#20 FORMULA 1 SINGAPORE AIRLINES GRAND PRIX -Preview
A very warm hello from Singapore and welcome back to all of you. I hope you are enjoying the migration from Tumblr to our very own website. What a come-back weekend it is, especially here in Singapore, for the 10th anniversary of this now iconic venue.
It's going to be a sweaty one, physically and climate speaking, as chances of rain is expected on Sunday.
A lot of things are happening at the moment within the Paddock, the good news is everything is starting to fall into place. Let me just give you a brief summary of the key movers and shakers:
Firstly, McLaren will announce today that it is withdrawing from the partnership with its engine Honda. They will head towards Renault for the next three seasons and then (spoiler alert), will launch its own McLaren engine for the start of the F1 season in 2021, when new engine regulations will come into play.
Secondly, Honda will power Torro-Rosso next year and rumour has that it will power as well Red-Bull in 2019. However, I hear from my own sources within the Paddock something completely different. Aston Martin will power Red-Bull from 2019 with a deal involving a Mercedes re-branded engine (as Daimler is a part owner of Aston Martin).
Thirdly, this will mean from the driver's side that Carlos Sainz will drive next year for Renault on a "loan" basis from Red Bull. Alonso will continue the adventure with McLaren, Charles LeClerc will drive for Sauber alongside Ericson. That leaves one driver that I am still hesitating on his future and that is Felipe Massa.
Williams need to have a driver that is 25 years and above, as their main sponsor Martini require it in their contract for the promotion of their brands. Therefore, Williams needs to have an older driver racing alongside Lance Stroll. There are four names that revolve around this seat:
Each of these four names are potential, I ranked them in order of likelihood to whom the seat will be attributed to, from my perspective of course.
Over the next weeks, I will discuss more about other news that are floating around the Paddock but now it's time to focus back on the racing in Singapore.
The Grand Prix Weekend
This weekend we are celebrating the Singapore Grand Prix's 10th anniversary. Feels like yesterday 2008, when Nelson Piquet Jr deliberately crashed his car into the wall to allow Alonso to win the inaugural Grand Prix.
Despite being among the most breathtaking circuit on the calendar, it's going to be the most physically demanding race of the year. The humidity, high temperatures, new power of the car, G-forces in the braking and cornering, will allow for some great spectacle. This is circuit with the most corners of the year with 23. As stated before, rain is expected for the start of the race and should disappear after couple of laps.
For the drivers it's something unique, as they are night owls during these four days. All of them stay on European time zone, therefore they go to sleep when the sun rises and wake up when the sun is setting. The reason is for the body to be fully awake and allow it to perform at its peak performance during practice, qualifying and the race.
Here are some stats for those needing some historical facts for their bets:
Betting suggestion for the Singapore-Weekend
GP Winner: Bet on the honey-badger that is Daniel Ricciardo. The slow corner makes this track a very pleasant hunting ground for the Red-Bull. The winner of this GP, has been 9 out of 10 times from pole with the exception being from Lewis Hamilton. The reason to bet on Dani-Ric (as they call him in the paddock) is based on both statistics and my gut feeling, as in the last three years he has always finished on the podium, with last year almost winning the race. Plus the chap, deserves it, after a failed Australian GP, this is the nearest track to his home country. This proximity to Australia, make this circuit a big attraction for Australian and therefore he has the crowd support this weekend. Last but not least and the most important factor, he has a new haircut freshly cut for the weekend, therefore as he states “my haircut has been trimmed to aerodynamically allow me to win this race”.
Mercedes and Ferrari, will struggle. Mercedes car is too long for this kind of circuit, as we saw in Monaco. It will be a tight battle between both Ferrari and Mercedes, but clearly no wins for either one. Therefore, hold your bets for Malaysia in two weeks time.
Fans of McLaren, if the engine doesn't blow up, then there is a good chance of Alonso and Stoffel scoring some points.
Joker: Nico Hulkenberg, I think he can do a good weekend with scoring some good points. But sadly will earn the title Sunday night of the F1 driver with the most races in Formula 1 without scoring a podium.
Safety Car period during the race: No, I know it’s risky but sometimes you got to listen to your gut feeling. Saying yes, is too safe in my opinion and I’d rather bet no and leave the less-riskiest bet for Vettel & Hamilton not colliding.
Vettel vs. Hamilton: Hamilton will out-classify Vettel, and bet that they wont collide (the potential earnings will allow you to buy a baguette).
Fastest Pit-Stop: Williams
Please Gamble Responsibly
That is your lot from me, best of luck to those betting and enjoy this now classic GP for the others.
ps: dont forget to follow me on Twitter @m_piekarski