Singapore Grand Prix - "Difficult but nice"

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Singapore Grand Prix -

As crucial as it was for Mercedes to convert Belgium and Italy into victories, Ferrari can not afford to leave Marina Bay with Sebastian Vettel not leading the championship.

Ferrari, whom triumphed convincingly at the 2015 Singapore Grand Prix, will enter the weekend as favourites - despite having been obliterated at the most recent Italian Grand Prix, which saw Sebastian Vettel relinquish his lead of the standings for the first time in 2017.

As the world's first night race heads into its 10th edition, history has shown that titles can be won or lost on the Marina Bay Street Circuit.

Three-time world champion Lewis Hamilton is clearly feeling the heat in Singapore - the Mercedes driver moaned repeatedly about the 32°C weather at the Hugo Boss meet-and-greet session poolside yesterday at the Ritz Carlton Millenia Singapore. The streamlined shape and the width of the track are also impressive for Hamilton, who's now leading the 2017 F1 World Championship.

Next was Sebastian Vettel again after quite a battle into a well earned podium spot. Red Bull is expected to challenge but Ferrari could use that to its advantage if it is able to put the Milton Keynes-based team between itself and Mercedes in the race. And he won them to move three points ahead of Vettel in a thrilling title contest.

His fallout with childhood friend, last season's teammate and F1 champion Nico Rosberg, has been well documented.

Hamilton has won under the lights on two occasions, but he failed to reach the chequered flag in 2014 before finishing a distant third last term.

"If we can get the vehicle in a place we're comfortable in, then I think we'll definitely be strong", said the Briton.

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.

There are few places to overtake in Singapore, but one of those is the blistering run into Turn 7.

While the W08's strengths are best showcased at high speed, either in long, sweeping corners or a straight line, Ferrari's SF70-H comes to the fore in twistier, slower sections of track. "They probably have something more in hand for tomorrow., but hopefully, we can still translate today's pace into qualifying tomorrow". "If I show a good performance, there will be no problem and we can have a long future together".

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

Ferrari took their fourth turbocharger on Vettel's vehicle back in May - one more would incur a grid penalty - while Mercedes are already onto their fourth engine after taking it at Spa.

Red Bull lived up to that billing, with Daniel Ricciardo leading the way in both practice sessions, but Ferrari struggled and Raikkonen was the fastest of its two drivers in FP2 in ninth, 1.983 seconds off the pace.

Mercedes have been on pole in 66 of the last 71 races.

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