F1 WEEKEND SINGAPORE

As the F1 season continues to hot up I once more find myself with an almost permanent childish excitement as to what may unfold at the latest leg of “the show” this weekend in Singapore.

Before we get into the race itself, there has been some very interesting news coming out of F1 racing this week. Firstly we should here an announcement imminently that F1 intends to extend the agreement with Singapore for the long term. Great news as its probably one of my favorite of the newer tracks. Valteri Bottas has extended his contract with Mercedes until the end of the 2018 season which now means that himself, Lewis Hamilton, Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen will all be on the market for the 2019 race season. I would bet my rather large and low hanging walnuts that Lewis Hamilton will renew with Mercedes and probably finish his career there, however what will happen with the other three drivers is all speculation and gossip at this stage and not even George Clooney staring into the eyes of goats will give us the answer. With doubts over the long term future of Red Bull on the circuit you would have to think that one of the drivers will make a shift at contracts end, but of course that is the great thing about this sport, you just never know. Also, in regards to the ongoing engine saga we finally have some clarity. McLaren have now officially ended their partnership with Honda and have signed a three year deal for Renault to be their engine supplier. Conversely, Honda have signed a “multi year” deal to supply Toro Rosso for the immediate future. Nothing unexpected really. I think we all believed that the Mclaren/Honda partnership was over, however personally speaking I am delighted to see Honda remain in the game. It would have been a huge shame to see them leaving the sport altogether. Another piece of interesting news breaking this morning was that of Carlos Sainz going out “on loan” to Renault for the 2018 season. I think this is both great for Carlos Sainz, great for Renault and great for his current owners Red Bull as it gives them another year to find out whether the will find a place for him in the main team. He is no doubt a talented driver and perhaps this move will put his high emotions and frustrations on the back burner short term. What does that mean for Palmer? Unless Williams drop in for him I can see him leaving the sport altogether.

And now to the race. I am more excited than usual for the weekend ahead and the race in Singapore for the simple reason that most expect Red Bull to finally become proper competitive this weekend. They have a great down force package and a great history of results at this particular track with Daniel Ricciardo finishing second on the podium in the past two seasons and Sebastian Vettel winning three in a row between 2011-2013. To be honest the most likely outcome is still a battle between Hamilton and Vettel for the race win, but its the kind of track that likes to throw up a few surprises and lets hope this year is no different. Maybe Max Verstappen will finally “exorcise his demons” and learn that you cannot always go pedal to the metal, after all this is F1 not a demolition derby. I am going to go out on a very large limb here and predict the podium will be made up of three different teams come Sunday in Singapore. I am going to predict a Hamilton win, Ricciardo second and Vettel third. You may think I am certifiably nutso, but I just got a feeling.

As a final point, does anyone else find the Singapore GP as sexy as Scarlett Johansson taking a white tshirt walk in the rain? There is something exciting about these night races. The bright lights, the load roar of the engines and the beautiful lit city views in the background. As I said earlier on, I can’t wait until this weekends race.

 

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