Saturday 25 September 2010

Singapore Preview: Vettel's to lose?

So there you have it - looks like the claim from the Red Bull camp that Singapore would see them return to setting the pace wasn't spin after all. On the basis of practice they're the cars to beat, benefiting from their extreme levels of downforce and ability to ride the kerbs.

And even among the Red Bulls Vettel looks hard to stop, consistently being a number of tenths quicker than Webber. It's already looking like Seb's race to lose. Just a guess, but perhaps being the hunter, rather than the hunted is easier psychologically, and allows Seb to throw the car around with abandon (vital at Singapore).

If anyone is going to get close to the Red Bulls it looks like it'll be Alonso and possibly Hamilton. Further rubbering in of the track, after rain (yet again) before practice may bring them closer, but it'll probably require something special even by their standards to get pole. Beating Webber to second may not be out of the question though. Button looked off the pace in practice 3, and cannot afford to lose much ground this weekend.

Elsewhere, shout-outs are due to Nick Heidfeld and Christian Klien, who stepped into the Sauber and HRT respectively (and with no and little previous running respectively). Both are bang on the pace, and each was ahead of his team mate in practice 3.

Still, many a slip between cup and lip as they say and things never seem to have been 100% straightforward for Vettel at any point this year. Further, the track was damp in practice, and not really drying off line very quickly. Kerbs and off line are likely to be perfidious and mistakes, with walls beckoning, common. But I wouldn't bet much against Seb for a pole and win.

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