Vettel, Hamilton Likely Favorites For Sunday, But Force India Duo/Sainz Sleepers And Can The Red Bull Engines Hold Up?

Lets face it, we’re to the point of the year that the remaining races are likely going to be won by either Sebastian Vettel or Lewis Hamilton. Combined, the duo have won 11 of the 14 races thus far including five straight. Plus, in regards to this weekend’s race in Marina Bay, the duo have won in six of the last seven years and all but three races since 2008.

This is their race to lose. 

Mercedes says that the Ferrari’s have the better overall speed, but the Singapore Grand Prix (8 a.m. ET/ESPN 2) has a track mixed with slower corners. Top end speed won’t matter as much. Does that play into the hands of Hamilton?

He’s won this race three times and has three podiums in his last four Singapore starts. On the season, he’s won three of the last four races and has five straight top two results overall.

Vettel meanwhile, is a four time winner in Singapore, all coming since 2011. He’s scored four podiums in his last six starts on the year too. He’s finished in the top five in all but one year on the Asian nation track and has six top two finishes in his last eight starts there.

Sounds like another 1-2 finish for the duo right?

Well, what about Red Bull? On street courses, they’ve been strong. The track shouldn’t hold them back in terms of pace but with the higher temperatures on the weekend, will their engines hold up?

Daniel Ricciardo has four straight podium finishes in Singapore including three straight runner-up results. He also won earlier this season in Monaco too. But, since Monaco, he’s yet to get back on the podium in eight tries and has DNF’d in four of his last six races on the year.

Max Verstappen has six top five finishes over his last eight starts on the year, but he’s never finished in the top five in Singapore. Plus, his power unit has failed him a lot recently too.

If their engines are reliable, then Ricciardo can contend but are they really that reliable right now?

They’ll in turn have a fight on their hands with the Force India duo as well as Carlos Sainz Jr. too.

Sergio Perez has two straight top 10 finishes on the season and five in the last six races. On Singapore, he has seven straight top 10 finishes including a fifth place run last year. He finished fifth two races ago in Belgium too.

His teammate Esteban Ocon finished ninth in last year’s race and sixth in each of the last two races on the season. He has five top 10 finishes in his last six starts as well.

Don’t sleep on these two to get two top five finishes on Sunday night.

Carlos Sainz Jr. should be tough too. He has two top 10 finishes in his last three starts on the season and finished fourth in this race last year.

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