Singapore Grand Prix: Race Notes

The start of the 2013 Singapore Grand Prix.


Hamilton will start on pole for the Singapore Grand Prix tomorrow, and he’ll be looking to break down the 22 point gap that his Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg has on him.  With only six races left on the 2014 calendar, these are valuable points that can’t be lost.  


Schedule:

  • Race: 8 a.m. EDT 9/21
The Singapore GP is the longest of the year, with the second slowest average speed of any track on the circuit (Monaco is first with an average speed of 113.4 mph in 2013).  This means that drivers face some extra challenges that cause some to argue that the Singapore GP is the hardest race of the year, especially with the new radio ban becoming active this week.  

Reliability is a huge issue at the Marina Bay Circuit, with a 61 lap race, there’s a lot of time for cars to break down.  Last year three drivers failed to finish the race, down from six DNF’s in 2012.  The extreme heat not only causes car unreliability, but also driver.  The 23 turn course leaves little room for mistakes with almost no run-off on most of the turns.  Look for at least one safety car this Sunday, as there has been one in all of the last six races at Singapore.

Sebastien Vettel dominated this race last year leading all 61 of the laps, but things won’t be that easy for him this year.   Vettel will start in P4 tomorrow behind both of the Mercedes drivers and his teammate Daniel Ricciardo, but he’s not counting himself out just yet.  In the post-qualifying press conference, he said: 

We’ll hope to have a good race tomorrow, with good pit stops and a good strategy and we’ll see what we can do from there. I think we have good speed, but everyone seems to have good speed here. It’s a long race, so we’ll see how the tyres work and what we can do.”

A maximum of 175 points are available to any one driver in the rest of the season and if Hamilton hopes to make a run at the championship, he’ll need to start getting race wins now.  Getting pole position is a good start, but Hamilton will need wins to reel back in an escaping Rosberg, especially with the double points race in Abu Dhabi (double points may not happen in 2015).  Overall, Hamilton can be pleased with his qualifying performance and expect a good race come Sunday night (or morning if you’re in the U.S.).  

The Singapore GP is one of the most exciting races of the year, the nighttime, the lights, the fireworks and of course the racing are sure to prevail this weekend.  Look for Lewis Hamilton to defend his starting position for the long run when the lights go out.  Lewis finished fifth at Singapore last year, but with a new car and a chance at the championship, anything but a win will be disappointment for the Englishmen. 

          – Drew Bennison 

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