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

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

But two championship leaders (Mark Webber in 2010 and Hamilton in 2012) who did not win in Singapore went on to lose the title at the end of the season. What better race for Red Bull to break up the Ferrari and Mercedes show than Marina Bay?

Petronas Mercedes and their lead driver, Lewis Hamilton, will work to fight off the hard charging Sebastian Vettel and Scuderia Ferrari.

To gather the data, Hamilton's complete career statistics were used, and Vettel's only start after he left an uncompetitive Toro Rosso for Red Bull in 2009.

Sebastian Vettel experienced a "mixed day" of practice for the Singapore Grand Prix on Friday despite Ferrari being tipped to dominate proceedings heading into the race weekend. We are always looking for good results and it's not nice when we don't get them. "We have still managed to get podiums but we haven't realistically been in the championship hunt so it really needs to happen with Red Bull next year - at least from my point of view", Ricciardo said.

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But Vettel is a driver who flourishes when the package is flawless, as his Red Bull record suggests, and hasn't quite had the tools to deliver since joining Ferrari in 2015. They hope a switch to Renault engines will provide them with the necessary muscle and reliability to compete with Red Bull, also powered by Renault, next year. With Verstappen and Ricciardo both recently telling ESPN their long-term futures at Red Bull hinge around its ability to deliver a race-winning auto, and with Verstappen growing increasingly frustrated at his remarkable string of bad luck this year, a morale-boosting win for the team would be huge going into the final races of 2017.

This weekend's grand prix has also played host to a series of interlinked engine and driver moves.

Valtteri Bottas was the first to switch to ultra-softs, but he could only slot into second, 0.027s off the pace, before team-mate Hamilton went quickest.

"I don't know whether we're favourites or not.it's not in our minds, and we'll have the same discussions that we have in every race", said the 37-year-old. The total points have only been considered post-2010 - when the scoring system was restructured to what we see today. I think we can find yet another half a step.

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The report added that Hamilton would be chasing his third consecutive Grand Prix victory after back-to-back wins at Spa and Monza.

"Since 2014 I felt if I was in a Mercedes I believed I could have won and past year as well".

"But when he (Verstappen) joined we'd already fallen away a bit so in his mind the expectation had already dropped so if anything for me it should be stronger - the want and the need for this (a title-winning car)". "So we are happy that he will continue with us for another season also".

"Toward the end of the race here, it is more likely that you make a mistake", Bottas said.

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