After the first practice session in Singapore, Rubens Barrichello is leading his teammate Jenson Button by just over two-tenths of a second. Right behind them is the resurgent Red Bulls of Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel. Fernando Alonso is sitting squarely in between those two in fourth. Of course, this being first practice, it doesn’t really mean a whole lot. Come second practice we will know more. However, I do feel that the Brawn team will step up the pace this weekend and cement their hold on the championship. I would think the Jenson will begin to make a strong case for the title of World Champion by winning followed home by Vettel and then Alonso. The rest of the points runners will be Raikkonen, Barrichello, Webber, Rosberg and Hamilton (in no particular order).
Update on my predictions. We all know that the Brawns work best in hot weather. And we also know that the engines in Vettel’s car are fickle at best. So I’m not sure which way to go with this. I think that there could be a surprise or two in the points finishers and maybe even a surprising face on the podium. I would like to move Alonso up though. His Renault – despite last year’s controversy – actually does seem to like these streets. I’m going out on a limb here and putting Alonso second and moving Vettel to the top step. Button is being demoted to the third step as well. Essentially I still have the same podium, but the finishing positions are skewed. I would also like to remove Barrichello from the points scorers and put in Kovalainen. He seems to need a good result, because he probably won’t be in a Silver Arrows next season and will want to impress some other teams with his race pace, which hasn’t been spectacular this season. So that’s it then. Those are my final predictions for the weekend. On to the race!