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2015 Singapore Grand Prix

It's been fifteen months since Mercedes failed to qualify at the front. It's been three entire years since the last Ferrari pole position. Both those things changed in Singapore on Saturday night, as Sebastian Vettel produced an outstanding performance to put his scarlet car right at the front of the field for tomorrow's race.

It's hard to gauge just how superb his pole lap was. Judged against his closest competitor, Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo in second, he was over half a second faster. Juged against his own teammate, Kimi Raikonnen in third, he was closer to a full second. Judged against Lewis Hamilton, who had dominated qualifying this season and was hoping to take a record breaking ninth pole position in a row, Vettel was an incredible one and a half seconds faster. It was some lap.

Mercedes are struggling in the Singapore heat, so Hamilton will line up just ahead of his teammate Nico Rosberg in fifth and sixth on the grid respectively. They seem to be turning the engine down to avoid overheating, which of course leaves them down on power. It remains to be seen whether putting themselves a second and a half behind in qualifying will have saved the engine enough that they can turn up the performance a little in the race. It's difficult but not impossible to overtake here, so Mercedes can't be entirely ruled out just yet.

Temporarily on the up are Red Bull, currently in negotiations with Volkswagen regarding a possible takeover of the team. The tight, twisty, point and squirt nature of the Singapore track suits their well designed but down on power car, with the Renault engine not leaving them trailing as it has done for much of the season. That said, team principal Christian Horner has stated that he believes the Renault engine is costing them around half a second a lap, so that half second gap to Vettel must be causing yet more recriminations behind closed doors.

The best bet for Sunday's race really has to be Vettel. He has been exceptional throughout the weekend, and he's going to be hard to touch if he can maintain his form for another two hours. The best place to back him is at BoyleSports, who are offering a market leading 6/10.

We also think it's worth a look at Daniel Ricciardo. The uncompetitive nature of this year's Red Bull means that even from second on the grid his odds are more tempting that they could be. Providing he can drive strongly he can keep the field behind him and stand a chance of picking up the pieces should anything happen to Vettel. He's also worth backing each way for a top two place, especially when you can pick him up at BetFred at a tempting 9/2.

Finally, is it worth backing Hamilton in this one? We're going to say yes, but only because his odds are now much more tempting than they have been in a long time.

Even so, it's hard to see Mercedes fighting for the win on race day. We think you'd be better off sucking up the shorter odds on Hamilton once again, except this time by backing him for a top three finish. The best place to pick that up is at Coral, who are currently offering an unbeatable 7/4.

2015 Belgian Grand Prix

Hamilton was on another level at Spa-Francorchamps on Saturday afternoon, but for once it came as a bit of a surprise.

The dominance of the two Mercedes drivers is not particularly shocking these days, but throughout the Friday practice sessions it looked to be Hamilton's teammate Nico Rosberg who had the upper hand. He was comfortably faster in both of the practice sessions, despite a terrifying tyre failure at high speed which saw him narrowly miss two barriers before coming to a halt.

Pirelli later confirmed that the failure was almost certainly a one off incident, but it's hard not to wonder if Rosberg's confidence was dented. He remains comfortably faster than the chasing pack, but come qualifying on Saturday Lewis Hamilton took pole with lap time an intimidating half a second faster than his teammate. The Belgian grand prix is always a tricky race but that can't have done the German's confidence any good, while Hamilton was beaming.

Currently, then the smartest money is likely to be going on a Hamilton win. As ever, the odds on that aren't particularly appealing. You can still pick up Hamilton to get the win and the fastest lap, though, at a relatively decent 6/4 over at Coral, who call this bet 'King of the Road'.

Further down the grid Kimi Raikonnen once again became the victim of misfortune when his car broke down in Q2 leaving him stranded out on the circuit and stuck down in fourteenth place on the grid. He's got a lot of work to do from there, though he'll no doubt be bolstered by the new contract Ferrari have given him which ensures he will be driving for them next season. Raikonnen is a big fan of the Spa circuit though, and he usually goes very well here, so we're not ruling him out of the picture.

He's not really in contention for the win, but we think that if nothing else on his car breaks (by no means a given after the season he's had) he still very much in with a chance of a top six finish. The best place to back that is at SkyBet, offering a market leading 10/11.

Finally, we've had a look at the odds on who leads at the end of the first lap. Hamilton is on pole and will likely get away well. However the new rules regarding start procedure mean the drivers now have to find their own clutch bite points. That, combined with the four other Mercedes engined cars behind him and the long, long Kemmel Straight after Radillon that allows for excellent drafting opportunities, means there are no guarantees that Hamilton will still be in the lead by the time the cars get back around to the start line.

Any one of the cars behind him might get by, though the chances are that if any of them do it will be Nico Rosberg. The German is offered at 7/2 to be leading the first lap over at Ladbrokes. While you're there you could also pick up Valtteri Bottas or the Force India of Sergio Perez to be leading the first lap at an even more tempting 8/1 or 16/1 respectively.

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