Olive branches have been extended and accordingly changed hands in camp Mercedes, with Lewis Hamilton speaking of everything being ‘back to normal’ in the ranks following his Spa skirmish with compadre Nico Rosberg.
The Englishman bested his German colleague by less than a tenth of a second in qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix to take pole, making him 7/10 to claim the laurels for the second successive race after prevailing in Monza last time out.
Second on the grid Rosberg can be backed at 9/4, while P3 bronze medallist Daniel Ricciardo starts at 8/1 with Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel fourth favourite at 16’s.
The slender margins that divided the two at the head of the betting, however, make a punt on Drivers’ Championship pacesetter Rosberg very much worthwhile.
Starting in the ascendency did Hamilton no favours in Italy a fortnight ago, with teammate ‘Britney’ capitalising on the son of Stevenage’s tyres getting stuck in treacle at the green flag to promptly take control of the race.
Had it not been for an error-strewn performance from there on in, he would’ve undoubtedly claimed the chequered flag.
Four of the last six drivers to claim pole have gone on to sit the top step on the podium at the Marina Bay circuit at the conclusion of proceedings, including Hamilton in 2009, but Rosberg has always performed admirably under the floodlights here.
He’s recorded a top ten in every race since signing up with Mercedes in 2010, despite driving a substandard car for the first three seasons.
Since winning here in 2009, Hamilton has failed to finish on two occasions, mustering just two fifth-place efforts when he has completed the allotted laps.
Furthermore, nine races have come and gone since Rosberg has been chewing the Brit’s dust when the driving has ended, so side with him to gain Italian vengeance in Singapore.