Singapore Grand Prix

Singapore Grand Prix: Hamilton looks to return to winning ways

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 15th September 2016, 2:49 pm
Updated Thursday, 15th September 2016, 4:05 pm
Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton

World champion Lewis Hamilton will arrive at the Singapore Grand Prix with a slender two-point advantage over his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg.

Here, Press Association Sport dissects five talking points heading into the 15th round of the championship:


Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes have dominated Formula One for nearly three years, but they will return to Singapore haunted by their only blemish in what has been an unprecedented run of success. For it was at the Marina Bay Circuit here last year where they were mysteriously off the pace. Hamilton and Rosberg qualified a mammoth 1.5 seconds slower than pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel. Hamilton retired with a technical glitch, while Rosberg finished a distant fourth. Mercedes are quietly confident they will be back on top of proceedings this week, but team boss Toto Wolff insisted that they must not be considered as the favourites. Red Bull and Ferrari will be ready to pounce should Mercedes falter once more.


While Hamilton's sluggish start in Monza gift-wrapped victory for Rosberg, the Italian Grand Prix was overshadowed by the uncertainty surrounding the future ownership of the sport, and Bernie Ecclestone, the man who has headed it for the best part of 40 years. American company Liberty Media successfully completed their £6.4 billion takeover from CVC Capital Partners last week, with Chase Carey installed as Formula One's new chairman. Ecclestone, who turns 86 next month, remains in his role as chief executive, but for how much longer? Liberty has grand plans for the sport, and for Ecclestone, who will not be in Singapore, the billion-dollar buy-out could mark the beginning of the end.


Lewis Hamilton

Formula One personnel will arrive in Singapore armed with mosquito spray and long-sleeved apparel to stave off the threat of Zika. With more than 350 reported cases of the virus in the last fortnight, Singapore is currently listed as "high-risk" under the government's guidelines. Indeed five of the seven races left this season have reported cases of the mosquito-borne virus, which is known to cause birth defects. One member of Mercedes' 100-strong race crew will not travel to Singapore amid concerns over the virus, while Williams have confirmed some of their team will miss a number of the remaining Zika-hit grands prix.


Jenson Button announced on the eve of the Italian Grand Prix that he will not be racing in Formula One next season. But the 36-year-old McLaren driver, who will reach the jolly landmark of 300 grands prix in Malaysia next month, is hopeful that the final races of this season - which could turn out to be the last of his world championship winning career - will prove to be fruitful ones. "We've made massive gains over the last 12 months and if you look at what we have coming in the future, we should be able to fight towards the end of the year with teams that are a above us at the moment, and Ferrari would be one of them," Button boldly predicted.


5. The Singapore Grand Prix, which has been an ever-present on the calendar since its inception in 2008, is not one synonymous with rain. But the wet stuff could wreak havoc this week with heavy showers forecast throughout the race weekend.

An in-depth preview of the Singapore Grand Prix, which takes place this weekend