|6. NICO ROSBERG – MERCEDES (238 PTS – CHAMPIONSHIP LEADER)|
|Last 5 Races: DNF, 1st, 4th, 2nd, 2nd||Best in Singapore: 2nd (2008)|
Second place behind his teammate was hardly the worst result for Nico Rosberg at Monza but the circumstances of his defeat will be a concern to his supporters. The German appeared to buckle under pressure the moment Lewis Hamilton appeared in his mirrors and with the tension only likely to increase from here, Singapore will be as a big a test of his mental strength as it will be of his talent. Rosberg will take heart from his victories from pole position at Monaco in recent times, as well as his positive record at Marina Bay, a track he outpaced Hamilton at last year.
|44. LEWIS HAMILTON – MERCEDES (216 PTS – TRAILS ROSBERG BY 22 PTS)|
|Last 5 Races: 1st, 3rd, 3rd, DNF, 1st||Best in Singapore: Winner (2009)|
Lewis Hamilton will hope that Monza marked the start of his championship charge after taking his first pole position since Barcelona, followed by a victory that was important for his morale as it was for his points tally. The task now for Lewis is to recapture the form that saw him win races with relentless ease in the spring and prevent the slip-ups of the summer from creeping back into his driving. Monza was a huge step in the right direction but 22 points is still a sizeable lead at this stage of the year and one more mistake could be disastrous.
|3. DANIEL RICCIARDO – RED BULL RACING RENAULT (166 PTS – TRAILS ROSBERG BY 72 PTS)|
|Last 5 Races: 3rd, 6th, 1st, 1st, 5th||Best in Singapore: 9th (2012)|
Back-to-back victories at the Hungaroring and Monza led many to talk up Daniel Ricciardo’s championship credentials but Monza perhaps brought those back down to earth. Red Bull were uncompetitive compared to previous outings with Williams easing them out of the fight for the podium positions. Ricciardo did at least maintain his edge over teammate Sebastian Vettel, pipping the reigning champion to fifth, and with the RB10 likely to come into its own once again on the streets of Singapore, Daniel should be back in podium contention here.
|77. VALTTERI BOTTAS – WILLIAMS MERCEDES (122 PTS – TRAILS ROSBERG BY 116 PTS)|
|Last 5 Races: 2nd, 2nd, 8th, 3rd, 4th||Best in Singapore: 13th (2013)|
Monza promised so much for Valtteri Bottas with Williams shaping up as Mercedes’ only realistic contenders, especially when the Finn set some eye-catching times during his long run in Friday practice, but all hopes of a maiden victory were dashed at the start. The lost ground on lap one did lead to a rather entertaining afternoon at the wheel with overtakes aplenty but fourth position was scant reward given the performance Bottas had put in. With the power circuits out of the way, Valtteri may well have missed his best chance of a victory this year but the podium is certainly achievable.
|14. FERNANDO ALONSO – FERRARI (121 PTS – TRAILS ROSBERG BY 117 PTS)|
|Last 5 Races: 6th, 5th, 2nd, 7th, DNF||Best in Singapore: Winner (2008, 2010)|
For just the second time in his Ferrari career, Fernando Alonso saw his race cut short by reliability problems, and at the worst possible place. The Spaniard was unable to give the Tifosi a result to celebrate at Monza after an Energy Recovery System failure, causing his first mechanically-induced retirement in 86 races, and bringing the only 100% points-scoring record this season to an end. After two races of being outgunned by Mercedes-powered cars, Fernando and Ferrari will be glad to see the back of Formula One’s power circuits and with Williams edging ahead in the constructor’s standings, Alonso will hope Singapore’s streets see him back in the mix.
| 1. SEBASTIAN VETTEL – RED BULL RACING RENAULT (106 PTS – TRAILS ROSBERG BY 132 PTS)
|Last 5 Races: 5th, 4th, 7th, 5th, 6th||Best in Singapore: Winner (2011, 2012, 2013)|
For year after year, Sebastian Vettel’s late-season dominance would start under the lights in Singapore. The German has won the last three races at Marina Bay and given the way his latest title defence has gone, Sebastian will be relieved to return to one of his favourite Formula One venues. Despite showing signs of a revival in recent races, Vettel continues to come up short against his teammate Daniel Ricciardo and if the Australian gets the better of him here, Sebastian should really start to worry. He has never been beaten by a teammate in Singapore in his entire Formula One career.
|22. JENSON BUTTON – McLAREN MERCEDES (72 PTS – TRAILS ROSBERG BY 166 PTS)|
|Last 5 Races: 4th, 8th, 10th, 6th, 8th||Best in Singapore: 2nd (2011, 2012)|
After a much-improved qualifying performance at Monza, McLaren will have been disappointed with their overall points return with Jenson Button their first driver across the finish line in eighth. The Briton seemingly spent his entire afternoon side-by-side with Sergio Perez’s Force India and although he enjoyed the scrap, Jenson will not have been pleased with the outcome. That battle took on added importance with McLaren and Force India now just a point apart in the fight for fifth in the constructor’s championship and Button will be mindful of the importance of fighting back at Marina Bay.
|27. NICO HULKENBERG – FORCE INDIA MERCEDES (70 PTS – TRAILS ROSBERG BY 168 PTS)|
|Last 5 Races: 8th, 7th, DNF, 10th, 12th||Best in Singapore: 9th (2013)|
Monza was arguably Nico Hulkenberg’s most disappointing weekend of the season with the German outpaced throughout by Force India teammate Sergio Perez. Nico’s recent qualifying woes continued and after being forced to start from the seventh row, points were always going to be a tough ask. Starting on the prime tyre didn’t quite pay off and Hulkenberg was left in a lonely twelfth, just the second time all season he hasn’t brought home points for Force India. Qualifying seems to be where Nico’s troubles start and with a street circuit next up, he will have to get over those issues quickly.
|19. FELIPE MASSA – WILLIAMS MERCEDES (55 PTS – TRAILS ROSBERG BY 183 PTS)|
|Last 5 Races: DNF, DNF, 5th, 13th, 3rd||Best in Singapore: 6th (2013)|
After knocking on the door throughout the season, Felipe Massa finally got a result to match the undoubted effort that has gone into his 2014 season. The Brazilian succeeded where his Williams teammate Valtteri Bottas failed at the start before going on to claim his first podium finish of 2014 and he couldn’t have picked a better venue, with Monza’s Tifosi still adoring of him. Singapore doesn’t quite hold as many happy memories for Felipe though who has never been a strong street racer but confidence should be sky-high and there can’t be a better time for him to shed that reputation.
|7. KIMI RAIKKONEN – FERRARI (41 PTS – TRAILS ROSBERG BY 197 PTS)|
|Last 5 Races: DNF, 11th, 6th, 4th, 9th||Best in Singapore: 3rd (2013)|
Kimi Raikkonen had increased expectations for his return to Monza in the red of Ferrari after strong performances in Hungary and Belgium but instead, the sorry story of his 2014 campaign continued. In fairness to the Finn, he was severely disadvantaged by the F14 T’s lack of top-end speed although that couldn’t explain the half-second deficit to Fernando Alonso in Q2. Raikkonen did salvage ninth in the end but the Scuderia will be expecting much more in Singapore from the 2007 world champion who produced a superb recovery to finish on last year’s podium here.
|11. SERGIO PEREZ – FORCE INDIA MERCEDES (39 PTS – TRAILS ROSBERG BY 199 PTS)|
|Last 5 Races: 11th, 10th, DNF, 8th, 7th||Best in Singapore: 8th (2013)|
His 2012 performance will be remembered by many more but Sergio Perez may well have enjoyed his 2014 Monza drive to seventh just as much. The Mexican fought a sensational race-long battle with ex-McLaren teammate Jenson Button and came out on top, earning Force India six important points in their constructors’ scrap with the Woking squad. After a shaky start to the season, Perez is starting to gain the upper hand over Nico Hulkenberg but this was the stage last year when the German found his form. Perez’s task is to ensure he does the same.
|20. KEVIN MAGNUSSEN – McLAREN MERCEDES (38 PTS – TRAILS ROSBERG BY 200 PTS)|
|Last 5 Races: 7th, 9th, 12th, 12th, 10th||Best in Singapore: Debut|
Kevin Magnussen has made many headlines during his rookie Formula One season but the latest stories surrounding him haven’t been quite as positive as those at the beginning of the year. The Danish rookie fell foul of the stewards for the second consecutive race for forcing another driver off the track and whatever the rights and wrongs of the decision, Magnussen’s punishment cost him and McLaren valuable championship points. Frustratingly, both post-race penalties have moved Kevin behind his teammate Jenson Button after beating him in the Grand Prix itself so the speed is clearly there. Kevin will now be looking to keep his nose clean in Singapore.
|25. JEAN-ERIC VERGNE – STR RENAULT (11 PTS – TRAILS ROSBERG BY 227 PTS)|
|Last 5 Races: 10th, 13th, 9th, 11th, 13th||Best in Singapore: 14th (2013)|
By his own admission, Jean-Eric Vergne struggled with his Toro Rosso at Monza but with the long straights always likely to play to the Renault-powered machine’s weaknesses, rather than his strengths, thirteenth was hardly a surprising result. Attempts to compensate for a lack of straight-line speed led to a lack of grip all round and the Frenchman will have very quickly turned his attentions to Singapore, a circuit that should favour the STR9 a lot more, especially with updates being brought to this race. With his future on the line, he will certainly be hoping so.
|8. ROMAIN GROSJEAN – LOTUS RENAULT (8 PTS – TRAILS ROSBERG BY 230 PTS)|
|Last 5 Races: 12th, DNF, DNF, DNF, 16th||Best in Singapore: 7th (2012)|
Think back to the start of the season and many of us expected Lotus to get stronger as the year goes on but in fact, the reverse seems to be happening. Romain Grosjean’s Italian Grand Prix weekend was another character-building experience with sidepod damage and downshift issues all making an already difficult task nigh-on impossible. The Frenchman was sensational here last year with unreliability the only thing that denied him a podium finish but if truth be told, seeing the chequered flag in any position is an achievement for Lotus at the moment.
|26. DANIIL KVYAT – STR RENAULT (8 PTS – TRAILS ROSBERG BY 230 PTS)|
|Last 5 Races: 9th, DNF, 14th, 9th, 11th||Best in Singapore: Debut|
If one driver came away from the Italian Grand Prix deserving so much more than he ended up with, it has to be Daniil Kvyat. The Russian rookie was slapped with a ten-place grid penalty for an illegal Internal Combustion Engine change but drove superbly to get within touching distance of the points. A front brake failure in the closing stages cruelly robbed him of a top ten finish but Kvyat’s reputation received another boost regardless. Considering his performance came on one of Toro Rosso’s supposedly weaker tracks, Daniil will be expecting nothing less than points here.
|17. JULES BIANCHI – MARUSSIA FERRARI (2 PTS – TRAILS ROSBERG BY 236 PTS)|
|Last 5 Races: 14th, 15th, 15th, 18th, 18th||Best in Singapore: 18th (2013)|
Marussia had to be one of the major disappointments coming away from the Italian Grand Prix. Jules Bianchi will have been desperate to impress on Ferrari’s home turf but despite his best efforts the Frenchman was beaten in qualifying and the race by Kamui Kobayashi’s Caterham. Speaking after the race, Bianchi said there was nothing more to give, confirming that Marussia had been beaten in a straight fight and his number one aim will be to regain the ascendancy this weekend. The omens are good if Jules’ exploits on the streets of Monaco are anything to go by.
|99. ADRIAN SUTIL – SAUBER FERRARI (0 PTS – TRAILS ROSBERG BY 238 PTS)|
|Last 5 Races: 13th, DNF, 11th, 14th, 15th||Best in Singapore: 8th (2011)|
With the European season completed (Russia aside), the possibility of Sauber going an entire season without scoring a point is now a very real one. Adrian Sutil could only drag his C33 up to fifteenth at Monza and couldn’t even point to mistakes for his poor result, simply an uncompetitive car underneath him. It is starting to reach the stage now where Sauber are simply praying for a chaotic race which would bring them into points scoring contention. Realistically, that’s their best bet and Singapore could produce one of those races.
|9. MARCUS ERICSSON – CATERHAM RENAULT (0 PTS – TRAILS ROSBERG BY 238 PTS)|
|Last 5 Races: DNF, 18th, DNF, 17th, 19th||Best in Singapore: Debut|
While off-track issues continue to dominate the headlines, Marcus Ericsson continues to make steady progress in his rookie season but at this level, you have to ask whether ‘steady progress’ is good enough. The Swede was pleased with his pace and consistency at Monza but the end result was nineteenth spot, last of those to reach the chequered flag. The gap to teammate Kamui Kobayashi remains too big and closing that must remain Marcus’ target. He’ll be confident of doing that here having taken a sprint race podium in GP2 last year.
|13. PASTOR MALDONADO – LOTUS RENAULT (0 PTS – TRAILS ROSBERG BY 238 PTS)|
|Last 5 Races: 17th, 12th, 13th, DNF, 14th||Best in Singapore: 11th (2011, 2013)|
It says a lot when fourteenth place is seen as a positive result but the Italian Grand Prix was one of Pastor Maldonado’s better weekends this year. The Venezuelan was the stronger of the two Lotus drivers throughout the weekend and duly finished two places ahead of teammate Romain Grosjean on the Sunday. Pastor’s performances still haven’t been rewarded with some championship points and for that to change here, he will have to do something he has never done before, finish in the top ten at Marina Bay.
|21. ESTEBAN GUTIERREZ – SAUBER FERRARI (0 PTS – TRAILS ROSBERG BY 238 PTS)|
|Last 5 Races: DNF, 14th, DNF, 15th, 20th||Best in Singapore: 12th (2013)|
On paper, the Italian Grand Prix was never going to be a fruitful weekend for Esteban Gutierrez and the race subsequently lived down to expectations. The Mexican struggled badly on the harder tyre, forcing him onto a two-stop strategy and unnecessary late contact at the first chicane put the finishing touches on a disastrous afternoon. With his Formula One future in jeopardy, Gutierrez cannot afford any more weekends like this and the same must surely be said for Sauber, with the Swiss squad seemingly on the brink if they fail to score points soon.
|4. MAX CHILTON – MARUSSIA FERRARI (0 PTS – TRAILS ROSBERG BY 238 PTS)|
|Last 5 Races: 16th, 17th, 16th, 16th, DNF||Best in Singapore: 17th (2013)|
Max Chilton has come in for criticism during his Formula One career for a lack of outright pace but his consistency and reliability hasn’t been in doubt. Monza was a rare exception though with the Briton crashing out after just five laps of the Italian Grand Prix while battling with Romain Grosjean. Chilton admitted after the race that expectations were low heading into the race itself with Marussia not enjoying their most competitive outing but Max prides himself on his lack of mistakes and will want to put that right at Marina Bay.
|10. KAMUI KOBAYASHI – CATERHAM RENAULT (0 PTS – TRAILS ROSBERG BY 238 PTS)|
|Last 5 Races: 15th, 16th, DNF, n/a, 17th||Best in Singapore: 13th (2012)|
A weekend out of the car didn’t appear to slow Kamui Kobayashi down at all when the Japanese driver returned to Caterham at Monza. Kobayashi did a tremendous job to outqualify and outrace Jules Bianchi in the Marussia to give Caterham their first victory in the tail-end mini-race since Malaysia. Part of the result could be attributed to Caterham’s low-downforce upgrades which were taken to Spa and Monza so Singapore will be the acid test to prove whether they have truly closed the gap to Marussia in all conditions.