Did you know that in all eight instalments of the Singapore Grand Prix since it was reintroduced to the Formula 1 schedule in 2008, the safety car has been called into action at least once?
The Marina Bay street circuit is one of the most demanding on the F1 calendar, for a whole host of reasons. Drivers will have to complete 61 laps, with each circuit over 5km in length.
It remains the sport’s only full night event, which brings a unique challenge, while drivers can expect to be in their cars for two hours in energy-sapping humidity. Concentration is also incredibly essential, with 23 corners, the majority at right angles, putting pressure on braking.
Frequent bumps around the track also keep drivers on their toes.
Given the regularity of the safety car, tyre choices may prove vital in Singapore. The longer the first stint a driver can do, the more information will be available to them in terms of the state of the race.
Much of the talk ahead of the race involved whether this would be the circuit where other constructors would have the best chance of posing a significant challenge to Mercedes.
The countless slow turns place less emphasis on engine horsepower to remain competitive, with Red Bull’s high downforce likely to be suited.
Daniel Ricciardo hasn’t won an F1 race since triumphing in Belgium in 2014, although he should have won the Monaco Grand Prix earlier this season until a faulty pit stop when his replacement tyres weren’t ready blew the opportunity.
Like Singapore, Monaco is a race where engine horsepower doesn’t dictate to the same capacity as other circuits.
Ricciardo starts from the front row of the grid at Marina Bay, separating the two Mercedes’. Nico Rosberg is on pole, with Lewis Hamilton having to make do with third.
What is interesting is that Ricciardo will begin the race on the longer-lasting super-soft tyres, while the Mercedes duo open on the ultra-soft options. However, they will have the luxury of an extra set of softs for use during the race.
Ricciardo is 5/2 to win the Singapore Grand Prix and all things considered this looks a reasonable price. Getting to the first corner in the lead could make all of the difference, as this is something that has been achieved by six of the past eight victors.
Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing