2018 Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix preview

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Marina Bay Circuit, home of the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix

Round 15 of the 2018 Formula 1 World Championship takes us to Singapore, specifically the street circuit known as Marina Bay Circuit.

It’s been 10 years since the Singapore Grand Prix became part of the F1 calendar but the charm of the only night race on the calendar remains unchanged.

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.

And the short straights, tight corners and bumpy surface all make the Marina Bay Circuit one of the trickiest tracks of the season for car setup. The good part is that it gives some of the slower teams a better chance, just like in Monaco. We’ve already seen this at Friday’s practice session where Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo was one of the quickest.

Weather can also be issue in Singapore, with the current forecast calling for scattered thunderstorms throughout the weekend. There’s also hot and humid conditions to deal with, where even in the night the temperatures can reach 104 degrees F (40 degrees C). This is physically demanding for the drivers and challenging for the cars in terms of managing brake and tire temperatures. Add to this the race normally lasting the full two hours.

Pirelli has nominated its soft, ultrasoft and hypersoft tires.

Going into Saturday’s qualifying session and Sunday’s race, Mercedes AMG’s Lewis Hamilton leads the 2018 Drivers’ Championship with 256 points. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel is second with 226 points and fellow Ferrari driver Kimi Räikkönen is third with 164 points. In the Constructors’ Championship, Mercedes leads with 415 points versus the 390 of Ferrari and 248 of Red Bull. Last year’s winner in Singapore was Hamilton driving for Mercedes.

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