Motorsport: Night fever as Mercedes start 1-2 in Singapore

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Updated: September 21, 2014
Night becomes day in the Marina Bay precinct (pictured) as F1 action goes under lights for the 2014 Singapore Grand Prix

Night becomes day in the Marina Bay precinct (pictured) as F1 action goes under lights for the 2014 Singapore Grand Prix

2014 Formula 1 Season; Singapore Grand Prix betting preview: Marina Bay Circuit, Singapore; Sunday, September 21, 10pm

It’s race 14 of the 2014 F1 season, with Singapore’s Marina Bay Circuit hosting one of the more spectacular GPs of the season under lights. Two weeks ago at Monza, Lewis Hamilton earned a much-needed win, and his first victory since the British Grand Prix to claw back some of the margin on teammate Nico Rosberg in the race to this years drivers championship. Rosberg led the early running after Hamilton suffered a sluggish getaway, but as Hamilton closed in he forced two crucial errors from the German to take the lead position and cruise to victory. Despite sitting 22 points behind in the driver’s championship, momentum does appear to have shifted to Hamilton, who generally has superior race pace over his teammate. After being punished internally by the Mercedes team for his actions at Spa and errors at Monza, Rosberg appears to be more vulnerable under pressure. With the two qualifying on the front row again it’s not hard to imagine an incident between the two on the tight Singapore street circuit.

The setting for this weekend’s race is the spectacularly floodlit Marina Bay street circuit, featuring F1’s only night race. The track has a low average speed of 175km/h, which is typical of a concrete-lined street track, with lower speeds helping close the power gap to the Mercedes runners. There are two very low speed corners and the throttle is wide open for less than 50 per cent of the lap, which in contrast to the fast straights and curves of Monza a fortnight ago. The track places a huge emphasis on aerodynamic downforce, which suits Mercedes and Red Bull who took the top four places at this year’s other street race in Monaco. There is a high incident rate in Singapore with the face featuring at least one safety car period each year since the first Singapore GP in 2008. Sebastian Vettel is the most prolific winner of the Singapore race, with victories on his past three visits to the venue.

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso is the only other multiple winner of the event, with Rosberg finishing one place in front of Hamilton in 2013 with 4th and 5th place respectively. It’s been tough to find betting value in the past few races as the winner’s market continues to be a two-horse race, with Hamilton shaping up as an unbackable favourite this weekend. Similarly with just one podium space left after an assumed Mercedes 1-2, the place market is also tough, with Ricciardo, Vettel, Bottas and now Alonso all potential podium finishers. Lewis Hamilton again looks very good at $1.60 to take maximum points. Rosberg is $3.75 to take the win, but appears less likely to take any risks to beat Hamilton, when a string of second place finishes will all but guarantee an inaugural world championship for the German. Outside the two Mercedes, Ricciardo would have to be a great chance but faces a nervous run to the first corner with his teammate Vettel starting alongside in fourth. Alonso had a promising qualifying with the Ferrari showing good aero balance and mechanical grip, with its power deficit negated by the nature of the circuit.

 


Confirmed bets

Sebastian Vettel top 3 (one unit @ $2.75) – after a second row qualifying result and three wins on the trot at this relatively unique venue, Vettel had to be considered the most likely to join the Mercedes duo on the podium. Should Hamilton or Rosberg strike trouble, his claims will only be stronger.

Daniel Ricciardo fastest lap (0.5 units @ $8.00) – the Aussie has become known for storming home to the flag, often being the bigger improver after the final pit stops. The result is two fastest laps in the last three races. Based on his recent form $8.00 is excellent value.

 

Most recent results: 1-1, no change; overall record: 9-12, -2.5 units

Lewis Hamilton WIN (two units @ $1.50) WIN (1st)

Valtteri Bottas top 3 (one unit @ $1.65) LOSE (4th)

• Selections are listed in three categories – 1) Suggested (likely bet but yet to be finalised); 2) Confirmed (locked in at the price listed); and 3) Leans (tips, but not recommended bets); all times quoted are Australian Eastern Time (AET); prices with thanks to Unibet (except where markets are not available), correct at time of publication. Results/comments on today’s games/races will follow in the next post.

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