The variety of Formula One will be drilled home at the Singapore Grand Prix this weekend, as a fortnight on from the searing speed of Monza, the drivers will have to negotiate the contorting corners of the glitzy Marina Bay Street Circuit.
Lewis Hamilton remains the man to beat after another serene display in Italy last time out. The Mercedes man was far too quick for the chasing pack at Monza. After his team-mate and nearest challenger for the world title Nico Rosberg retired from the race, a 53-point lead atop the standings looks insurmountable at this juncture.
If the German is going to start reeling in Hamilton, it must begin in Singapore this weekend with a winning performance. Here’s all of the key viewing details for the race weekend, the drivers taking part and a closer look at what to expect from the grand prix.
|Singapore Grand Prix: Schedule|
|Practice 1||Friday, September 17||11 a.m.|
|Practice 2||Friday, September 17||2:30 p.m.|
|Practice 3||Saturday, September 18||11 a.m.|
|Qualifying||Saturday, September 18||2 p.m.|
|Race||Sunday, September 19||1 p.m.|
|Singapore Grand Prix: Drivers|
|Team||Driver 1||Driver 2|
|Mercedes||Lewis Hamilton||Nico Rosberg|
|Red Bull||Daniel Ricciardo||Daniil Kvyat|
|Ferrari||Sebastian Vettel||Kimi Raikkonen|
|Lotus||Pastor Maldonado||Romain Grosjean|
|McLaren||Fernando Alonso||Jenson Button|
|Force India||Nico Hulkenberg||Sergio Perez|
|Sauber||Marcus Ericsson||Felipe Nasr|
|Toro Rosso||Max Verstappen||Carlos Sainz Jr.|
|Williams||Valtteri Bottas||Felipe Massa|
|Marussia||Will Stevens||Alexander Rossi|
All of the action will be shown live on Sky Sports F1 (UK) and NBCSN (US)
Hamilton Pulling Away from the Rest
Being in the cockpit of a Formula One car is a lot more draining than many expect, but there are few races on the calendar that take their toll on the drivers quite as much as the Singapore street circuit.
Five kilometres long, 23 punishing corners and humid temperatures—this race couldn’t be further removed from the long straights and sweeping bends in the crisp Italian sun. Still, it’s difficult to see an outcome other than a Hamilton win when the chequered flag drops on Sunday.
He’s been in a motivated mood in the buildup to this race as well, posting some inspiring quotations on social media from his hero, Ayrton Senna:
This is a venue at which Hamilton has typically fared well. The Singapore Grand Prix has only been held at Marina Bay for the past seven years, and the world champion has won there on two occasions; his triumph in 2014 was vital to going on and eventually clinching the drivers' championship.
The man he held off last year was Rosberg after an absorbing tussle between the two Silver Arrows throughout the season. However, the blowout in Monza leaves the German with a mountain to climb, meaning it’s imperative he goes on the offensive from the first qualifying session in Singapore this week.
Rosberg insisted he now has little to lose, per Byron Young of the Daily Mirror:
Obviously, Monza didn't go to plan. It was gutting to miss out on a good result so close to the end but now I approach the final seven races with the attitude that there's nothing to lose.
It's maximum attack and I won't be giving up the fight, no way. Singapore is one of my favourite races, so that's a good place to start.
Rosberg has never won in Singapore, though. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and McLaren’s Fernando Alonso are the only other drivers to have tasted victory at this unique circuit. Indeed, it’s a race and track that some of the competitors seem to relish, while others often wilt under the pressures it brings.
Toro Rosso driver Carlos Sainz provided an insight into the kind of challenges racing in Singapore poses in terms of disruptive sleep patterns:
Mercedes have the finest car and two outstanding drivers, meaning that if we see a straightforward race, then Hamilton and Rosberg will be battling it out for the top spot on the podium. But the congested course makes momentum-sapping safety cars an inevitability, meaning the Silver Arrows may be reined in a little bit by the chasing pack.
But Hamilton is looking a class above at the moment. Rosberg has a poor record at this circuit, too, having retired last year and never finishing higher than fourth position in seven attempts. Expect the Brit to be in control for the entirety of the weekend and to coast to another impressive win on the way to a third world title.
Prediction: 1. Hamilton, 2. Rosberg, 3. Vettel