Heat, humidity, thunderstorms and a street circuit on which the safety car usually makes an appearance – the Singapore Grand Prix is not a Formula One race on which one should take short odds because, frankly, anything could happen.
There have been numerous good opportunities to back Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg this year and, while one is not saying for one moment that the Silver Arrows team is not the one to beat in the Singapore Grand Prix, one would prefer to look elsewhere for the best value bet.
One opined before the Italian Grand Prix that, because of the state of the Formula One championship and the state of his mind, Rosberg was not a viable betting proposition for at least the next few races and, perhaps, the rest of the season. Rosberg leads Hamilton by 22 points with six races remaining and, if the German finishes more of those events than the Briton, the championship will be almost all over.
There will be plenty of Formula One punters who will not shy away from backing Hamilton at odds of -125 with BetVictor and Coral to win the Singapore Grand Prix. Their pro-Hamilton arguments will include that he won the 2009 Singapore Grand Prix and he was well on his way to winning the 2012 edition when his gearbox failed on lap 22. Also, they will point out that four of the six renewals of the Singapore Grand Prix since its reintroduction in 2008 have been won by the pole sitter and one could argue that the two that missed out – Fernando Alonso in 2008 and Hamilton in 2012 – were unlucky due to things outside their control.
But rather than back Hamilton at odds on to win the Singapore Grand Prix one would prefer to back Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo at +110 with BetVictor and William Hill to make it seven top-three finishes from his last 10 races on a track that has been extremely kind to his team in recent years.
Sebastian Vettel has won each of the last three editions of the Singapore Grand Prix but Ricciardo has overtaken the four-time Formula One champion in the space of just six months with Red Bull and it looks as though the team is starting to favour the Australian over the German.
Do not be put off by Ricciardo’s fifth place in the Italian Grand Prix: the Monza layout was never going to favour Red Bull over the Mercedes-powered cars and the Australian had the double nightmare of bombing the start and having his strategy compromised. That Ricciardo finished the best of the drivers without a Mercedes-powered car in spite of all that was an outstanding achievement, perhaps the finest in what has been a breakthrough season for the Australian.
The Marina Bay Street Circuit is ideal terrain for Red Bull and Ricciardo, who has taken the chequered flag first (Canada), second (Australia, although he was disqualified subsequently) and third (Monaco) in this year’s other races on tracks that double as public roads, is the team’s star performer having beaten Vettel in eight of the nine races that both of them have completed. Vettel’s fall from grace has been dramatic and there appears to be no way back.
Singapore Grand Prix punters who want to bet on one of the race head-to-head markets could do a lot worse than back Ricciardo at odds of -143 with Bwin to beat Vettel. The dominance of Ricciardo over Vettel has been extraordinary and one should not be afraid to oppose the German even though he is a three-time Singapore Grand Prix winner.
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