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Singapore Grand Prix could be affected by haze

The Singapore Grand Prix is set to go ahead despite concerns over “the haze”, a yearly phenomenon that affects the island-nation of Singapore.

Marina Bay Circuit Singapore
Singapore’s Marina Bay Circuit is a street circuit and one of the only 4 races run anticlockwise

The Singapore Grand Prix is set to go ahead despite concerns over “the haze”, a yearly phenomenon that affects the island-nation of Singapore. 

The Singapore Grand Prix to take place this weekend could be affected by unhealthy levels of smog in the city, which have arisen from forest fires in the neighbouring country of Indonesia. A thick cloud of haze usually enters the country during this time of the year courtesy Indonesian farmers burning forests to clear land for agriculture and this time it has led to the cancellation of several sporting events across the city.

With fears from many that the visibility of the race will be affected by the haze, the organisers of one of the most important races on the Formula One calendar are currently monitoring the situation of the weather before they pass any judgement on whether it will be a threat to the huge event.

A spokesman for the race had earlier spoken about the whole matter, saying: “In the event that the haze caused visibility, public health or operational issues Singapore GP would work closely with the relevant agencies before making any collective decisions regarding the event."

"The possibility of haze is just one of the many potential issues that are covered in the contingency plan." he added, as quoted on the BBC.

Organisers have no plans to change schedule

Despite the air quality being rated ‘mid to low quality’ and the Singapore National Environment Agency mentioning that the Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) Levels are unlikely to drop anytime soon, the race organisers have decided to go ahead with the Singapore Grand Prix this weekend after releasing an official statement.

“Based on the current PSI levels, there are no plans to amend the published racing and entertainment programme. The haze situation is highly changeable not only from day to day, but from hour to hour. Therefore, it is currently not possible to reliably predict what the PSI level might be over the race weekend.” the statement read, as reported on Sky Sports.

The night race at Singapore’s Marina Bay street circuit is the 13th event of the 2015 F1 season and is regarded as one of the most exciting races of the calendar year. Nico Rosberg will be desperate for a victory as he trails Mercedes compatriot Lewis Hamilton by 53 points in the drivers’ championship, who needs to finish in at least second place in the remaining seven races of the year to win his third F1 title.

This isn’t the first time that the sport of Formula One has encountered issues with smog, as the Chinese Grand prix in Shanghai this year was affected by thick smoke flowing out from factories near the Shanghai International circuit. This was preceded by a similar incident in the Indian Grand Prix in 2013, where the final practice session took a 20 minute delay due to poor visibility conditions caused by the pollution in Delhi.

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