Formula 1: Mercedes expect tough test in Singapore

Toto Wolff of Mercedes. (Credit: PlanetF1)

Mercedes principal Toto Wolff expects Red Bull to be their main rival at the Singapore GP, but hasn’t ruled out Ferrari.

Despite their best efforts, Mercedes were unable to derail Ferrari and Charles Leclerc as the 21-year-old claimed back-to-back wins at Spa and Monza.

However, Formula 1 now heads to the Marina Bay Street Circuit, and the twisty, technical circuit under the bright lights is expected to shift the balance of power back in Mercedes and Red Bull’s favour.

It would be Mercedes’ fourth straight win in Singapore having had Lewis Hamilton win the last two races and Nico Rosberg in 2016.

Hamilton celebrating Mercedes win last year. (Credits: EDGAR SU)

Wolff is excited to find out if his team are “demolishing” Red Bull at a circuit where the Austrian outfit expect to be strong, but Mercedes don’t want to write Ferrari off just yet even though the track is unlikely to suit their low downforce model.

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“We knew that Spa and Monza would be difficult for us,” Wolff told Sky Sports. “On paper, we should be strong in Singapore – as should Red Bull be. Let’s see if we are really demolishing them there.

“But I have no doubt that Ferrari will have learned and will have a good package there, better than Hungary.”

Leclerc has stated already though that he expects Ferrari to struggle around the streets of Singapore.

“We need to stay realistic,” he insisted.”I think we expected that Spa and Monza would be very good races for our car but we also know that the next few races will be a lot more difficult for our car.

“It’s not going to be easy. especially Singapore. I think it will be a nice surprise if we are better than what we expect – but what we expect – is to struggle there.”