If there was any chance of beating Mercedes this year, the Singapore Grand Prix may be the best opportunity on the cards for Ferrari and Red Bull.
As the teams ran under the lights of Formula 1’s only night race, qualifying amounted to an interesting chess match for Mercedes to try and retain their qualifying domination in 2015 but a very real threat was always going to come from Red Bull and Ferrari.
Red Bull knew that Singapore was going to be their best chance of doing well and they even took massive penalties two weeks ago in Italy in order to come to Singapore with fresh engines, gearboxes and chances.
Ferrari have steadily made progress all year and this high downforce circuit played well into the hands of the Scuderia. They looked as strong a Red Bull through all three practice sessions.
If we knew that Red Bull was going to look good in Singapore, we may have not counted on Daniil Kvyat being a man on a mission. H looked fantastic all weekend long. For Ferrari, they were looking to claim their first pole position in dry weather in five years.
Sebastian Vettel firmly put his foot down and claimed pole just ahead of an equally motivated Daniel Ricciardo. Vettel pummeled the Mercedes by over a full second which is usually the type of performance Mercedes gives us each race weekend.
Mercedes struggled all weekend to find pace and eventually ended 5th and 6th on the grid for Sunday’s race with Lewis Hamilton leading teammate and closest championship rival Nico Rosberg.
If Ferrari or Red Bull were ever going to challenge Mercedes, they had to qualify ahead of the Silver Arrows and they did just that. It will be difficult for either Mercedes to get around the Ferrari’s and Red Bull’s on Sunday but Lewis Hamilton is trying to equal the late Ayrton Senna’s record of 41 wins in 161 races so he’ll be motivated for sure.