Marina Bay Circuit, home of the Formula 1 Singapore Grand PrixEnlarge Photo
The weather is difficult to track in Singapore and heavy rain is always a possibility. Unsurprisingly, Friday’s prediction of no rain has now turned into a possible chance of a thunderstorm at today’s Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix. Fortunately, that chance is only around 30 percent, so hopefully conditions remain dry during race time.
Peak temperature is expected to reach 90 degrees F (32 degrees C) during the day, though this should cool into the low 80s (26 degrees C) at night.
This being a night race, the only one of the year, teams need to be wary of ambient and track temperatures that tend to fall, rather than rise, as the race goes on. There’s no escaping the steamy conditions, however, which combined with the length of the twisty Marina Bay Circuit, makes this one of the toughest races of the year. Humidity often ranges from 75 to 90 percent.
Though there was some heavy downpours prior to Friday’s practice session, yesterday’s qualifying was a success.
McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton dominated the session, earning himself pole position for today’s race. He will be flanked by Williams’ Pastor Maldonado at second on the grid, and Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel and McLaren’s Jenson Button behind them at third and fourth on the grid, respectively. Rounding out the top five will be current points leader, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso.
Singapore’s Marina Bay is a street circuit where traction is critical as it contains the second-highest number of corners (23) seen all year. The asphalt tends to be bumpy and slippery, and grip is further compromised by the number of manhole covers and painted white lines present. Thus, tire management is crucial here. Pirelli has brought its P Zero Yellow soft and P Zero Red supersoft tires for the race.
Going into today’s race, Fernando Alonso leads the Drivers’ Championship with 179 points, followed by Lewis Hamilton in second place with 142 points and Kimi Räikkönen of Lotus just 1 point behind the Brit in third place.
In the Constructors’ Championship, Red Bull Racing remains the clear leader with 272 points, with McLaren in second on 243 points and Ferrari in third place with 226 points.