After leaving Europe behind the Formula One circus has arrived at its first flyaway race of the latter half of the season. The Singapore Grand Prix – F1’s original night race – signals the beginning of the end as the 2014 season reaches its climax. Last time out, Lewis Hamilton took a significant and emphatic victory ahead of team-mate Nico Rosberg following the dramas of Belgium. As the championship stands, however, Rosberg has the upper hand and a 22 point deficit over his team-mate but it takes just one ‘DNF’ to change everything.
Singapore Grand Prix Stats
Circuit: Marina Bay Street Circuit
Number of Laps: 61
Circuit Length: 5.065km
Number of Corners: 23
Lap Record: 1:48.574 Sebastian Vettel (2013)
Previous Singapore Grand Prix winners still on the grid: 3
Most Successful Team: Red Bull (3 wins)
DRS Zones: 2
Pirelli Tyres: Soft and Supersoft
Only three drivers have won the Singapore Grand Prix since its inception in 2008, and all three are still on the grid. Fernando Alonso won the first race – somewhat controversially after it was later revealed Renault had asked team-mate Nelson Piquet Jr to crash deliberately to bring out a safety car – and he won the event again in 2010. Hamilton won in 2009 while Sebastian Vettel has won the last three events on the way to his second, third and fourth titles.
After the low-downforce set-ups for Spa and Monza, teams will return to high downforce for Singapore. While the throttle gets a rest in Singapore, the brakes are tested due to the start/stop nature of the circuit. The race is also the longest of the year, in terms of duration, and has always run close to the two hour mark. The race could prove to be the first proper test for fuel efficiency, due to the limits enforced for this year. Drivers will also have other things to think about as the FIA enforces a radio ban. Drivers will no longer be allowed to be instructed by their race engineers about what to adjust on the car, for example. Coded messages are also not allowed, nor are technical messages on pit boards.