Nico Hulkenburg may have next to no chance of a place on the podium in Singapore, but after his best finish of the season in Italy, the odds on the German recording the fastest lap in the Far East look exceedingly generous.
Ok, so he was driving for another team last season, but the clock doesn’t lie and the 1.51.033 fastest lap which Hulkenburg laid down at Singapore in 2012, makes his current odds of 50/1 a mightily tempting punt-to-nothing.
And before dismissing this as baloney, take a minute to ponder the evidence. Hulkenburg put in his performance of the season to date at Monza, where he qualified third on the grid before posting a fifth-place finish.
Of the race lap times recorded at the Italian track, the Sauber-Ferrari man’s 48th lap of the Grand Prix ranked fourth quickest of the 21 drivers, clocking just .867 seconds behind Lewis Hamilton’s fastest lap of the day.
Since switching from Force India-Mercedes in the summer, it’s taken the German a little time to get adjusted to his new car, but that top-six finish will have filled him with confidence heading to the night-race surroundings of Singapore.
What’s more his new team Sauber-Ferrari have already accounted for the fastest lap in one of this season’s races already, when Hulkenburg’s teammate Esteban Gutierrez went quickest at the Spanish Grand Prix.
Since this unique Grand Prix was introduced to F1’s global circuit back in 2008, some drivers have clearly adapted to the unfamiliar conditions better, as Sebastian Vettel going for his third straight victory proves.
However, it’s also worth giving Fernando Alonso’s 6/1 price to go fastest in Singapore serious consideration as a more viable option.
The Spaniard has gone fastest on this street circuit in two of the five previous races, while his future team-mate Kimi Raikkonen is worth a shout at 10/1 having smashed out the fastest lap in the first ever edition.