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  1. F1

Formula 1: Lights Out - What to look for at the Singapore GP

After a three-year absence the Singapore Grand Prix - F1's original night race - returns to the calendar, with Max Verstappen on the verge of claiming his second world championship.

The twisty street track is expected to serve up the most physically demanding race of the year, as it stays hot and humid even after sundown, and the drivers will have spent much of the three-week gap since the Italian Grand Prix preparing their bodies for the punishment they will undergo on Sunday.

Verstappen is aiming for his sixth victory in a row and is a 2/5 favourite to get it. A win could be enough for him to clinch the title, but only if Ferrari's Charles Leclerc fails to score a point. The Ferrari driver is second favourite at 4/1 with his team-mate Carlos Sainz an 11/1 chance.

WhatSingapore Grand Prix
WhereMarina Bay Circuit, Singapore
WhenFriday 30th September - Sunday 2nd October 2022
How to watchSky Sports F1
OddsMax Verstappen 2/5, Charles Leclerc 4/1, Carlos Sainz 11/1, Lewis Hamilton 12/1

A true test of driver and car

There could hardly be a greater contrast between two circuits than going from the flat-out blast of Monza three weeks ago to the twisty streets of Singapore.

Raw power takes a back-seat in terms of importance around Marina Bay, as the teams seek to generate as much grip as possible for the many low- and medium-speed turns.

That might not suit Verstappen's Red Bull as well as the recent races in Belgium and Italy, but the Dutchman is certainly still the man to beat this weekend.

Verstappen's stroll to a second title has been helped by Ferrari's many gaffes this season, but in Italy last time the Scuderia simply had no answer to the champion's pace.

Ferrari's last win, in Austria, came after Leclerc was able to keep his tyres alive longer than Verstappen, and that will give them some hope in Singapore, where tyre longevity can be decisive. However, in recent races the Red Bull has looked kinder to its rubber.

Related Formula 1 News

Formula 1: Chequered Flag - Italian GP Review

Formula 1 - Motorsport: Mid-season report

Smart strategy could play a part

In Belgium and Italy recently we saw mixed-up starting grids as several drivers opted to take fresh engine parts and incur penalties at circuits where overtaking is less difficult.

No-one will be voluntarily taking a grid drop in Singapore however, as passing is notoriously tricky. Drivers will be relying on their teams' strategists to help them make up places. Red Bull have an ace up their sleeve in that department, with Hannah Schmitz having made her counterparts at Ferrari and Mercedes look like fools on many occasions this year.

Mercedes in particular could do with some smart strategy calls this weekend as they continue to strive for a first win of the season.

The eight-time constructors' champions should enjoy the Singapore circuit's twisty nature - if not its bumpy surface - but they could be handicapped if they don't qualify prominently.

George Russell, who picked up his fourth podium in five races at Monza last time, scored a surprise pole position in Hungary before the summer break, but the team are generally a solid third-best behind Red Bull and Ferrari on Saturdays.

Russell is 11/8 to finish in the top three, while his team-mate Lewis Hamilton, who felt he had a chance to win in the Netherlands before a late safety-car appearance ruined his hopes, is 12/1 to break Mercedes' drought.

Driver market in focus

With Daniel Ricciardo, Sebastian Vettel and Nicolas Latifi all leaving F1 at the end of the season there is intense competition for the available seats for next year, particularly after Mercedes junior driver Nyck De Vries made a sensational debut for Williams last time in place of an ill Alex Albon.

Haas have not decided whether to retain the services of Mick Schumacher next year and the German is one of many midfield drivers who will be out to impress in the final races of the season. Schumacher, who has finished 12th and 13th in the last two races, is a 10/3 chance for a top-10 result this weekend.

What will the weather be like?

An extremely hot and humid weekend is forecast, with temperatures around 30C even at night, and feeling a lot warmer than that.

Some light rain is expected over the weekend, but race organisers will be unlucky if there is any wet running.

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