Ricciardo breaks lap record in Singapore

F1 Raceweek Red Bull steal a march on title contenders in Singapore

Monza was another race of what could have and should have been for Verstappen, and he will be hoping that he can have a clean, and strong race weekend in Singapore, where Red Bull are quietly optimistic of challenging for victory.

Ferrari were most pundits' pre-weekend favourites but they lapped even further off the pace and finished down in ninth and 11th positions.

The Italian team, along with Red Bull, are expected to dominate the race in the Republic, with current leaders Mercedes expected to struggle on the low-speed circuit. Former champions McLaren and Williams have not won since 2012.

We are of course talking of Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen as the former group, and Valtteri Bottas, Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen as the latters. And if so, his track record suggests he could still have the edge over Hamilton, especially when considering his.

And although Rosberg's victory past year has laid some of those 2015 ghosts to rest, Mercedes haven't forgotten that curious particular struggle.

Lewis Hamilton has insisted he is ready to end his recent Singapore curse and retain the lead in his championship battle with Sebastian Vettel.

Hamilton has 112 podiums to date and is second on the all-time list behind Schumacher (155).

Hamilton is three points clear of Vettel, who is not leading the championship for the first time this season.

Hamilton was dominant in Italy, running his Mercedes with the engine turned down for the majority of the race while still maintaining a comfortable gap to the chasing pack, but the twisty Singapore layout plays more to the strengths of both Ferrari and Red Bull.

Three are already world champions and the other three are up-and-coming.

Mercedes has made little secret of the fact Singapore is its bogey circuit.

He has further reason to be confident, finishing second here in the last two years, with the fastest lap both times. Separated by only three points, if either Vettel or Hamilton have a slip up, it could prove to be costly.

Not a positive, especially when Mercedes' other young driver, Esteban Ocon is having a brilliant first full season in F1, and is securing race finishes which reflect his talent. Past year it was deployed on the opening lap.

That's because the drivers have been issued a warning regarding "heat stroke" during the race while the teams come to terms with the weather under the arc-lights of the street circuit over the next few days. Last year's lasted one hour and 55 minutes.

But Ricciardo arrives in Singapore in very consistent form, with six podiums in the last nine races.

Sainz then went off down an escape road on his final lap, and had a near-miss with Vettel as he reversed back onto the track.

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