Google+ Jack Leslie F1: 2016 Singapore Grand Prix Preview

13 September 2016

2016 Singapore Grand Prix Preview

After two historic races at Spa and Monza, the Formula 1 paddock will reconvene in Singapore for a completely different and very unique challenge. 
© Octane Photographic
The 15th round of the 2016 F1 season takes place at the Marina Bay Street Circuit, under dark skies and floodlights.

The Singapore Grand Prix used to be the only night race on the calendar but that’s not the case anymore, with the Bahrain and Abu Dhabi Grands Prix beginning as the sun sets and finishing at night time. 

However, unlike the other day-to-night races, the Singapore Grand Prix is the only one that runs on European time. This means drivers wake up at lunchtime and go to bed in the early hours of the night. 
© Octane Photographic

1,600 custom-made floodlights illuminate the circuit over a race weekend and are connected by 108,423 metres of cables. With the Singapore skyline as a backdrop, it is a stunning and dramatic venue for what could be an exciting race. 

It is one of F1’s newest events on the calendar, having joined in 2008. This year’s Singapore Grand Prix is the ninth in the sport’s history and looks set to be an interesting one, with power and straight-line speed not being a priority. 

A lap of the 3.147-mile track kicks off on the short start/finish straight, with packed grandstands to the right and the pit lane to the left. Turn 1 is a medium-speed left-hander, with the gently sweeping right-hander of Turn 2 following swiftly after. The pit lane exit feeds cars back on track on the outside of the second corner. 

Turn 3 is a slow left-hand hairpin. The opening complex is tricky to master, but it does feature a big tarmac run-off area – which drivers often cut on the first lap. The wide pit straight – which is where the first DRS zone is situated - and braking zone for the opening corner make it a good overtaking spot. 
© Octane Photographic

The next corner is a barely-there kink, before the medium-speed, challenging right of Turn 5. A good exit is crucial for the run onto the back straight, which is the longest flat-out section of the circuit and is broken up by a right-hand kink. This is also where the second DRS zone will be. 

After Raffles Boulevard, there is a slow left-hander with a bumpy braking zone, before a brief burst of power and another 90-degree corner, this time with drivers turning to the right. Next up is the left-hander of Turn 9, taken at similar speeds to the previous two corners. 

The 10th corner on the circuit – named the ‘Singapore Sling’ - was changed for the 2013 race, with a clumsy left-right-left chicane being replaced by a sweeping, medium-speed left-hander. The next part of the circuit has been modified slightly for this year’s race.

The Turn 11 chicane is now tighter, with the left-right section being followed by a sharper Turn 12 kink and the entry to the following left-hand hairpin being tweaked. Corner speeds will be reduced through here because of the changes. A medium-length straight follows before the braking zone for the slow right of Turn 14. 
© Octane Photographic

The final sector of the lap is almost non-stop cornering. It is vital that drivers find a good rhythm in practice, as even the slightest slip of concentration could cause them to hit the wall. Turn 15 is a medium-speed kink, with drivers braking for the following right-left chicane mid-way through the corner. 

After a short burst of power along the water front, the drivers then brake heavily for the 18th and 19th corners, which make up the slow right-left chicane. Here, the track heads under the big grandstand. Next up are the 20th and 21st turns on the track, which make up a right-left chicane. 

The pit entry is to the left-hand side at the end of the following straight, with the last corner being a medium-speed left-hander, with drivers clipping the first kerb and building up speed throughout. 

Sebastian Vettel is the most successful driver at the Singapore Grand Prix, having won the event three times. Lewis Hamilton has two victories to his name, triumphing in style last year. Fernando Alonso has also won there twice, at the controversial 2008 race and in 2010. 
Singapore Grand Prix Fact File: 
Location: Marina Bay, Singapore 
Track Length: 3.147 miles 
Direction: Anti-clockwise 
Turns: 23 
Laps: 61 
First race: 2008 
Lap record: Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 2008, 1m45.599 
Tyre compounds: Soft, super-soft and ultra-soft 
2015 race winner: Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari 
2015 pole position: Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 1m43.885 
2015 fastest lap: Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, 1m50.041 
Live on: Sky Sports F1 (Highlights on Channel 4)

No comments: