The three-time world champion Hamilton, who penned a poetic tribute to mark 20 years since the death of Princess Diana, was also moved to wax lyrical about his performances behind the wheel. Although Ferrari were well down on the pace in the evening, Sebastian Vettel was three-tenths quicker in first practice. "On the surface, Singapore is the kind of circuit that should favour both Ferrari and Red Bull", said Wolff here Wednesday. Former champions McLaren and Williams have not won since 2012.
Just as Mercedes have learned to control and improve their "diva" of a W08, Brundle wrote in his latest Sky F1 column that "Ferrari have to hit back hard immediately with power and aero updates". The victor of the Singapore GP has gone on to become world champion almost half the time - Sebastian Vettel (2011, 2012, 2013) and Lewis Hamilton (2014).
Hamilton has 112 podiums to date and is second on the all-time list behind Schumacher (155).
Meanwhile, Hamilton took the championship lead at Monza, showing his class at the Italian Grand Prix. Jolyon Palmer has become a regular on this list, and he's on it again as he failed to put in a good performance in Italy.
Hamilton also expects a closer battle.
Reigning world champions Mercedes AMG are certainly not getting their hopes high ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix, admitting ahead of the race that it will be "more hard".
Red Bull is third in the constructors' championship, a long way behind Ferrari in second. He was out-qualified by his teammate who he has boasted an advantage over this season, and then went onto finish plum last, two laps down on the leader. The pole-sitter has won seven of the nine Singapore races so far.
The lowest winning grid position was Alonso, who came from 15th place in a now-notorious 2008 race where his Brazilian team mate Nelson Piquet crashed his Renault deliberately on team orders.
After the conclusion of the European leg in 2017, Formula One gears up for one of the most glamorous races of the calendar year with Singapore being the next stop, the 14th race of this campaign.
Will it come down to reliability, just as we saw with Hamilton and his engine in Malaysia previous year? Ricciardo's race pace in the later long runs also caught the eye. Last year's lasted one hour and 55 minutes.
Ricciardo arrives in Singapore in very consistent form, with six podiums in the last nine races.
The Sky F1 pundits have had their say, with Paul di Resta, Damon Hill and Brundle plumping for Hamilton, while Herbert believes Vettel can recover to claim a fifth crown.