Grand Prix 2013 Singapore Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

So break out your long haul baggage boys we're back on the fly aways and we're off to Singapore.

A lot has been said about Singapore but one thing that can't be argued about is how jaw droppingly spectacular Formula One's premium night race is at on the Marina Bay Street Circuit. We all know that the idea of the night race was a concept Bernie pushed for European viewing figures but wow how amazing does it look? The lit up city of Singapore is the perfect background and its success is shown in the fact that both Abu Dhabi and Bahrain are trying to move in on the turf. I've always loved Singapore For me it is the showpiece of the fly aways, the Asian Monaco.
I know some people will agree with a cynical grunt about it being the Asian Monaco as its viewed as a dull track with very few overtaking spots and while it is true that overtakes can only be done with a great amount of skill for me Singapore is a drivers circuit and we've had our fair share of action if we look back.

The place certainly has character and history for a race that's only been running in its modern format since 2008. The very first race in 2008 was of course THAT race with THAT Piquet crash. Something that has meant the corner in question shall always been known as Piquet corner if only unofficially. But lets not forget we had some other memorable moments at that race. Who can forget the site of the (slightly tubby) Ferrari pit crew rushing down the pitlane after Massa pulled away with the fuel hose still attached leaving his championship on tatters. Alonso is still listed as the official winner of that race but very few of us agree he was. The majority of people will refer to that race as Nico Rosberg's first win which I completely disagree with. Rosberg got just as much an advantage from the Piquet crash as Alonso. If it was deemed cheating the result should have been declared from the running order the lap previous to the Piquet crash which would have made Massa the first official winner - it would also have given him half points and the 2008 world title. 2009 was all about Lewis Hamilton although most people will remember it for Rosberg's top notch performance spoiled by crossing the pitlane exit line and getting a penalty. 2010 was Alonso vs Vettel with Fernando sitting just in front of Seb for the whole 60 laps after a tasty defence off the start line. We also saw a still much debated coming together between Webber and Hamilton off a safety car re-start. 2011 was the season of Vettel dominance and Singapore was not much different and I'm still not sure whether Button was really pushing him that day or he was just taking it easy. 2011 had more to discuss with yet another Hamilton/Massa coming together. Which brings us to last year which had all the right elements for a classic with Hamilton on pole, Maldonado second and Vettel in third but when Maldo got a poor start and Lewis's gearbox went on lap 23 no one could really live with Vettel who is a master round here at the best of times. 2012 did see one first though. Michael Schumacher crashed in to the back of Jean-Eric Vergne and actually got out of the car an apologised to JEV because the accident was his fault! No wonder he chose to retire.

So race number 6 is about to come up with some slight changes to the track lay out as the Singapore Sling at turn 10 has been reconfigured so drivers have to negotiate a flowing left hander and whilst, after the last two races, expectations are low but I have a feeling Singapore is going to throw us up and event. It is true that Sebastian Vettel is king of Singapore but Alonso has always been hot round here and on occasions Hamilton has looked unbeatable but has had some very bad luck. Other than China this is probably Rosbergs best track and Button has always ran well here so we do have the right ingredients for a close fight and some wheel to wheel racing which probably bring down the already high odds of a safety car. Someone who has never had a good day at Singapore is Kimi and if you throw in the fact Grosjean has always been average here (he replicated the Piquet crash in practice in 2009 much to the embarrassment of his team) and I wouldn't expect a good weekend for the team from Enstone. Di Resta got his best result ever round here but with Force India falling away I can't see him repeating it. Williams have always been good round here but this year they'll need a miracle. Toro Rosso might be worth a bet for a result though with the car looking good, Ricciardo on a high and Vergne being a bit of a street circuit demon. Although the best bet is Hulkenberg in the top 5 as he is flying at the moment.

So love it or hate it no one can argue that Singapore isn't unique and I'm sure as always with this place we'll have something to argue with each other about for weeks afterwards.
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
RasputinLives - Now if you want to look for a Singapore specialist - di Resta has picked up 20 points from 2 races here, matching his form from Bahrain. He's not got into double figures at any other circuit!
 

mjo

Procrastinating
Contributor
Great write up RasputinLives :thumbsup:
I wonder how much quicker the circuit will be now that idiotic chicane has been removed. Also, how strange it is that we haven't had a rainstorm yet.
Oh, and Vettel will win.
 
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cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
The majority of people will refer to that race as Nico Rosberg's first win which I completely disagree with. Rosberg got just as much an advantage from the Piquet crash as Alonso

Well I disagree with your disagreement.

What you've said is a bit like removing a world record from a runner who comes in second place if the guy who finishes first was found to have taken drugs. The second place runner may have tried extra hard in a futile attempt to win the race and in that effort exceeded their best ever time. So you could argue that the only reason a world record pace was run was due to the advantage of following a drugged up runner.

Alonso's win was as a result of a premeditated action of cheating. He should have lost it. Rosberg just dealt with the situation he was presented and also, the only way he could have achieved a real advantage would be if he was as short fuelled as Alonso. Now wouldn't that have raised some questions??

As for the track itself, I think it's doing it's job quite nicely. I have visited Singapore many times and it's a fantastic city. At least it's a track that punishes a driver for making mistakes. You are right in saying that it's the Monaco of Asia and as alternate Moncao's go it would still look pretty good if the race was run in daylight unlike Valencia which should have been run in the dark. Actually no, scratch that, unlike Valencia which should have never been run at all.

Anyone else think the race will be anything other than a certain German fella in his Red Bull cruising to the finish?
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
The trouble with rain is that when it rains in Singapore it RAINS !!! The race would be red flagged in seconds.
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
I think we need a whole separate thread for the Rosberg/2008/win discussion or we could get into a long one. My view is that the race was tainted from the moment of the crash and the result should have been called from there and that would have been the only way to rectify the deliberate actions taken.

How about raining before the race starts so its wet for the first few laps (I know it drys quick) and we get a nice "whose gonna risk drys first" race.
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
It's not too bad, is it? If it was a daytime race it would be too similar to Monaco for my taste, probably, but holding it at night changes the overall ambience (and ambients).

Sad to see the bumpy chicane go. 'Elf and safety, wouldn't have happened in my day mumble mumble etc.
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
I thought I was gonna get heckled for liking Singapore. Glad I'm not the only one. Now about Valencia............kidding!

teabagyokel I would love to see the Button train you're talking about coz with the speed of that Mclaren you'd probably get both Red Bulls, Both Mercs, Alonso and possibly Kimi and Hulkenberg all trailing behind him and that would be a battle and a half to watch. Would all end in tears of course #Webbercrashesintosomeonebutitsnothisfaulthonest
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
I guess what you can say about Singapore is that if you have to pick one out from a bucket of turds I guess you have to find some criteria to make your selection. "I think that's the best turd because it has a lovely shape to it compared to the other turds"
 
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