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Can Sebastian Vettel Close The Gap on Lewis Hamilton in Singapore This Weekend?


After a very impressive start to the season which saw him win the opening two races of the new F1 season in Australia and Bahrain, things have gone a little downhill for Ferrari’s number one driver Sebastian Vettel since. Some indifferent performances on the track, combined with some bad luck and some stellar driving by chief rival Lewis Hamilton means that after the Italian Grand Prix, Vettel heads to Singapore 30 points behind Hamilton in the Driver’s Championship.

It has to be inordinately frustrating for the German, who has played a key role in Ferrari reeling in the advantage Mercedes held over the team last season. The 2018 Ferrari is every bit as reliable as the Mercedes car and on some tracks, it has also proven to be markedly quicker too.

Yet over the last four races, Hamilton has won three and Vettel just once. Vettel also finished fourth in the Ferrari home Grand Prix last time out, when he was involved in a racing incident with Hamilton on the first lap at Monza and spun his car, moving him way down the race order, to the extent that the best he could manage was a fourth-place finish.

That proved to be particularly difficult to take as Hamilton overtook team mate Kimi Raikkonen with ten laps remaining to take the win and the maximum 25 points.

While Raikkonen is involved in a four-way battle for third spot in the Driver’s Championship alongside Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas and the two Red Bull drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen, that quartet are some way off the pace being set by Hamilton and Vettel at the top of the Driver’s Championship.

Formula 1 Driver’s Championship 2018 – Current Standings

Pos Driver Nationality Team Points
1 Lewis Hamilton GB Mercedes 256
2 Sebastian Vettel Germany Ferrari 226
3 Kimi Raikkonen Finland Ferrari 164
4 Valtteri Bottas Finland Mercedes 159
5 Max Verstappen Holland Red Bull 130
6 Daniel Ricciardo Australia Red Bull 118

Given the two dominant personalities in the sport at present, it us unsurprising that the season boils down to Hamilton against Vettel once again and there is no doubt that at the moment, heading into this weekend’s race in Singapore, that it is the British driver that holds the advantage both in terms of points accrued and in recent performance too.

Oddly enough, while Hamilton has a 30-point gap over his Ferrari rival at present, the gap between the teams in terms of the Constructor’s Championship is actually smaller, with Ferrari just 25 points behind Mercedes heading into this weekend’s race.

Formula 1 Constructor’s Championship 2018 Standings

Pos Constructor Points
1 Mercedes 415
2 Ferrari 390
3 Red Bull Racing 248
4 Renault 86
5 Haas 76
6 McLaren 52
7 Force India 32
8 Toro Rosso 30
9 Sauber 19
10 Williams 7

As can clearly be seen, the two automotive giants are well clear of Red Bull in third, who themselves are well clear of the remaining six teams, the best of whom are Renault with just 86 points. So somewhat unusually, this could be a thrilling end to the season for the constructors, a change from previous years when Mercedes have tended to run away with this title and have it sewn up with at least a couple of races to go.

It is worth noting though that a 1-2 finish for a constructor in any race of the F1 season would result in them claiming 43 points, while the best their opponents could do (if their drivers finished 3rd/4th) would be 27 points, so these standings are still very close and liable to change over the next few races.

Can Vettel close the gap in Singapore this weekend?

Last season, Vettel and his team mate Kimi Raikkonen and Red Bull driver Max Verstappen, were involved in a hugely dramatic three-way collision at the start of the Singapore Grand Prix, which was one of the most dramatic moments of the season. This collision somewhat paved the way for Lewis Hamilton to take his third victory at the Singapore Grand Prix.

However, over the years Vettel has the best record in the race of all the drivers competing winning four times in total. Indeed, only two other drivers have won in Singapore since the race was reinstated onto the F1 calendar in 2008. They are two-time winner Fernando Alonso and the 2016 World Champion Nico Rosberg, who is now retired.

Furthermore, Singapore is a track which is known to be one of the toughest of the year. There are a total of 23 corners, one of which swings drivers underneath a grandstand. The humidity, even though this is a night race, is still very oppressive and drivers can lose as much as 3kg during the race through their exertions. Add to that a track which is based partly on a racetrack but also on a street circuit (which is considerably bumpier) and you have a race which will demand a great deal from the driver over the 61 laps of just over five kilometers each.

Of the two main protagonists, it has tended to be Vettel’s car that has performed more strongly on more demanding race circuits, although it should be noted that it was Daniel Ricciardo in the Red Bull that won the race in Monaco this year while Lewis Hamilton was victorious in the streets around Baku in Azerbaijan. Which tends to suggest that this race could be dependent on many factors.

So, if you fancy a flutter with bet365 on the outcome of the race, or on another market, what are the top tips to go for? Let’s take a look at some of the most intriguing markets below.  Remember too, if you have not yet joined bet365 you can do so today by taking up the latest bet365 Sport Welcome Bonus offer.

Top Tips for the Singapore Grand Prix

*All odds outlined below were correct as of 11.30am on Tuesday 11th September 2018 with bet365 Sport.

Outright Winner

If you want to back someone to win the Singapore Grand Prix, then, as with most races this season, it tends to come down to a straight choice between Hamilton and Vettel. You can make a case for either of the Red Bull drivers, Max Verstappen or Daniel Ricciardo to shine here on a circuit which gives their car a more even chance against Ferrari and Mercedes, but Vettel and Hamilton in particular have been so dominant over the last four races, it is hard to see that changing here.

Vettel has the stronger record and likely the slightly better car on this track, so I would back him here at 5/4 with bet365 for the win. However a good value bet may be his team mate Kimi Raikkonen, who is a 9/1 chance to win and would represent a good each-way bet, given how often he has finished on the podium this season.

Fastest Lap

The consensus is that of the three main runners in the Singapore Grand Prix, there will be a point when the Red Bull’s are the quickest of the cars around the track. While I can’t see them winning, I can see either Verstappen or Ricciardo setting the fastest lap. Both are 7/2 chances with bet365 to do precisely this but if I was a betting man, I would be backing Verstappen to hold the fastest lap come the end of the race.