The 2017 Formula 1 World Championship battle continues this weekend with round 14 taking place in the hot and steamy conditions of Singapore. Yes, the Singapore Grand Prix, one of F1’s highlight events, is on this weekend at the Marina Bay Circuit.
Being F1’s only night event, the race has a completely different ambiance to those held during the day. Visibility is only made possible by the 1,500 halogen lamps, with drivers often donning tinted visors to reduce the glare.
The heat also makes life tough; it’s physically demanding for the drivers and challenging for the cars in terms of managing brake and tire temperatures. Safety car periods are almost guaranteed, so there are lots of variables to consider on strategy. Add to this the race normally lasting the full 2-hour length.
Weather conditions look to be fine for most of this weekend, although we could see some stormy conditions during Sunday’s race. Pirelli has nominated its three softest compounds: soft, supersoft, and ultrasoft.
Going into tomorrow’s qualifying session and Sunday’s race, Mercedes AMG’s Lewis Hamilton leads the 2017 Drivers’ Championship with 238 points. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel is a close second with 225 points and fellow Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas is third with 197 points. In the Constructors’ Championship, Mercedes leads with 435 points versus the 373 of Ferrari and 212 of Red Bull.
The Singapore race is one where Mercedes AMG has suffered from performance issues in recent years due to a combination of the low-speed nature of the Marina Bay street circuit and the high heat and humidity. With the title race so close this season it could become a much bigger issue, although last year Mercedes did manage to clinch the win thanks to the efforts of Nico Rosberg.
On other F1 news, Mercedes has confirmed that Bottas will continue driving for the squad in 2018. He will be joined once again by Hamilton. McLaren has also confirmed that it is ending its power unit deal with Honda. McLaren plans to use Renault power units for at least the next three seasons. Honda, meanwhile, will remain in F1 as a supplier to Toro Rosso.