With Formula One’s European leg now over, the grid hops over to Singapore this weekend. Lewis Hamilton holds a slender 2-point lead over teammate Rosberg. Meanwhile, Vettel is eyeing 3rd in the standings and Daniel Ricciardo. In the constructors’ standings, Mercedes are miles ahead of the chasing pack but Red Bull and Ferrari are locked in a battle for second.
The calendar’s only night race is a tricky circuit to master and with its bumpy surface; it will be a tough nut to crack. Going on a flying lap of the Marina Bay Street Circuit, we fly down the straight and brake for a left-right sequence and immediately go into an almost 90-degree Turn 3.
Straightening out through the kink at Turn 4 and braking again for Turn 5. Exiting that corner, the driver can open up the throttle and blast past Turn 6 before going into Turns 7, 8 and 9. A short straight and braking into the revised Turn 10, which replaced the triple curbs on safety grounds.
A right-left sequence keeps the driver on his toes at Turns 11 and 12, and around the bend at Turn 13. Firing down the Esplanade Bridge and hard on the anchors for Turn 14. What follows is a series of tight and twisty turns that require precision and a certain degree of finesse.
Through Turns 15, 16 and 17, a short straight and flick it left, right, right again and left for Turns 18, 19, 20 and 21, another short dash and braking for the double left hander at Turns 22 and 23 and across the finish line to complete the lap.
The driver market has opened up ever since Felipe Massa announced his retirement and Jenson Button opted to take a 1-year sabbatical. With several young drivers waiting in the wings, this is a perfect opportunity to prove themselves. Speculation has also swirled over the Toro Rosso camp due to Daniil Kvyat’s run of bad luck and poor form, although the team is adamant that he will be present next season.
Ferrari and Vettel bagged the 2015 race and they will be aiming to repeat that feat again. But the Mercedes team has been absolutely unstoppable so far but the championship rivalry could spice things up. Also in the mix is Red Bull who have officially established itself as a threat to Ferrari and Mercedes.
Other teams like Williams and Force Indie could also get in on the act. McLaren are steadily improving and it is starting to show, After a strong start to the season, Toro Rosso have begun to fade out, Pascal Wehrlein is continuing to impress and could be in line for a promotion soon. So get ready as we gear up for a glittering race under the stars.
Friday: FP1: - 15:30pm-17:00pm
Friday: FP2: - 19:00pm-20:30pm
Saturday: FP3: - 15:30pm-16:30pm
Saturday: Qualifying: - 18:30pm-19:30pm
Sunday: Race: - 17:30pmPublished 16 Sep 2016, 15:41 IST