As darkness descends on the 2013 Formula One season, the sport heads to its only night race in Singapore this weekend. The race has a tendency to provide drama, with the most famous race coming in 2008. After Nelson Piquet Jr. intentionally speared his Renault into the wall, Felipe Massa ended up dragging his fuel hose down the pit lane whilst Fernando Alonso jumped from P15 to win the race comfortably thanks to his team’s trickery. Every race held in Singapore has seen a safety car, and the high rate of attrition does allow for the midfield runners to fight their way into the top ten. As a result, this week’s MST predictions become all the more difficult…
Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno)
Race winner: Lewis Hamilton. The 2009 Singapore winner has traditionally done well here even if his results haven’t shown it. Mercedes of course thrived on the only other street circuit this year in Monaco, and it will be interesting to see whether they can match it with the different construction tires here compared to earlier in the season.
Surprising finish: Jean-Eric Vergne. Starred at Monaco and can do similarly if his car makes the finish. He’s been a frequent retirement this season.
Most to prove: Force India. Early season promise and results have faded since the Pirelli construction change. Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta posted a double points-scoring result at Monaco and need a similarly good weekend here.
Christopher Estrada (@estradawriting)
Race winner: Lewis Hamilton. The Monaco-esque nature of the Marina Bay street circuit could play well for the Mercedes camp. And after losing out on a potential win last year here thanks to a gearbox failure, expect Hamilton to be on top form.
Surprising finish: Felipe Massa. Massa’s moving on from Ferrari at season’s end and has declared that he’s in it for himself, not for teammate Fernando Alonso. The Brazilian will be bent on showing that he’s still got it, and that could make him quite intriguing to watch.
Most to prove: Paul di Resta. di Resta has gone scoreless in the last four events after gaining points in seven of the first eight. Fortunately for him, he comes to a circuit that saw him claim his career-best result last year, a fourth-place finish.
Luke Smith (@LukeSmithF1)
Race winner: Sebastian Vettel. As boring as this prediction may be, it’s hard to see Seb not making it three wins in a row in Singapore. His form of late has been relentless and his affinity for this circuit makes a Red Bull win all the more likely.
Surprising finish: Charles Pic. Putting my neck on the line here… but if there are a high number of retirements and Caterham’s drivers keep their noses clean, we could see them overhaul Marussia in the constructors’ championship. P12 or higher required.
Most to prove: Romain Grosjean. Following Raikkonen’s departure, RoGro now has to prove to Lotus that he is worth keeping instead of taking on Felipe Massa and/or Nico Hulkenberg in his place. A good showing in Singapore would do the Frenchman a lot of good.
Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine)
Race winner: Kimi Raikkonen. The Lotus hasn’t just been stronger on high-downforce tracks, it’s also been the car to beat in warmer conditions. Singapore will be a case of both, so although Raikkonen is yet to post a top-five finish here, I’m backing him to win.
Surprising finish: Pastor Maldonado. He planted the Williams second on the grid last year and produced one of his best drives in the race. If the Williams is good enough to get within range of the midfield, it could be one of his better weekends.
Most to prove: Felipe Massa. For the first time in a long while, Massa is racing for himself. Not only has he said he won’t be supporting Alonso, but he’s got to prove he’s quick enough to deserve a seat with a top team. Over to you Mr Massa.