Red Bull weren’t disappointed despite finishing 5th and 7th at the Italian Grand Prix because anticipated being slightly weaker at Monza. It’s the opposite anticipation ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix and Red Bull believe they can even beat Mercedes.
Last year’s Singapore Grand Prix saw the same old weekend unfolding as Friday practice took place. Mercedes finished FP1 at the top with Ricciardo 0.017s behind in 3rd. In the later Practice session on Friday, the running order was becoming clearer and Daniil Kvyat went top followed by Raikkonen and Ricciardo.
— theUsher13 (@theJudge13Twts) September 21, 2015
The Aussie remained unconvinced at this point in the weekend though, saying that he was “still not looking to them [Mercedes]”. Mercedes could have been pulling the usual trick, saving a bit of pace for Quali, hiding their hand. But it wasn’t to be. Hamilton qualified 5th and Rosberg 6th, both over half-a-second down in the third sector alone to pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel. Given that the third-sector is all about high traction and Mercedes were struggling to generate temperature on the Ultrasoft compound.
This year’s Red Bull is similar to its predecessor in that it looks really strong on high downforce tracks. Ricciardo finished 2nd in the Singapore Grand Prix last year and nothing short of a repeat will be satisfactory. He said that,
“Our performance so far this season and the result we have achieved here makes me really excited heading into Singapore where I think we can challenge for the top spots.”
– Daniel Ricciardo
Team Boss Christian Horner upped the ante with,
“Singapore, Sepang, Suzuka and Mexico are our tracks.”
– Christian Horner
Mercedes have been dominant all season, as they were last season, so it depends on whether the team are more prepared for this year’s race at Marina Bay. The W07 looks like its predecessor – designed to run in clean air at the front. As soon as the car is in dirty air, it loses its dominance.