F1 2016: Singapore GP Preview

The Marina Bay Street Circuit in Singapore first appeared on the F1 calendar in 2008. It was the sport’s first ever night race and remains the only one still held completely under the lights at night.

Teams, drivers and personnel remain on European time to help them deal with the odd timings of the Singapore Grand Prix. Due to the length of the circuit – 23 corners, the most of any race this year – and the probability of safety cars, the race normally pushes the two hour limit and is a tough challenge for drivers.

Circuit: Marina Bay Street Circuit
Number of Laps: 61
Circuit Length: 5.065km
Number of Corners: 23
Lap Record: 1:50.041 Daniel Ricciardo (2015)
Previous Singapore Grand Prix winners still on the grid: 3
Most Successful Team: Red Bull (3 wins)
DRS Zones: 2    
Pirelli Tyres: Soft, Supersoft and Ultrasoft

As is the case with any street circuit, there are low grip levels and the average speed is the second lowest of any on the calendar – Monaco being the slowest. 45% of the lap is spent at full throttle with approximately 80 gear changes per lap.

Pirelli have brought the soft, supersoft and ultrasoft tyre compounds with the latter making its first appearance since the Austrian Grand Prix earlier in the year. Drivers will have to contend with degradation as well as the humidity and extra challenges a street circuit brings.

The 2015 race proved to be a weakness in Mercedes’ armour with Nico Rosberg finishing fourth and Lewis Hamilton failing to finish. They struggled in qualifying and were unable to match the Ferraris and Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo. It was Sebastian Vettel who won the race for Ferrari with Ricciardo second and Kimi Raikkonen in third.

Last time out it was Rosberg who won, beating team-mate Hamilton who had a disappointing start to the race. Vettel was third ahead of Raikkonen, Ricciardo and Valtteri Bottas. The result means that the gap between the top two in the championship stands at just two points, with Rosberg getting right back in contention with Hamilton.

Mercedes will be hoping to avoid the difficulties they suffered at the 2015 Singapore Grand Prix. Elsewhere in the championship, Red Bull are ahead of Ferrari and they are a team who have won the modern Singapore Grand Prix more than anyone else. Ferrari have won it twice with other previous winning teams McLaren and Renault unlikely to win it this year.

 

 

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