Ricciardo tips Ferrari to win Singapore GP
Red Bull driver insists that Vettel and Co have improved since the Monaco Grand Prix
Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo may have dominated the Monaco Grand Prix in May, but he picks Ferrari as the favourites for this weekend's Singapore Grand Prix, which has a similarly tight circuit as Monaco.
Ricciardo headed all the practice and qualifying sessions at Monaco, and won the race seven seconds ahead of Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel.
But he insists that Vettel, who has won the Singapore Grand Prix four times, has the car to reign supreme on the Marina Bay circuit.
"I feel (Ferrari) have improved since Monaco," Ricciardo said on motor-racing website racefans.net. "I think we've improved, but not as much as them.
"Obviously, Monaco we had a little bit of room on them, but Singapore's probably not as strong as Monaco for us and then with that I would probably say Ferrari are the favourites going into Singapore, but we'll see. Hopefully it's close enough."
Vettel, who crashed out in the opening lap of last year's Singapore GP along with teammate Kimi Raikkonen, is second on the drivers' standings, 30 points behind Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton.
Meanwhile, Ricciardo's future employers, Renault, are quietly confident of a good result in Singapore.
Renault's chassis technical director Nick Chester believes that their R.S.18 car, which is good with low-speed corners, will put them at an advantage on the twisty circuit.
"It's a relatively slow circuit with a lot of corners, which is good for us," Chester said on another motor-racing website, thecheckeredflag.co.uk.
"It's quite a tricky track for set-up where you try to set up the car to be stable on entry into corners but without too much understeer in the low-speed turns.
"Our car is good in low-speed corners, so it should suit the package quite well. It's a unique street circuit, comparable to something in between Monaco and Abu Dhabi."
At the Italian Grand Prix two weeks ago, Renault's Carlos Sainz Jr finished eighth, promoted from ninth due to Romain Grosjean's disqualification.
Chester believes that with new parts - barge boards and sidepod vanes - introduced to the car, they will get a boost in Singapore.
He said: "It wasn't a bad Grand Prix in the end. We improved the car over the weekend. We thought we would struggle with it being the biggest power-sensitive track of the year, but, actually, the car performed well.
"The car balance was good and we had a few new bits on the car, which worked as desired.
"We didn't quite have the pace to get ahead of our rivals on track, but we were closer than expected and that bodes well when we travel to tracks which are twisty.
"In terms of upgrades, we have some new barge board and sidepod vane updates, which should be useful in Singapore."
With it being the rainy season in Singapore, Chester expects the climate to be a big factor.
He said: "When it's hot and humid, then cooling can be tricky. When it's wet, it's a different challenge even though our car goes quite well in the damp conditions.
"It's a lot of hard work for the drivers when it's humid. There are a lot of gear changes through the corners with the barriers to watch. Concentration has to be high."