs of being strong in early practice.
In Hungary, the top ten was filled with double finishes for all the big teams – Red Bull, McLaren, Mercedes, Ferrari and Aston Martin – with the latter two at the bottom end. Alex Albon, however, was on the cusp, as was Valtteri Bottas.
Albon was sixth at the last race in Monza, but his Williams favours high-speed circuits – all his points have come on that type of track. Singapore is not one of those, but the new straight may help and Albon’s performance in Hungary suggests he can still deliver at higher downforce. He is at 61/100 for points.
Alpine did well at the higher downforce track in Spain but both cars were out by lap two in Hungary, so they had no chance to perform. They have been off form of late but perhaps could shine a little more in Singapore. Their odds are 7/2 to get both cars in the points, with either driver at 6/5 for a top-ten finish.
Valtteri Bottas managed to secure points for Alfa Romeo Stake in high-downforce configuration in Spain and he also got back on the scoreboard at Monza. If he qualifies well, his current odds of 7/2 for points could be worth considering.
Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo C43, Logan Sargeant, Williams Racing FW45
Photo by: Alfa Romeo
The circuit is notorious for interruptions and the safety car has appeared at least once in every race edition, with a total of 23 deployments in the 13 races of the modern era. This is why the odds of no safety car are at 23/5, while at least one safety car deployment is at 11/100.
Team-mate battles are always an interesting option to look at, especially when it comes to practice. Some of the head-to-heads for first practice can give huge potential value – for example, Lance Stroll is 21/5 to beat Alonso, whose odds are 7/50. He has not achieved that very often, but maybe this time?
Last year’s rain-affected race saw six retirements, with three in 2019, one in 2018, and eight in the rain-hit 2017 race. The odds of less than 17.5 classified finishers are 11/25 while more than 17.5 finishers is at 8/5.
Finally, if there is one way that Verstappen might not win it is because he doesn’t make it to the finish. That has not happened since Australia last year, when a fuel issue set his car on fire, but as a long shot gamble, he is 6/1 to not be classified.