The final street circuit for the season. Also, the toughest circuit on the calendar.
The 14th grand prix in 2012 Formula 1 will be coming to Singapore at Marina Bay Street Circuit. It is known as the toughest circuit of the year which requires maximum downforce setup for the car and maximum concentration for the drivers to negotiate all 23 corners in one lap.
The track will be a whopping 309.316 km race distance of 61 laps and due to the low average speed of the circuit, it is one of the longest race in the season for about 2 hours of battle on the track. One of the unique chicane in Marina Bay Street Circuit is the Singapore Sling at Turn 10 which is being described as the worst corner in F1 by Lewis Hamilton. The high and harsh kerbs may damage the suspension and pitch the cars into the wall. The bumpy surface combined with the hot and humid weather makes the circuit twice as hard to negotiate as the Monaco street circuit. If it rains, the absence of sunlight will cause the track to dry up more slowly and add some unpredictability to the race.
Pirelli P Zero Yellow soft tyres and P Zero Red super-soft tyres will be used in Singapore where traction is the main priority here. The track is hard on tyres so a three-stop strategy is expected for most of the teams. McLaren may have an advantage here due to its lightning pit stop which is about 1 second faster than most of the teams. The deployment of safety car is almost a “tradition” in Singapore which means strategy have to be very flexible to take advantage of it.
McLaren is on a winning streak since Hungary and all eyes are on Lewis Hamilton challenging Fernando Alonso where he is 37 points off the lead. At this moment, every win counts and may decide whether Lewis Hamilton will stay in McLaren. Not to mention, currently on the drivers’ standings, there is a one-point-difference between 3 world champions which makes Singapore Grand Prix more exciting than before. Kimi Raikkonen, the lap record holder, says that he has some unfinished business there. Maybe we will witness his first victory in Singapore since his comeback in 2012?
Lap Record : 1:45.599 – Kimi Raikkonen (2008)
Click here to see the pictures of Singapore Marina Bay Street Circuit on normal days before race weekend.