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Singapore Showdown

The Formula 1 paddock heads to Singapore this weekend for round 15 of the championship. It was this time last year that Mercedes seemed to suffer the most, during an almost blemish free season. So have the defending champions figured out the problems that held them back in the race at the Marina Bay street circuit in 2015 or will they suffer the same fate?

Nico Rosberg closed the gap to Lewis Hamilton to a mere 2 points over the last two races and victory in Singapore would see the German retake the lead in the championship. But Rosberg has been very cautious in his predictions leading up to this weekend’s action. Both he and Hamilton are very aware of the fact that the street circuit suits the Red Bull’s amazing chassis while Ferrari took their third and final victory of the 2015 season at the same venue. Only 11 points separate Red Bull and Ferrari in the constructors championship so not only with both teams be hoping that they can challenge Mercedes for the victory but the consolidation of 2nd place in standings is also of utmost importance. Getting both cars over the finish line in the points will be at the top of both teams to-do list.

The mid-field battle continues to rage on between Williams and Force India and between McLaren and Toro Rosso. Williams managed to sneak back in 4th place overall in the constructor standings just 3 points ahead of Force India. Both teams will continue to trade blows under the spotlights in Singapore and will be hoping to throw their names into the hat for the podium fight.

After a dismal start to the year, McLaren have fought their way up the standings and are now 3 points ahead of Toro Rosso in the tightly contested battle for 6th place. Fernando Alonso always manages to pull a rabbit out of a hat on race day and with Jenson Button racing for his future in the sport the duo are set to battle closer to the sharp end of the field. What the McLaren lacks in power, it certainly makes up in handling, the perfect set-up for the Marina Bay circuit. Unfortunately for Toro Rosso, the Italian manufacturers are still stuck with the underperforming 2015 Ferrari engine that they cannot upgrade. So while their competitors have made gains in engine performance, their lack of development was abundantly clear at the power dependant Spa and Monza tracks.

Hamilton’s shocking start at Monza let me down in the previous round. This week’s predictions are going to be extremely hard to get spot on but I’m going to root for the underdogs. Look out for the Red Bulls and the Ferraris to spoil the Mercedes party in Singapore.

  1. Daniel Ricciardo 2. Sebastian Vettel 3. Max Verstappen

Enjoy the race and if you’re taking a bet, the best of luck to you. You can also catch me on Twitter @ChrisFletch46 for questions, comments and all sorts of banter.

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