2010 Singapore Grand Prix Preview

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
Round 15 - Marina Bay Street Circuit

Summary
With the European season firmly behind us and the title battles building to a climax, Formula One voyages to the rich city-state of Singapore for the third running of the night race around the houses.

In fact, depending on your perspective, this year will mark the third, the tenth or even the thirteenth running of the Singapore Grand Prix. The early events ran from 1961-73 and were held on another street circuit, based in dense woodlands off Upper Thomson Road to the north of the city centre. The circuit took in two distinct sections, with a mile-long straight following the main road with bus stops and lamp posts lining the track edge, and a right-handed kink over a crest taken at around 160mph. The return section was narrow, twisting and undulating, lined with enormous trees, steep embankments and monsoon drains. Even by the standards of the era it was heart-in-the-mouth stuff, and serious accidents were commonplace, several fatal.

Singapore unilaterally declared independence from Britain in 1963, and for the next two years was part of the Malaysian Federation, hence the three races held in the intervening period were titled the Malaysian Grand Prix. With full independence in August 1965 the event became known as the Singapore Grand Prix. Typically run to Formule Libre regulations the events attracted a mixed bag of cars and drivers, with local participants Rodney Seow and Lee Han Seng gaining a measure of hero status through their exploits. By the early 1970s the cream of the crop had Formula 2 cars at their disposal, and leading drivers from Australia and New Zealand were taking part - the final race in 1972 being won by future F1 driver Vern Schuppan at an average speed of over 90mph.

Increasing safety concerns and the oil crisis of 1973 brought the event to an end and few could have expected the city streets to be reverberating to the sound of racing engines ever again. The petrolheads at the Singapore Tourism Board never forgot, however - or so they tell us - and with the government providing the majority of the financial support for the event, Bernie Ecclestone was presented with a project he could hardly refuse.

The first Singapore GP of the modern era in 2008 was notable for a number of firsts. Impressively, the organisers sold out their entire allocation of 110,000 tickets. Even more impressively, they had agreed to Ecclestone's request for the event to be held at night (to maximise the European TV audience) and successfully tackled the enormous logistical problem of floodlighting the entire 5km course. The Singapore skyline at night provided a unique backdrop to the event that must have delighted the tourism board.

Unfortunately the 2008 race will also be remembered for the cynical manipulation of the race by the Renault team, who had arranged for their driver Nelson Piquet Jr. to crash on lap 14. The resultant Safety Car benefitted Piquet's team-mate Fernando Alonso, who had already made his pit stop, and the Spaniard went on to take the victory from Williams' Nico Rosberg, who had pitted for fuel when the pit lane was closed, but still made a net gain due to the stewards' tardiness in applying the stop-go penalty. Ferrari's Felipe Massa was signalled to leave his pit with the fuel hose still attached and scored no points, a serious blow to his putative championship bid.

Held almost entirely on extant city streets, the Marina Bay circuit is narrow, tight and comparatively slow. The longest straight runs from Turn 5 along Raffles Boulevard to the 90-degree left at Turn 7, but even this is a very difficult place to attempt an overtaking manoeuvre. Drivers have commented on the bumpiness of the circuit, and resurfacing work has been undertaken at key points in advance of this year's event. The high kerbs at the Turn 10 chicane have additionally been reprofiled, this change likely to result in slightly higher apex speeds through that corner. High ambient temperatures - even at night - and low average speeds will make for hot, sticky cockpits and provide a stern test of drivers' stamina and concentration levels. While previous events have remained dry, Singapore is known for heavy early evening downpours and in combination with the floodlighting this could make visibility through clear visors very challenging.

The overall finishing rate at Marina Bay is well below the average for this year's circuits.
The likelihood of a driver-related retirement is about typical.
Mechanical failures in Singapore have among the highest likelihood of all current tracks.
Finally, the circuit has yet to record a single first-lap retirement.

The Last Five Years
2005------
2006------
2007------
2008201533014 - Fernando Alonso (Renault)
200920144206 - Jenson Button (Brawn)
Overall4029750
[td]Year[/td][td]Starters[/td][td]Finishers[/td][td]Retirements - Mech[/td][td]Retirements - Acc[/td][td]Lap 1 retirements[/td][td]Most places gained[/td]

Circuit Ranking (of all 18 circuits)
Finishing Rate
...
14th Interlagos 75%
15th Singapore 73%
16th Catalunya 68%
...

Mechanical Failures

1st Catalunya 19%
2nd Singapore 18%
3rd Sakhir 17%
...

Driver-related Retirements
...
6th Interlagos 13%
7th Singapore 13%
8th Sepang 12%
...

First lap Retirements
...
14th Monza 1.0%
15th= Monte Carlo, Shanghai, Singapore, Yas Marina 0.0%
...

Great rivals Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso have each split wins with third places over the two previous runnings of the event, though Alonso's best grid position is fifth, while Hamilton will be looking to maintain his record of starting from the front row in both previous Singapore Grands Prix. Nico Rosberg's finest moments as a Williams driver arguably came in Singapore, with a second place in 2008 and a third-place grid slot last time. BMW Sauber returnee Nick Heidfeld is a previous points-scorer, but Michael Schumacher and Sakon Yamamoto will be among seven drivers getting their first sight of the circuit in Friday practice. Mark Webber's perennial bad luck with his cars has struck with unusual force at this track and a points-scoring finish of some sort must be essential this time around.

Ferrari have very poor memories of this venue for any number of reasons, and they languish with Force India as the only established teams yet to pick up a point in Singapore. While Renault's win in 2008 was ill-gotten their car worked well there last season too, as did the aerodynamically compromised but tractable Williams. On the face of it the combination of short straights and tight turns seems tailor-made to give Mercedes GP's Ross Brawn a headache this weekend, though BMW Sauber may feel this race presents an opportunity for them to score.

Current Drivers' Records at Marina Bay
Lewis Hamilton221st (1)16001.5
Fernando Alonso221st (1)160010
Timo Glock222nd (1)13006.5
Sebastian Vettel224th (1)9004
Nico Rosberg222nd (1)8005.5
Jenson Button225th (1)40011.5
Rubens Barrichello216th (1)31013.5
Nick Heidfeld216th (1)30114.5
Heikki Kovalainen227th (1)2006.5
Robert Kubica228th (1)1005.5
Jarno Trulli2112th (1)01012.5
Felipe Massa1113th (1)0001
Vitantonio Liuzzi1114th (1)00019
Adrian Sutil20Ret01117
Sebastien Buemi10Ret01013
Jaime Alguersuari10Ret01016
Mark Webber20Ret0208.5
Lucas di Grassi0------
Nico Hulkenberg0------
Kamui Kobayashi0------
Vitaly Petrov0------
Michael Schumacher0------
Bruno Senna0------
Sakon Yamamoto0------
[td]Driver[/td][td]Starts[/td][td]Finishes[/td][td]Best result[/td][td]Points[/td][td]Retirements - Mech[/td][td]Retirements - Acc[/td][td]Average grid pos.[/td]

Chassis Records at Marina Bay
McLaren441st (1)18004
Renault421st (1)161113.5
Williams442nd (1)9007.75
Red Bull424th (1)7208.25
Mercedes GP435th (1)71012.5
Toro Rosso425th (1)42013
BMW Sauber436th (1)40110
Ferrari4410th (1)0018.25
Force India4214th (2)01118.25
Hispania0------
Lotus0------
Virgin0------
[td]Chassis[/td][td]Starts[/td][td]Finishes[/td][td]Best result[/td][td]Points[/td][td]Retirements - Mech[/td][td]Retirements - Acc[/td][td]Average grid pos.[/td]
Results for Mercedes GP include Honda and Brawn

Engine Records at Marina Bay
Mercedes-Benz871st (1)25108.75
Renault841st (1)233110.88
Ferrari1075th (1)42212.4
Cosworth0------
[td]Engine[/td][td]Starts[/td][td]Finishes[/td][td]Best result[/td][td]Points[/td][td]Retirements - Mech[/td][td]Retirements - Acc[/td][td]Average grid pos.[/td]

All ranking figures are expressed as a % of total starts.
"Retirements-Acc" are retirements where the reason has been listed as Collision, Accident or Spun Off.
 

MCLS

Anti F1 fan
Valued Member
Re: Singapore GP Preview

If it remains status quo then Red Bull and Ferrari will walk the race by over a minute from the rest of the race. However McLaren seem very confident about the updates to their car, so at the moment any-one of the top 3 teams (bar Massa?) could win this weekend, we have to see how the cars work on Friday.
 

fat jez

Race Winner
Valued Member
Re: Singapore GP Preview

Excellent write up, I didn't know there had been previous Singapore GP's. :thumbsup:
 

sportsman

Sidecar racers have the biggest cojones
Contributor
Re: Singapore GP Preview

Great article.Very infomative.This one could throw up a few suprises.Renault being the dark horse in the mix.
Mercedes could well spring a suprise here as well
 

LifeW12

Podium Finisher
Re: Singapore GP Preview

Didn't know that there's not been a first lap retirement yet considering all the traps here :s :s

I reckon 4 cars will go out at T1
 

Speshal

World Champion
Valued Member
Re: Singapore GP Preview

sportsman said:
Great article.Very informative.This one could throw up a few surprises.Renault being the dark horse in the mix.
Mercedes could well spring a surprise here as well
Agreed ^^^ but I can guarantee I'll still probably want to stab my own eyes out before lap 10

Cheers for another cracking article G - annoyingly I sent it to my Dad and he said, had I been born a few years earlier I could have watched them going down the straight from his flat - d'oh
 

F1Yorkshire

Avatar for sale to the highest bidder
Contributor
Re: Singapore GP Preview

The weather could play a huge part in this race. I was looking at the satellite forecast for this week on the BBC and it seems it rains inland during the day and over water at night. With Singapore been located on the coast there is an incredibly high chance of rain this year which will be very interesting with the floodlights.
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
Re: Singapore GP Preview

Will Vitaly be loaded up with the side pod debris, ready for a deliberate crash to win the race for King Kubica.

Glare + Rain + Walls = An Interesting Race

If it rains the 2:00 deadline will be missed!
 

Grizzly

Bear
Contributor
Re: Singapore GP Preview

here was i thinking Kubica does his racing on the track, not the con-track-t :whistle:
 

MCLS

Anti F1 fan
Valued Member
Re: Singapore GP Preview

DOF_power said:
A cookie cutter crap track if there ever was one, this and Valencia (and the new Hockenheim).
Well i'll definately agree with you about Valencia, and possibly Singapore, but the new Hockenheims a good track, albeit not as good as the original but has had good races
 

Chad Stewarthill

Champion Elect
Contributor
Re: Singapore GP Preview

Galahad said:
Great rivals Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso have each split wins with third places over the two previous runnings of the event
Was your tongue firmly in your cheek when you wrote that bit? ;)
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
Re: Singapore GP Preview

Chad Stewarthill said:
Galahad said:
Great rivals Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso have each split wins with third places over the two previous runnings of the event
Was your tongue firmly in your cheek when you wrote that bit? ;)
Or did you just miss out the "... but Hamilton's win was not achieved by an act that can only not be considered daylight robbery because the race started at night" bit?
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
Re: Singapore GP Preview

teabagyokel said:
Chad Stewarthill said:
Galahad said:
Great rivals Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso have each split wins with third places over the two previous runnings of the event
Was your tongue firmly in your cheek when you wrote that bit? ;)
Or did you just miss out the "... but Hamilton's win was not achieved by an act that can only not be considered daylight robbery because the race started at night" bit?
ROFL
 
Top Bottom