The mighty Max Verstappen secured yet another win in Monza last time out. This time, the teams head to the Marina Bay Street Circuit for the Singapore Grand Prix. Can Lewis Hamilton gain a fifth win around this track? Can Charles Leclerc get pole as he did in 2019? Read on to inform your F1 predictions ahead of the next Formula 1 race of the season with expert insight from Jennie Gow.
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The Marina Bay Street Circuit is one of the most physically demanding on the calendar; its tight and twisty nature combined with the high humidity provides a stern test for both car and driver. This means that there is always a chance that if you are betting on the race with Pinnacle, you could witness an upset or two due to the difficulty of the track and the physical demands that it requires to be successful around it. And who doesn’t like backing an outside winner?
Racing under the glare of thousands of floodlights through the centre of the vibrant city-state, it is no surprise that the Singapore Grand Prix has established itself as one of the most anticipated races of the year – but how can bettors find an edge in their betting on this challenging track?
At just over 5km long, the Singapore Grand Prix was F1’s first-ever night race. It began in 2008 and there have been 12 races since. F1 hasn’t taken to the streets of Singapore since 2019, with the race cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid-19, and excitement is high for its long-awaited return.
F1 Drivers’ Championship betting: Will Verstappen win the title at Marina Bay?
No one has ever won the title in Singapore so this could be a first for Formula 1! This season, there are 22 races scheduled to take place – this being round 17. There will be five races left to go this season after Singapore, the same amount that was left when Nigel Mansell won the title in 1992. Michael Schumacher won his 2002 title with six races left until the end of the season, wrapping up the title at the French Grand Prix in July 2002. So it can – and has – been done before.
There will be a maximum of 138 points up for grabs in the remaining races of the season after Singapore. Currently, Max Verstappen leads the standings by 116 points, so he needs to earn 22 points more than second-placed driver Leclerc to be named world champion this weekend. That means Verstappen must win to be in with a chance of wrapping up the title in Singapore – and even then, he would have to wait to see where Leclerc and Sergio Perez (currently third in the Drivers’ Championship) finish.
I think it’s a slim chance that Verstappen will be crowned world champion in Singapore.
For Verstappen to be crowned world champion in Singapore, he would need to win the race and hope Leclerc finishes ninth or lower and Perez doesn’t finish on the podium. If Verstappen wins and sets the fastest lap, Leclerc must finish eighth or lower and Perez must finish outside of the podium places.
I think it’s a slim chance that Verstappen will win in Singapore by such a margin that he will wrap up the Drivers’ Championship, but it could happen. There have been only three occasions where Leclerc has finished outside the top eight this season – and all three have been when he failed to finish. And Perez has finished on the podium seven times this season and could do so again here.
I think it’s much more likely that we see Verstappen be crowned a two-time world champion next weekend in Japan.
Formula 1 2022 – a record-breaking season for Verstappen?
The world record for most race wins by a single driver in a single season is jointly held by Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel, with 13 wins each in a season. Schumacher won 13 out of 18 races in 2004 and Vettel won 13 out of 19 races in 2013. Verstappen currently has 11 wins to his name this season.
With six races still to go this season and Verstappen seemingly unstoppable at the moment, it seems highly likely that he will break the record this year. Add his excellent form to the fact that these days we have more races than ever before and it seems very likely to happen. No one is close to Verstappen in terms of pace at the moment, with Ferrari, Mercedes, and even the other Red Bull car lagging far behind.
Singapore Grand Prix 2022: Can outsider Hamilton secure a fifth win?
Vettel holds the record for the most number of wins around the Marina Bay Street Circuit with five wins to his name. Hamilton has four wins with Fernando Alonso on two (he won the inaugural Singapore Grand Prix in 2008 and then again in 2010). Here’s the full list of winners in Singapore:
2008 – Alonso
2009 – Hamilton
2010 – Alonso
2011 – Vettel
2012 – Vettel
2013 – Vettel
2014 – Hamilton
2015 – Vettel
2016 – Rosberg
2017 – Hamilton
2018 – Hamilton
2019 – Vettel
Could Hamilton secure a fifth win in Singapore and his first win of 2022? The Mercedes team will certainly be hoping so and they have already come out and said they believe this track should suit them better than the track at Monza (where George Russell finished third for the team).
Qualifying well is key here and Hamilton just hasn't had the car to shine on a Saturday.
I agree with the team – while the track is bumpy, which we know is a challenge for the Mercedes car, the nature of the track should suit them – a little like Budapest and Zandvoort. Hamilton loves to perform at Singapore but it would be a stretch of the imagination to think he could take his first win of the season here.
That’s because it’s a real Saturday track with qualifying position being so key, and Hamilton just hasn’t had the car to shine on a Saturday. But you never know what the night race in Singapore will deliver and if anyone can pull off a surprise, it’s the seven-time world champion!
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Singapore Grand Prix 2022: Who’s in the mix for a podium finish?
12 different drivers have finished on the podium in Singapore, including Verstappen who finished third last time the race was held in 2019, behind Leclerc and Vettel (both driving for Ferrari). In 2018, Verstappen finished second behind Hamilton and ahead of Vettel. Daniel Ricciardo has three second-place finishes from 2015-2017 but has never won the race. Valtteri Bottas finished third in 2017 when he was driving for Mercedes.
However, it feels like this weekend we could see a whole new crop of names etching their way onto the podium record list. While Verstappen and Leclerc are both looking for their first victories at the track, Carlos Sainz, George Russell, and Perez are all looking for their first podium finishes around the track, which makes betting on the race with Pinnacle even more exciting!
With its lack of long straights and its sequence of corners, this could be a good track for Ferrari – so both Leclerc and Sainz could do well here. As could Russell, who’s finished in the top five every time he’s finished a race, with only his DNF at Silverstone spoiling his perfect record.
Singapore Grand Prix betting: Who will get pole?
It would take a brave person to back anyone other than Leclerc for pole here, especially when taking into account track layout and Leclerc’s qualifying performances so far this season. However, both Verstappen and Sainz have been closing in on his pole tally of eight for the season so far.
Only six different drivers have earned pole position at Singapore. These are: Felipe Massa (2008), Hamilton (2009, 2012, 2014, 2018), Vettel (2011, 2013, 2015, 2017), Leclerc (2019), Rosberg (2016), and Alonso (2010). Of those poles, eight were converted into wins (66.66%). The furthest back the race has ever been won from was 15th on the grid (Alonso in 2008). It's worth noting that the driver qualifying second has never gone on to win the race in Singapore.
Singapore Grand Prix betting: Beware of the safety car!
Because of the nature of the Singapore Grand Prix circuit, with its tight and twisty sections, 23 corners (some of which are 90 degrees), and the close proximity of the walls, every single one of the 12 races held at Marina Bay has featured a safety car. In fact, there have been 21 safety car deployments over the 12 races. The last time we raced there in 2019, we had three safety car deployments – the same as in 2017.
So, I think it’s fair to think that there will be a safety car at this year’s race, which will certainly spice things up. The strategists on the pit wall will have to be on their toes to adapt to changing circumstances at the drop of a hat. We’ve already seen this year that a safety car can make or break a driver’s race and it’ll be exciting to see how the race unfolds and who comes out on top!
Formula 1 2023: Nyck De Vries can provide F1 bettors an edge!
Alex Albon was taken ill at the Italian Grand Prix and had to have his appendix taken out just before qualifying got underway. The operation didn’t quite go to plan, with the Thai-British driver suffering respiratory failure and transferred to intensive care.
He has since taken to social media to say that he hopes to recover in time for the Singapore Grand Prix. We wish him well but with the physicality of the track in mind, Nyck de Vries, who deputised for Alex at Monza, will no doubt be on standby again.
He scored two points in his first-ever F1 race and now seems to be hot property among all the teams with a seat still left to fill. Will he end up at Williams, Alpine or Alpha Tauri next season? I believe he’ll fill a spot somewhere; the question is where. Watch this space!
From zero to hero – de Vries will be a welcome addition to the F1 paddock in 2023 and will definitely be one to watch. Talking of next season, F1 has announced the full calendar for 2023. The season will kick off in Bahrain on March 5 and will close in Abu Dhabi on Nov 26, with a debut race planned for Las Vegas in November and a return to China in April, and Pinnacle will have a range of betting markets for all 24 races!