Singapore is set to host the Formula One races this weekend in an atmosphere bustled with possibility and unpredictability due to adjustments made to the circuit layout. The four slow, tight corners which usually mark the end of the lap have been replaced by a straight segment, reducing lap times and paving the way for more overtaking opportunities.
Maintaining its unique counter-clockwise running feature, the revised circuit retains its prior emphasis on high downforce. This coupled with the new setup, expected to reduce tyre wear, might render the previously gathered data less valuable. In light of predicted thunderstorms expected to die down by race start, teams will tread quickly and cautiously to acclimatize themselves to the impacts of these changes.
In the last race at Monza, Carlos Sainz of Ferrari captured pole, but his teammate Charles Leclerc holds the record of two consecutive poles for Singapore F1. However, he achieved this feat under rapidly drying conditions last year. Despite this, Verstappen is the pole favorite with a 23/50 chance, followed by Perez (37/5) and Leclerc (10/1).
A comparison of the Singapore track’s high downforce characteristic places it close to the Hungary and Spain tracks. Earlier this year, the Hungary circuit witnessed Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes bagging a front start for the first time this season. Hamilton’s chances of owning the pole position like Singapore track are marked at 10/1.
Highlighting Norris’ top timing achievement in Q2, McLaren‘s performance could rejuvenate after their previous struggling spree. Notably, Norris’ chances for pole valued at 15/1 aren’t considered high in value.
In 2020, Sergio Perez of Red Bull Racing won an exciting, rain-drenched Singapore race, however, it’s hard to predict a clear winner this year due to rare preceding conditions and modifications made to the circuit. Even so, Verstappen’s ten consecutive victories make him a strong contender.
Indicatively, Perez winning the championship is marked at 43/5 or a little more than 8/1. However, Lewis Hamilton, who has clinched the Singapore race three times, is projected to be a keen contender with 17/1 for the victory and 7/4 for a podium.
Marina Bay track has seen Fernando Alonso of Aston Martin stepping onto the podium five times with two wins. Still, bearing his fluctuating performances, Alonso landing in the top three again is considered plainly risky at 9/4. Lando Norris is at 2/1 for a podium position, while Charles Leclerc exhibiting strong early practice signs is seen as good value at 3/1 for securing a podium position.
In the Hungary race, the top ten included two finishes each for Red Bull, McLaren, Mercedes, Ferrari, and Aston Martin. Both Alex Albon and Valtteri Bottas managed to hover near the top ten positions. Albon’s record in Hungary showed surprises even in high downforce tracks; suggesting Singapore with its new straight might be advantageous. He holds an odds of 61/100 for points. Alpine, however, had seen both cars crush out by lap two in Hungary and prerace odds are 7/2 for points.
The Singapore circuit is infamous for its disruptions with a safety car deployed at least once in every instance of the modern era’s 13 races. This accounts for why the probability of no safety car is calculated at 23/5, while one or more deployments stand at 11/100.
The chances of lesser than 17.5 finishers classified are 11/25, given last year’s six retirements and more than 17.5 finishers clock in at 8/5. One long shot bet is on Verstappen not finishing the race, with 6/1 odds, recalling when a fuel problem in Australia last year cost him a classification.