Ferrari return to the scene of their last victory in Formula One at the Singapore Grand Prix needing a similar result if they are to overhaul Red Bull in the race for second in the World Constructors’ Championship.
In 2015, Sebastian Vettel took his fourth win at the Marina Bay circuit in eight outings since the inaugural race back in 2008, with Kimi Raikkonen third as Mercedes struggled all weekend with tyre warm-up.
2016 was meant to be the year that the Scuderia built on successes like that, but it never materialised after sloppy strategy calls, inconsistent pace throughout the European season and a lack of in-season development due in part to technical director James Allison’s departure.
While all of this was going on, Red Bull and particularly Renault’s development has seen Ferrari fall to third in the Constructors’ Championship.
Monza represented something close to a return to form and was certainly one of the few races in which Ferrari have maximised their potential, as Vettel and Raikkonen finished third and fourth respectively to close the gap to Red Bull to 11 points, although this was expected.
While Vettel has four wins in Singapore, three of those came while he was with Ferrari’s direct opponents Red Bull, who are tipped by some to be the team to beat this weekend.
To add to the challenge, Mercedes believe they have worked out why they struggled so badly with the supersoft compound last year and are once again widely expected to head the timesheets this weekend.
Raikkonen himself has two third places at Asia’s most glamorous race, and Ferrari have one other win courtesy of Fernando Alonso in 2010.
A repeat of 2015’s excellence looks like a tall order for the Prancing Horse this time around, but should it happen, they have a real chance of second place and salvaging 2016 yet.