Race week is back and so is The Grueling Truth bringing you all the latest news, buzz and betting tips for the world’s favorite motorsport, Formula 1. This week F1 heads to one of the most spectacular race tracks on the planet; The Marina Bay street circuit in Singapore.
Max Verstappen and Red Bull kept their winning streak going at Monza the other week, but boy, did they have to put in some serious effort, especially at the beginning of the race. It was quite a showdown with the home favorites, Ferrari in Italy with Carlos Sainz in pole position and even led the race in the early stages.
In the end, Red Bull’s setup with more downforce helped them manage their tires better than the Ferrari duo, and they clinched a one-two finish. But right after the race, Max Verstappen spilled the beans and said, “Singapore is going to be a bit tougher for us… it won’t be our strongest weekend.”
Considering how strong the RB19 has been overall, it’s a bit unexpected to hear Verstappen playing down his chances a bit. However, he still believes he’ll be in the running for the win. But, here’s the twist: Mercedes and Aston Martin are both aiming to step up their game and pose more serious challenges than they did in Italy, especially on a high downforce track that suits their cars better. McLaren is also looking sharper after their recent improvements.
So, could it be that Red Bull has to face multiple contenders breathing down their necks in Singapore? One can only hope so.
Singapore is the OG night race, and has been a spectacle on the Formula 1 calendar since it burst onto the scene back in 2008. Picture this: a jaw-dropping downtown setting where the track snakes through the city streets, all lit up like a Christmas tree.
Now, fast forward 15 years since its grand entrance, and Singapore has become the gold standard for drivers when it comes to their fitness game. Why, you ask? Well, this race often stretches close to the two-hour mark because of the slow speeds on the track. And let’s not forget the sweltering heat and humidity that cranks up the challenge factor.
This year, the drivers might catch a break thanks to a revamped track layout. Here’s the deal: there’s some construction work happening around the floating stadium section, so they’ve done a bit of track surgery. They’ve taken out the Turn 16 and 17 chicane, which means the track no longer hugs the waterfront and dips under the grandstand at that spot for Turn 18 and 19.
Now, after that slight left turn at Turn 15, the track just goes straight – it used to sneak behind the grandstand – and then hooks back up with the original circuit where Turn 19 used to be. The result? A longer straight that could make overtaking easier, but it also cranks up the average speed and will lead to quicker lap times, shaving down the total race time. That’s good news for the drivers, even though this race is still expected to be the toughest of the year.
🚨 The Marina Bay Street Circuit will be updated from 2023 due to the redevelopment of The Float at Marina Bay into “NS Square”. The #F1 #SingaporeGP track will be reduced to 4.928km with Turns 16 to 19 re-aligned into a straight. More info at https://t.co/b54sENWDYu pic.twitter.com/YUpqwL6MFg
— SingaporeGP (@F1NightRace) October 19, 2022
Even if Red Bull keeps a firm grip on their advantage, the battle behind them is still a total blast. Ferrari really spoiled the fans in Monza by letting their drivers duke it out for the podium right up to the checkered flag. There have been quite a few races where there’s only been one podium spot available just behind Red Bull, and it’s become a highly sought-after position.
But it’s not just the individual driver’s race; the constructors’ championship race is also heating up. Right now, Mercedes is holding down the fort in second place, but Ferrari is narrowing the gap after their performance in Italy. Only 56 points separate Mercedes, Ferrari, and Aston Martin, and Ferrari alone pocketed 27 points in the last race. Things are getting spicy!
McLaren’s march towards catching up with those three teams has hit a bit of a roadblock in the last two races. Currently, they find themselves trailing Aston Martin by 102 points. However, they’re not giving up hope, especially at many tracks where they still reckon they can pose a challenge throughout the entire race such as, Singapore.
In terms of the Drivers’ Championship, as if it wasn’t already too apparent, the Championship will most likely be decided in Qatar or at COTA for the U.S Grand Prix. Now, let’s talk about the constructors’ championship. Red Bull is currently sitting pretty with a 310-point lead over their closest rivals, Mercedes. And guess what? They’ve got a shot at claiming their second consecutive title at the Marina Bay Street Circuit this weekend. How, you ask? Well, they need to secure a one-two finish and grab that fastest lap bonus worth 44 points, while Mercedes scores just one point or less.
If Red Bull manages a one-two without the fastest lap (43 points), and Mercedes comes up empty-handed, it would leave Red Bull with an advantage equal to the total number of points still up for grabs in the season (353). But here’s the kicker: Mercedes wouldn’t be able to win on a tiebreaker because Red Bull has racked up more wins.
If we look at their average race-day scores this season – 42 for Red Bull and 19.5 for Mercedes – Suzuka seems to be the more likely battleground for this showdown to be settled.
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