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MotorSportsTalk’s Predictions: Singapore GP

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The Singapore Grand Prix may only have joined the F1 calendar in 2008, but it has quickly established itself as one of the most popular and unique events in the history of the sport.

Singapore is the original F1 night race, testing the drivers’ talents under the lights and the will of those in the paddock as regular sleeping patterns are left at home. Remaining on European time is a must, making anything before 6am an ‘early night’.

Lewis Hamilton arrives in Singapore with a healthy lead of 53 points over Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg at the top of the drivers’ championship, and will be gunning to continue his march to a third world title on Sunday.

Victory would see Hamilton draw level with his hero, Ayrton Senna, for 41 grand prix victories in 161 race starts, and bolster his championship lead to at least 60 points.

As ever, the MotorSportsTalk writing team has made its predictions for this weekend’s race. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Luke Smith (@LukeSmithF1)

Race WinnerLewis Hamilton. Lewis is in the form of his life and has a good record in Singapore. With the boosted Mercedes engine in the back of his W06 Hybrid, I can’t see him missing out on a 41st grand prix victory this weekend.

Surprising FinishNico Hulkenberg. With Williams struggling at the more technical tracks in 2015, I’m backing Force India to be the third-fastest team this weekend. Hulkenberg could break into the top five with a clean race, and perhaps finish even higher up the order if Mercedes and/or Ferrari hit trouble.

Most to ProveMcLaren. Singapore is set to be McLaren’s ‘least-worst’ (because ‘best’ isn’t a word you can use to describe McLaren-Honda) grand prix in the run to the end of the season. Let’s see if Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button can do anything with their cars.

Additional Storyline to WatchRossi debuts. At long last, an American driver will line up on the grid once again in F1. Alexander Rossi will be hoping to make the most of it as he realises a life-long dream in Singapore.

Predict the Podium

1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes
3. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno)

Race Winner: Lewis Hamilton. Why stop the roll now? Lewis is into that “keep picking him until he doesn’t win” mode, and a 41st Grand Prix victory would put him level with Ayrton Senna in as many career starts. It’ll also equal him with one of the other modern greats, Sebastian Vettel.

Surprising FinishDaniel Ricciardo. Expect the Red Bulls to excel at a track where horsepower isn’t as important. Daniel is bullish on the team’s chances – a second podium for him this year is possible but more likely a top-five result is a realistic aim.

Most to ProvePastor Maldonado. Maldonado is in a rough patch of five DNFs in his last eight Grands Prix, and hasn’t made it past Lap 2 since before the summer break in Hungary. Finishing is a must, with points a bonus for the driver who at least tends to excel at tracks like Singapore.

Additional Storyline to WatchThe haze. Haze situation is an unfortunate element lingering ahead of the weekend. We’ll see how the field handles it.

Predict the Podium

1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes
3. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry.

The idea of Hamilton attending the season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).