Alonso can relish the spotlight

  • Last Updated: September 18 2012, 17:48 BST

Formula One's only night race, the fifth edition in downtown Singapore run in the glare of spotlights, but the man directly in the glare is still Lewis Hamilton.

Fernando Alonso: Tipped for victory

He has not yet agreed terms with a team for 2013 so speculation mounts, as does the tension within the McLaren team, just when they are in a position to mount a critical challenge to Ferrari.

Realistically Hamilton's team mate Button is too far away to challenge, 78 points behind leader Alonso, but Lewis is only 37 points down after his brilliant win at Monza and McLaren know they must now capitalise.

Whilst I have Hamilton down as my pole position man, I don't think he will repeat his win of 2009.

I am sure he will end up the favourite but mine is Fernando Alonso.

He has won two of the four races held here, admittedly the first was controversial as the RenaultF1 Team were proven to have deliberately told Nelson Piquet Jr to crash his car early on bringing out a safety car that ultimately allowed Fernando to win.

Senior engineer and strategist Pat Symonds is still serving a five-year ban for the offence, while team principal Flavio Briatore received a life time ban from the FIA which was subsequently overturned by the French courts.

Nevertheless, Alonso has enjoyed three podiums in four races on these bumpy streets.

He also won in Valencia earlier this year, a high downforce street track like Singapore, and while the Ferrari still does not have the fast circuit ability of a McLaren it should be a match for the Woking-built machine in the confines of the 5km Marina Bay circuit.

I have Hamilton in second place with Vettel completing the podium in third. Last year's winner will benefit from the tight track and the fact that just 48 per cent of the lap requires full throttle, the Red Bull has been struggling for top end power at the superfast racks like Monza and Spa.

But here is their chance to get back into the points after a disastrous Italian Grand Prix.

Jenson Button was second last year and I expect him to be competitive, but he is concerned that should Lewis move to Mercedes he possesses a lot of knowledge about the new 2013 car so it will be interesting to see how much co-operation he gives his team mate.

I have Jenson down for fourth.

Sauber were superb at Monza with second for Sergio Perez.

Their 2013 car is 60 per cent better than last year's car so don't judge their results from last year as I think they will be good top-six material.

This time I think street fighter Kobayashi could get up to fifth and the improving Force India of Paul Di Resta could complete the top six.

You could mix and match the above but this top six is based on current form, and vitally their form at this difficult track.

Turn 1, turn 7 and turn 10, known as the Singapore sling, are all highly challenging but T7 got the better of Michael Schumacher last year as he totally misjudged his braking and crashed over the back of Perez's Sauber, the German hitting the wall with quite a force.

For all his mistakes this year I have considered his super podium at Valencia (his only one since returning three years ago) and think maybe he could deliver a spectacular result if there are problems for the front runners.

Good luck in Singapore and enjoy the street fight!