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Second stop in Asia. One of the oldest F1 circuits on the calendar. Home Grand Prix for Kamui Kobayashi.
The 15th grand prix in 2012 Formula 1 season has came to Japan Suzuka Circuit, the second stop in Asia after Singapore. This circuit is well known as a fast circuit and a challenging one. The “S” curves in Sector 1 which consists of a continuous series of left-right corners is the unique part of this circuit.
The race distance is 307.471 km on 53 laps around the circuit. Drivers have been enjoying this circuit with lots of high speed corners as it is totally different from the low speed Singapore Marina Bay Street Circuit. A well-balanced car is crucial to negotiate the high speed corners perfectly without excessive wear and tear on the tyres. Overtaking on Suzuka is quite difficult as the only “real” overtaking spots are the hairpin at Turn 11 and the chicane at Turn 16 and also partly due to the shortened DRS zone in 2012.
Pirelli P Zero Silver hard and P Zero Yellow soft tyres will be used in Suzuka. Tyre wear is an issue here due to the high speed corners and a two-stop strategy is expected to be used by most of the teams and lots of opportunities will be opened up for the different strategies. Brake wear is low as there are only 2 significant braking zones in one lap of the circuit. Drivers have to keep track of the brakes’ temperature and brake harder if it drops below the optimum temperature. Replenishing KERS is also a problem where braking energy is low throughout the circuit.
After the interesting announcements regarding the transfers in 2013, one of the spotlights in Japanese Grand Prix goes to Sergio Perez. With his impressive performance in Monza which is also a high speed circuit, we might see him challenging his future team McLaren in Suzuka. Also, not to forget Lewis Hamilton which is still in the ferocious title fight along with world champions Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen in his last year in McLaren.
Lap Record : 1:31.540 – Kimi Raikkonen (2005)
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.
Here is a intertwining graph showing the positions of every driver throughout the race in 2007 Canadian Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton took his first victory here at Montreal.
Every driver’s starting position is shown at the bottom of the graph, going up until the end of the race. Hamilton is being represented in gold, as you can see, he was leading throughout the race with the lead lost briefly to Felipe Massa. Impressive driving from a rookie driver!
All drivers that failed to finish the race are represented with dashed line.
Designed by Accept & Proceed for Planet K2 Business Coaching
If you ever wonder how a pitstop looks like from the driver’s view other than from the onboard cam, you can watch the video below to find out. The most important and basic thing : TOTAL CONCENTRATION !!!
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Majority of the F1 teams have agreed to change the rules regarding the “double DRS” on F1 cars. It is believed that the ban will be imposed starting from next year. The official announcement will be made by FIA’s World Motor Sport Council later this year.
The ban is part of the plan to reduce the costs in Formula 1 for the sport to remain viable in a long run. Mercedes did not support the ban and claimed that it is cost-effective.
After the failed protest in Chinese Grand Prix, Lotus has begun to develop and test its own version of “double DRS” since German and Hungarian Grand Prix and is expected to race it during Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps. Lotus has explained that the development of “double DRS” will carry on for this year since it will benefit for the second half of this season.
For more technical details of the “double DRS”, you can view it here on our earlier blog post.