The 2019 Singapore Grand Prix takes place at the Marina Bay Street Circuit on Sunday in a race that always excites the fans. British driver Lewis Hamilton, who won in Singapore last year, is the bookies’ favourite to come out on top at the weekend. Charles Leclerc, however, has picked up two race victories in the last two Formula One Grands Prix, winning in Belgium and Italy. Hamilton, who is priced at odds of 6/4, will be eager to return to winning ways this weekend in Marina Bay, but has the Brit gone off the boil?
With just six rounds left after this one, things are starting to hot up in the race for Formula One medals. Hamilton has an almost unassailable lead at the top of the standings, sitting on a whopping 284 points. The Mercedes man is 63 points ahead of teammate Valtteri Bottas, who is 36 points clear of Max Verstappen. Will anyone be able to stop Hamilton in Singapore at the weekend?
Sunday’s showdown in Singapore will be the 20th running of the Singapore Grand Prix and the 12th held at the Marina Bay Street Circuit. Current world champion Hamilton is the joint most successful driver, winning the Singapore Grand Prix on four occasions along with German Sebastian Vettel. Both racers will be involved in Sunday’s spectacle in Marina Bay. Hamilton prevailed last year, with Max Verstappen coming second and Vettel finishing in third position.
|15/21||Singapore||Marina Bay Street Circuit||308km / 61 Laps|
|Date||Start Time||Finish Time||Forecast Conditions||TV Coverage|
|Practice 1||Fri 20th September||09:30||11:00||Dry / 32°||–|
|Practice 2||Fri 20th September||13:30||15:00||Dry / 32°||–|
|Practice 3||Sat 21st September||11:00||12:00||Dry / 32°||–|
|Qualifying||Sat 21st September||14:00||15:00||Dry / 32°||Sky F1|
|Race||Sun 22nd September||13:10||15:10||Dry / 33°||Sky F1|
Last Season’s Result (2018)
Lewis Hamilton eased to victory in the 2018 Singapore Formula One Grand Prix back in September last year. On his way to yet another F1 title, the British ace beat Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel to the line at the Marina Bay Street Circuit.
Hamilton was unstoppable, winning the race from pole position to secure his fourth victory in Singapore. The Stevenage-born star went on to win four of the last six rounds to claim a fifth world crown.
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||2||18|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||6||8|
|8||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Renault||12||4|
Analysis: Hamilton to Hit Back
Lewis Hamilton has dominated this year’s Grand Prix series, winning a staggering eight of the 14 rounds so far. The Brit is surely on his way to a sixth world championship title this season. However, young Charles Leclerc has won the last two Grands Prix, picking up a win in Belgium before securing a famous victory for Ferrari in Italy last time out.
As mentioned, Hamilton heads to Singapore as the favourite to reign supreme in Marina Bay. Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas are also expected to do well in Asia. Meanwhile, Leclerc is available at the tempting odds of 12/1 to claim a third GP victory in a row. Let’s hope for some spectacular racing at the excellent Marina Bay Circuit on Sunday.
Leclerc Going for Three in a Row
Before victory in Spa last month, Leclerc had never won a Grand Prix. The 21 year old made history by winning in Belgium, as he become the first ever Monegasque Formula One winner. Leclerc dedicated his win to his friend Anthoine Hubert, who was killed in the F2 race the day before.
At Monza last time out, Leclerc pipped Mercedes duo Bottas and Hamilton to the line. He became the first Ferrari driver to win in Italy since Fernando Alonso won the 2010 Italian Grand Prix ahead of Jenson Button. Leclerc is currently available at 12/1 to make it three Grand Prix wins on the spin.
A Better Day for Vettel
Sebastian Vettel had a weekend to forget in Monza a fortnight ago. The German was hoping to make an impact in Ferrari’s home Grand Prix, but the four-time world champion finished way back in 13th place. Vettel had qualified in fourth spot, but the race itself was a poor one. Nevertheless, the 32 year old will be looking for a far better Grand Prix in Singapore, and the Ferrari driver is priced at odds of 11/4 to finish in the top three this weekend.
Can Max be a Thorn in Lewis’ Side?
Max Verstappen currently sits third in the Drivers’ World Championship standings, taking 185 points from 14 races. The 21 year old has picked up two Grand Prix victories this season, winning in Austria and Germany. The Dutchman had a race to forget in Italy, starting in 19th on the grid and damaging his front wing early on. With the title now surely out of reach, Verstappen will be hoping to close the gap on second place Vettel. Hamilton may be the favourite in Singapore, but 15/8 for Max to come out on top in Marina Bay is a very tempting price.
About the Singapore Grand Prix
There are few more breathtakingly stunning Grand Prix circuits than that of Singapore’s, Marina Bay. Even through the day the sights and sounds of the Marina are a stunning place to be, but when the lights get turned on and racing takes place, the cars and the race really comes alive.
The Grand Prix has been running in the country since 2008 and the track took 1 year to the day to complete, at a cost of $33 million, which is actually quite cheap compared to some. Attendances have been pretty consistent as well, with over 300,000 visiting in the first race weekend, and now averaging around the 250,000 mark, making it one of the biggest.
The Marina Bay played host to Formula 1’s first ever night race, where the bright lights lit up the grandstand and cars glistened under the city’s futuristic skyline. The race is one of the toughest of the year, with humidity around 80% and air temperatures, even at night, around 30 degrees Celsius.
The circuit has the most corners of the season, with 23 and with drivers working this hard under the extreme heat, they can lose up to 3kg of body weight during the race.
As cars go across the start/finish line and into turn 1, it’s a fun little section for the drivers, going back and forth through three turns. Cars often are at the highest level of grip here and this allows them to push hard toward the wall, where they are then able to get most traction and the best line out of the section.
You immediately get a sense of it being within a street track, with the walls being very close to the circuit and cars using a lot of the kerb as they move through and onto the back straight. Physically, this is very demanding on the drivers and as they move through the DRS Zone. A lot of pressure is felt on their heels and the back of their legs due to essentially supporting your body on what is known to be a fairly bumpy race track.
As we move into turn 8, this is one of the tighter sections around the track and drivers need to pull the car very much across the track to get the right line into an open turn 9 and then on to what is a reasonably lengthy straight down onto the chicane. Drivers actually use this straight to check on their controls how their lap is going and see if any changes need to be made. It’s one of the few parts on the track they can do this, so it’s an important section.
The chicane is a fast one, with drivers being able to take a lot of the kerb at speeds of around 150kmph, before heading through the “S” bends and then under the tunnel. Drivers then need to take on turn 13, where they can run wide and then across the Anderson bridge, which is more like a motorway than a racetrack given how wide it is. The width also encourages overtaking and slip streaming is done in the run down to turn 14.
The back end of the circuit has a lot more of a street section feel to it and is an area that allows the drivers many different routes throughout the chicanes. Some may choose to clip the apex in order to get a tighter line, but others will run wider in order to be smoother and a little less on tyre use.
Next up is a totally unique section of any race track in the world as drivers actually pass under the grandstand, which creates an amazing view for fans that are sat above it before seeing them, disappearing beneath their feet. Drivers will work through yet another chicane at turns 20 and 21, whilst really getting a feel that they are coming towards the end of the lap.
It’s a great finish section as well and a real rush for the drivers as they meet corners 22 and 23 with high speeds and starting the run back across the start/finish line.
The deal for F1 to head to South East Asia, and more in particular, Singapore, was struck in 2008 by both Bernie Ecclestone, the head of Formula 1 and the Singapore Tourism Board. As part of the deal, it was agreed that the government would co-fund the race, paying around $90 million of the $150 million paid to host the event.
2008 – “CRASHGATE”
2008 saw Singapore host its first Grand Prix. It was met with huge celebration from within the country and with it hundreds of thousands of flocked to the race meeting over the course of the weekend. The race was eventually won by that of Fernando Alonso, who incredibly started in 15th position before working his way through the field.
But, it was Nelson Pique Jr. and the Renault team that took the headlines. Pique Jr. crashed out of the race on lap 14, which meant a safety car was deployed. This played into Alsono’s hands as it meant that the gap between him and Massa, who was leading the race, was massively reduced. Alonso, on the fresher tyres, was able to pass Massa and win the race.
But, it was later reported, after Pique Jr. had been dismissed by Renault that he was ordered to crash his car so that Alonso would get a chance of winning. As a result, Renault accepted their fine, were suspended for 2 years and bosses, Flavio Briatore and Pay Symonds, were removed from their positions within the team.