2015 Track Preview; Singapore Grand Prix, Marina Bay

singapore_marina_bay_street_circuit

Lewis Hamilton wins the Italian Grand Prix ahead of Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel in second place and Williams driver Felipe Massa in third place. Force India, Lotus and Sauber also scored some much needed points at the event.

Heading into the Grand Prix weekend, it has been announced that the race will go ahead even though there are smog issues in Singapore at the moment. For more information on this, please read my article here:- https://jonesonf1.wordpress.com/2015/09/16/singapore-gp-to-go-ahead-this-weekend-despite-smog/.

It was announced yesterday that Renault will no longer be supplying F1 engines; which in turn affects their relationship with Red Bull. If you want to read more about this, then please read my article here:- https://jonesonf1.wordpress.com/2015/09/16/renault-confirms-that-they-will-not-be-supplying-f1-engines-no-more/.

Also it was announced yesterday that Alexander Rossi will make his F1 debut in Singapore this weekend and will also finish the last four races with the Manor F1 team. If you want to read more about this, then please read my article here:- https://jonesonf1.wordpress.com/2015/09/16/rossi-handed-f1-debut-in-singapore-with-manor-f1/.

The Marina Bay Street Circuit is very demanding with several 90-degree corners and a bumpy track which runs close to the walls. It is a typical street circuit with practically no run-off areas; therefore the drivers have to concentrate all the time as there is no margin for error. As with Monaco or Valencia, tyres and aerodynamics are the key factors at the Marina Bay Circuit.

The race is run at night which means that if the track get wet it will take a long time to dry given both the humidity and lack of sunshine.

However, the Singapore Grand Prix is one of the slowest of the Formula One season, with a stop-start nature that never gives the drivers a chance to relax. Engines will be at full throttle for just over 50 percent of the lap. The average lap speed is only about 175 km/h, although top speeds approach 300 km/h down Raffles Boulevard.

The circuit length is 5.07 kilometres and the direction is anti-clockwise. It is quite a long track for one in a city. There are some overtaking opportunities for example at turn four, turn seven, and towards the end of the lap is where the drivers will be looking to gain some places in the race on Sunday.

In 2008; Fernando Alonso won the first ever Formula One night race just 2.9 seconds ahead of Nico Rosberg. During the spectacular event, 108,423 meters of power cables, 240 steel pylons and around 1,600 light projectors with a total power requirement of 3,180,000 watts was used.

The timing of the night event means it can be broadcast at a convenient time for European television audiences as well as thrilling local fans. Adding to the feel of the race is the Singapore Flyer, which is currently the tallest ferris wheel in the world. It is situated right next to the track and affords great views of the circuit for the many fans who will be attending the race weekend.

And here are the facts and figures heading into the race weekend…

Facts and Figures

  • Singapore has hosted the Grand Prix since 2008.
  • Sebastian Vettel is the most successful driver at the track with three wins.
  • Red Bull is the most successful constructor to win the Grand Prix with three wins.
  • Race distance: 309.31km (192.20 miles)
  • Number of turns: 23
  • Top speed: 297kph
  • Lap record: Kimi Raikkonen- Ferrari (2008)- 1.45.599

Last five winners from the Singapore Grand Prix:-

  • 2010-Fernando Alonso
  • 2011-Sebastian Vettel
  • 2012-Sebastian Vettel
  • 2013- Sebastian Vettel
  • 2014- Lewis Hamilton

My top five finishers of the Singapore Grand Prix:-

In no particular order, here’s my top five predictions for the Singapore Grand Prix as follows:-

  1. Nico Rosberg
  2. Lewis Hamilton
  3. Sebastian Vettel
  4. Kimi Raikkonen
  5. Valtteri Bottas

Based on what the top five drivers have managed to achieve so far this season, I believe that Rosberg has to beat Hamilton this weekend again in order to show that he cannot be discounted for challenging Hamilton for the title; especially when many believe that he has lost the title to Hamilton already.

Hamilton will also want to win this weekend at a track that has been kind to him over the years in front of his fans who will be attending this weekend and also maintain the small championship gap over to Sebastian Vettel who I believe could challenge the Mercedes pairing this year; provided that Ferrari keep going in the same direction they are currently. And finally, I believe that Raikkonen and Bottas could both have solid weekends provided that they are able to get the right set ups on their cars over the weekend.

Do you agree with my predictions for this weekend? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Sky Sports F1 are showing uninterrupted coverage of every Practice session, Qualifying and race for the Grand Prix (and every race of the season) and the BBC also are showing coverage, details for both are below:-

  • Sky Sports F1:- Friday (Practice 1 and 2) 10.45am and 2.15pm [Replays throughout Thursday and Friday], Saturday (Practice 3 and Qualifying) 10.45am and 1.00pm [Replays throughout Saturday], Sunday (Race) 11.30am
  • BBC- Saturday (Qualifying highlights) 5.10pm, Sunday (Race Highlights) 5.00pm.
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