Lewis Hamilton Relieved after Singapore Qualifying Scare and Track Review

Adam PooleAnalyst ISeptember 27, 2008

Lewis Hamilton almost saw his Monza qualifying result all over again today as he sneaked through Q2 just 0.072 seconds quicker than the cut-off time.

A mixture of driver errors and poor tire choice was to blame as the McLaren driver, who lost his Belgium appeal earlier this week, locked his front right wheel five times during his 1m 45second lap.

Hamilton was happy to get into Q3, "It was a little bit nerve-wracking for sure, but fortunately we got through and we could still secure a good spot on the front row."

The new Singapore track is run at night. Today's qualifying was run from 10 p.m., which brings plenty of reaction.  This is the first night race ever in Formula 1 and brings its own excitement but obviously carries its own dangers also.

The street-track that is a mix of Monaco and Valencia is a concoction of 90-degree turns and fast shallow apexes with a harbour-side "lay-by."

A massive problem facing drivers tomorrow is on the flat out left hander leading onto the start/finish straight.  As the driver hits the apex, he also hits the pit-lane entrance. One Honda driver found this out today as he almost ploughed into the back of a Williams as it was entering the pit-lane.

The excitement of the "night-drive" is also affecting the drivers' internal clocks,  "It's kind of crazy that it's quarter past 11 at night now. I've never been driving at this time of night before," Lewis Hamilton said, adding, "We've been walking the track at 3 a.m., going to bed at 5 or 6 a.m. and waking up late in the day, so it's quite unique."

When asked what he thought about the new circuit, the 22-year-old told British ITV, "Driving the circuit is fantastic. I think they've done an amazing job building the circuit and facilities. It's a great place to be."

What are your thoughts on the track?  The night race? Or today's qualifying session?  Leave me a comment!

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