M he Grand Prix of Singapore begins for the ten Formula 1 Teams the big overseas finals. Seven races outside the European continent must bring the championship decision in a good two months. The question of the title seems to have already been resolved, but the fans can still look forward to some exciting duels.
Recently, the racing fans were more than spoiled. Since the Austrian GP, the premier class has set off one fireworks display after the other. For six races in a row, the trophies were fiercely contested right through to the final laps. The chances that things will continue like this in Singapore are not bad. In recent years, the premier class has always produced a lot of drama and spectacle under floodlights.
The tensions in the Ferrari warehouse provide additional spice. An open rivalry has developed between Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc. After two victories for the youngster, the experienced top dog from Heppenheim should now slowly start the counterattack before his teammate overtakes him.
The fans of Max Verstappen also have to turn on the television. Red Bull should again be much stronger on the angled street circuit than on the power circuits of Spa and Monza. And maybe by chance one of the daily tropical thunderstorms will cross the slopes exactly at race time. Incidentally, the start in Singapore is an hour earlier than the European races. The lights of the traffic lights go out at 2.10 p.m. German time.
The route: Marina Bay Street Circuit
70 percent of the 5.063-kilometer circuit in the Marina Bay district takes the pilots via public roads Streets. Even if a few passages are re-paved every year, the grip level is always at the bottom of the scale. The regular downpours also prevent a sticky rubber layer from forming on the racing line.
The many bumps in the road make the ride through the crash barrier jungle a torture for the pilots. As if temperatures of over 30 ° C and a humidity level at sauna level weren't exhausting enough. There are not many places to relax on the angled street circuit. 23 curves are a record on the calendar. And every little mistake can end up in the gang.
With a race time of almost two hours, you have to be fit. Otherwise your concentration will drop in the final laps. Many drivers refer to the Singapore GP as thatmost physically demanding of all races. The error rate is traditionally high here. Because overtaking is also exceptionally difficult, the FIA decided to set up a third DRS zone between turns 13 and 14 this year.
Fast facts about the Singapore GP
- Track length: 5.063 kilometers
- Number of laps: 61
- Race distance: 308.843
- Lap record (race): Lewis Hamilton, 1: 45.008 min (2017)
- Distance from pole position to T1: 301 meters
- Longest straight: 832 meters (before T7)
- DRS zones: 3 (home straight, T5 -T7, T13-T14)
- Full throttle: 49 percent
- Tire types: C3, C4 & C5
- Tire wear: low
- Brake wear : high
- Safety car probability: high (11 out of 11 races)
The stop-and-go characteristic, in conjunction with the high outside temperatures, leads to high braking loads. The ventilation scoops must be dimensioned accordingly large. Balance is also important. A stable car brings confidence and tenths on the clock. The chassis must be set soft and high in order to cushion bumps and curbs and to prevent the underbody from touching down. Good traction is required from the slow corners.
The settings of the wing mechanism are also extreme. The many right-angled curves demand maximum downforce. Especially on the front axle, there should be no lack of grip, otherwise there is a risk of annoying understeer in the many right-angled corners. Although there are unusually long straights for a street circuit, top speed is of secondary importance - in contrast to the previous race in Monza.
Due to the many acceleration phases and the few fast corners, tire wear can only be felt on the rear axle. After sunset, the asphalt temperatures drop extremely, which keeps rubber degradation within limits. Pirelli brings the three softest blends in its range. However, we doubt that the pilots will make a pit stop more than once on Sunday.
After the mini-wing festival in Monza, they screwed upEngineers are now back to everything that brings downforce to the cars. In Singapore, the last major upgrade wave of the year traditionally spills through the pit lane. However, the teams have been a bit thrifty lately with specific announcements. Only Racing Point has already indicated an extensive aerodynamic modification with new wings.
After two Ferrari victories, one would think that the Scuderia has finally found its top shape Has. But the Tifosi must not be blinded. The profile of Spa and Monza was perfectly tailored to the SF90H. Other qualities are required in Singapore. Here Mercedes and Red Bull should shine again. The driver also makes a difference in the curve maze. We wouldn't be surprised if, like last year, it turns out to be a duel between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen.
In midfield, the fans also expect tough duels. On the power tracks after the summer break, Renault was last able to shine. In Singapore, however, the French have to adjust to tougher resistance from direct competition. We see Racing Point and McLaren as the first points contenders. But also Toro Rosso shouldn't be underestimated on this type of track. While Alfa Romeo - in the person of Kimi Räikkönen - has at least one underdog chance on world championship points, we have practically no hope for Haas and Williams.
This is how the race went last year - Singapore GP 2018
Twelve months ago the signs were reversed in Singapore. Ferrari had the downforce advantage and went into the night race as the favorite. But Lewis Hamilton grabbed pole position with a brilliant lap in qualifying and then left nothing to burn in the race. It only got exciting in the fight for second place between Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen.
With a good start, the Heppenheimer was able to overtake the Red Bull with starting number 33. But a mistake in Ferrari tactics gave Verstappen the chance to overcut. Vettel, who got stuck in traffic, had no chance in the end and had to be content with third place. Behind Hamilton, Verstappen and Vettel, the two Finns Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Räikkönen just missed the podium.
Sergio Perez provided action in midfield. At the start, the Force India driver pushed teammate Esteban Ocon into the wall, which meant that the safety car had to be deployed in the eleventh Singapore race in a row. Later, after numerous unsuccessful attacks, the Mexican let himself be carried away to a foul against Sergey Sirotkin, where he got a flat tire and received a drive-through penalty.
In our gallery we have again the pictures of the Singapore spectacle 2018 .