Ricciardo still confident of F1 victory in Singapore from P3 on grid

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo believes Singapore is the team's strongest chance of victory. Credit Red Bull Content Pool

Red Bull showed it might have the form to contend for victory at the Singapore Grand Prix, with Daniel Ricciardo beating his lap record again in the second practice on Friday (Saturday NZ Time).

The Red Bulls hung back and didn't head out for their timed laps until midway through the session, with Verstappen going fastest and Ricciardo second, 0.268s adrift of his teammate.

Red Bull are the most successful team in Singapore to date with three wins (2011-2013), ahead of Mercedes and Ferrari (two each).

After a disastrous start to the season with a non-finish in Melbourne, Ricciardo has rebuilt his confidence and is happy with Red Bull's progress.

It was widely believed that Singapore Grand Prix will end for good this year due to declining interest and attendance, as well as complaints of disrupted business due to extensive traffic restrictions in the city due to the event.

The drivers had got off to a slow start after a fire in a Porsche Carrera Cup race before qualifying left oil on the track at Turn 20, making driving conditions treacherous.

"Singapore will be a different story but it's better to go there in the lead than behind", the team's non-executive chairman Niki Lauda told Reuters after the Monza race.

Nico Hulkenberg, Fernando Alonso, Stoffel Vandoorne and Carlos Sainz completed the top 10.

Mercedes Benz driver, Valtteri Bottas, has renewed his contract with the team which means he will still race with the team in 2018.

The result gives Vettel a golden opportunity to reclaim the championship lead from Hamilton on Sunday.

Nevertheless, Hamilton - who became the season's first back-to-back winner following his triumph in Monza - is up for a fight.

Vettel mentioned that Ferrari's consistent development of the car is promising, with expected improvements to come soon.

McLaren have made the switch from Honda to Renault as engine suppliers, with Toro Rosso going the other way.

"I believe in myself, I believe I'll continue to grow as a driver and be a better driver".

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, though, the four-time champion was refusing to buy into the hype. It is also important to note that Nico Rosberg won at Singapore in 2016.

"I was very relieved when I crossed the line", he said later.

Ferrari's downforce is a key weapon at the 23-corner street circuit, whose lack of long straights traditionally nullifies Mercedes' high-speed advantage and puts overtaking at a premium.

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