• 2011 SINGTEL Singapore Grand Prix Mercedes GP Preview

      The Singapore Grand Prix, Round 14 of the 2011 Formula One season and the first of the season-ending flyaway races, takes place on Sunday 25 September. The season’s only night race, with a 20:00 local start time, takes place around the city streets of Singapore’s Marina Bay area, lit up by 1500 specialist light projectors around the 5.073 km circuit. All three Singapore Grand Prix so far have featured Safety Car deployments, with an average of 6.7 laps per race. The drivers change gear 71 times per lap for a race total of at least 4331, nearly twice as many as in Spa.

      There are 15 braking events per lap, with eight corners taken below 100 kph - the same number as Monaco.

      This event can trace its origins back to 1961, when as a non-championship race was held known as the Orient Year Grand Prix, before being renamed the Malaysian Grand Prix the following year. When Singapore gained independence in 1965 the event at the Thomson Road circuit was renamed the Singapore Grand Prix. The event ran until 1973 but was axed after fatal accidents in the 1972 and 1973 races. The huge increase in oil prices due to the Suez Crisis may have also been a contributing factor.

      In 2007 it was announced that Singapore entrepreneur Ong Beng Seng and the Singapore Tourism Board had signed a five-year deal to host a race on a road circuit in the Marina Bay area of the city. The event would also be F1's first night race.

      The first race took place on September 28, 2008 as the 15th round of that year's championship. The race was won by Renault's Fernando Alonso, but, just before the first anniversary of the race, the real truth behind the race emerged.

      Recently-sacked Renault driver Nelson Piquet Jnr gave a statement to the FIA saying he was asked to crash deliberately in order to deploy the safety car, which would help Alonso who was on an unusually light fuel load, win the race.

      At the ensuing hearing, dubbed "Crashgate", both drivers escaped prosecution, and the team received a two-year suspended ban. It was team boss Flavio Briatore and technical director Pat Symonds who took the brunt of the punishment - Symonds was banned from motorsport for five years, Briatore for life.

      The 2009 race, won by Lewis Hamilton, managed to avoid controversy. However, eyebrows were raised when new Renault driver Romain Grosjean crashed in practice, in exactly the same place Piquet had done the previous year.

      A single DRS zone for this race has been confirmed with detection point between turn 3 and 4 with activation after turn 5 to turn 7

      Kimi Rikkonen currently holds the lap record with 1:45.599 set in 2008

      Race Date: 25 Sep 2011
      Circuit Name: Marina Bay Street Circuit
      Number of Laps: 61
      Circuit Length: 5.073 km
      Race Distance: 309.316 km
      Lap Record: 1:45.599 - K Raikkonen (2008)

      Tire Compounds Provided:
      Soft (Yellow)
      Option: Super-Soft (Red)
      Rain: Intermediate (Light Blue), Wet (Orange)

      F1 TIMETABLE (Singapore Local Time)
      Fri 23 September 2011
      Practice 1
      18:00 - 19:30
      Practice 2 21:30 - 23:00
      Sat 24 September 2011
      Practice 3
      19:00 - 20:00
      Qualifying 22:00
      Sun 25 September 2011

      F1 TIMETABLE (Pacific Time)
      Fri 23 September 2011
      Practice 1
      03:00 - 04:30
      Practice 2 06:30 - 08:00
      Sat 24 September 2011
      Practice 3
      04:00 - 05:00
      Qualifying 07:00
      Sun 25 September 2011

      F1 TIMETABLE (Eastern Time)
      Fri 23 September 2011
      Practice 1
      06:00 - 07:30
      Practice 2 09:30 - 011:00
      Sat 24 September 2011
      Practice 3
      07:00 - 08:00
      Qualifying 10:00
      Sun 25 September 2011

      Michael really enjoyed his first experience in Singapore last year:

      It was an interesting weekend to be working on such a different time schedule. Surprisingly, it worked out very well and somehow even fun to drive and have meetings in the middle of the night. The street circuit is good fun and quite challenging, and as an event for the fans, it is also fantastic as they can get so close to the cars around the city streets and see a real racing spectacle.

      We have enjoyed good results at the final two European races in Spa and Monza, and everyone will be working to continue the hard work and keep up the points finishes as we head to Asia for the flyaway races.
      Nico is looking forward to the Singapore Grand Prix:

      It’s a circuit that I enjoy very much, I finished second at the first race held here in 2008 so I have some good memories from that weekend. Singapore is a fantastic city and I always try to spend some extra time here with friends after the race. The track itself is good fun to drive and a real challenge.

      The stop-start nature means you have to concentrate hard throughout the lap and it feels very narrow and enclosed, like a true street circuit. We’ve made a good step forward with the car in the last few races and I hope we can take advantage of that again next weekend in Singapore.
      For Ross:

      The Singapore Grand Prix has resoundingly become one of the most impressive events on the Formula One calendar and a unique weekend which is enjoyed by drivers, teams and fans alike. With the fourth race taking place next weekend, we are now well-practiced at working late at night and on a European time schedule, and it makes an interesting change to the usual race weekend format. The Singapore street circuit is very narrow with many first and second gear corners resulting in a low average speed and requiring a high-downforce aerodynamic package. We look forward to achieving further good points-scoring finishes in Singaporeand at the final few races.
      Even though this year’s race will only be fourth edition of the Grand Prix, Norbert feels that this night race is established:

      Night race has already established itself as a fixture on the Formula One calendar - and one of the most spectacular race weekends of the year. The circuit itself is extremely challenging for both the cars and drivers: it is the toughest of the season for the brakes and gearbox. In the final sector alone, the drivers must negotiate 10 corners in the space of 1,500 metres and there is very little margin for error on such a twisty and bumpy street circuit. MERCEDES GP PETRONAS enjoyed an up-turn in form at the last two low-downforce circuits and, although Singapore is a very different type of track, we will work hard to carry our form into the final six flyaway races of the 2011 season.

      This article was originally published in forum thread: 2011 SINGTEL Singapore Grand Prix Mercedes GP Preview started by Scourge82 View original post
      Comments 5 Comments
      1. Scourge82's Avatar
        Scourge82 -
        Nico and Michael qualified in seventh and eighth places this evening for the Singapore Grand Prix. Both drivers completed just one run in each qualifying session using the soft tyres in Q1 and the supersofts in Q2 and Q3.

        Red Bull in dominate form locked out the front row on the grid. Sebastian Vettel, who took pole position with 1:44.381 was in control in all three qualifying sessions. Mark Webber finished second with 1:44.732 ahead of the Mclaren duo of Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton. Hamilton was only able to complete one run in Q3 because of fueling problems that forced him to watch the rest of the session from the pits. Ferrari's Fernando Alonso took fifth behind Hamilton was within tenth of the Mclaren drivers claiming that this was his best run this season. Massa finished sixth almost a second behind Alonso.

        Nico Rosberg completed one run and finished seventh, while Michael Schumacher and the pair of Force India decided not to run to save a set of super soft tires for the race.

        After the session, during which he didn’t complete a flying lap in Q3, Michael explained the ‘tactical’ choice behind the decision:

        We chose not to run in Q3 to save new tyres for the race. In theory, this should be worth some time over the race distance, so it was a calculated risk worth taking. As we all know from the past, a lot of incidents can happen during the Singapore Grand Prix, so I will certainly go for any opportunity which might occur. I will definitely keep my fingers crossed for Sebastian to clinch his second world title here tomorrow.
        After he qualified seventh on the grid for tomorrow’s race, Nico was satisfied with his performance:

        I had a good fast lap in Q3 and we were able to take the most out of the car today so I’m quite satisfied. Starting in seventh place was the maximum that we could have achieved, although Massa was very close so it was definitely worth trying to catch him.

        Being on the clean side at the grid gives me a good position for the start, so I will try to make up positions there and score some good points. I think it will be an exciting race here with all the new things like DRS and the Pirelli tyres.
        For Ross:

        It was a fairly straightforward qualifying session for us today and we got the maximum performance from the car. We were mindful of the need for good tyres in the race, and with both drivers saving a set of supersofts, we are in reasonable shape for tomorrow. Michael decided not to set a lap time in Q3 for this reason; he could have challenged Nico but it was more sensible to save the tyres. We have moved forward with the car, and the changes that we have made for this weekend look to be working well. We look forward to an interesting and challenging race tomorrow, and there should be a lot of opportunities.
        After the qualifying session, Norbert declared that:

        Our team have worked very hard and constructively since yesterday when we struggled on this challenging high downforce track, and Nico and Michael achieved the best possible result today with our current package. We took a disciplined approach throughout qualifying in order to save tyres for the race, and both Nico and Michael will have a fresh set of options available which should be valuable in the race. We only used prime tyres in Q1 and, unlike the cars ahead, attempted only one outing in Q3. Our target for tomorrow is to improve our positions from today and to continue our trend from Spa and Monza.
        Full Qualifying

        Click here to enlarge
      1. Scourge82's Avatar
        Scourge82 -
        Nico finished the Singapore Grand Prix in seventh place this evening whilst Michael retired from the race following a collision with Sergio Perez on lap 28.

        Sebastian Vettel yet again dominated another grand prix, adding a tally of nine grand prix wins in a season to his resume. This time he was able to fend off a late charge from Mclaren's Jenson Button. With this victory, Button is the only driver left that has a chance at the championship, even if it is a slim one. Vettel now, only needs to finish ahead of Button in Japan to secure the title.

        After a rough start that saw Webber drop from second place to fourth was able to battle back and take third place, while Alonso finished fourth. Hamilton who battled back from 16th from a clash with Massa that resulted in a broken front wing and a drive through penalty to take fifth place. Force India's Di Resta took sixth place with an outstanding place, outpacing Rosberg. A frustrated Massa finished ninth, while Sergio Perez round out the top ten.

        Michael’s race was brought to an early end after a collision with Sauber driver Sergio Perez:

        “It was a very unfortunate ending to my race in Singapore tonight and obviously I am a bit disappointed. What happened was what I would call a misunderstanding between Sergio Perez and myself.

        He was about to go inside and lifted, and I was not expecting him to do that so early, and therefore hit him. It’s probably one of those race incidents which look more impressive from outside than from inside, as I am totally ok and my impact in the end was not too heavy. It was a pity because my car and the tyres worked well, and therefore the pace was very good. I will look ahead to the next races and hope to have better endings there.

        After his seventh placed finish in Singapore, Nico reflected on his result:

        I was struggling with the rear end in the race, and our car just really didn’t suit this demanding track. I had more problems with tyre degradation than the cars around me, which combined with having to switch our strategy when the safety car came out, meant it was impossible to make any progress.

        The optimum today would have been sixth place but it didn’t quite work out for us this weekend. Whilst we might not be happy with the outcome of our weekend here in Singapore, we will now work hard to improve the car for the next races here in Asia.

        For Ross, the race turned out to be a fairly tough one for the team this evening.

        As expected, we didn’t have the pace to match the leaders but we were quite comfortable in the gap behind the top six cars. Unfortunately Michael’s accident hurt us both from his own point of view and that it brought out the safety car at the wrong time for our strategy. Nico then did a very good job to make the set of tyres that he had last for over half of the race. Seventh place was about as much as we could have expected today, and whilst it feels disappointing, we will keep working hard and pushing forward.”

        Norbert felt that:

        The race developed quite well for us until Michael's incident with Sergio Perez which brought out the safety car. We had no choice but to pit Nico and put him on the prime tyres, on which he then did 31 laps, more than half the race distance. Nico did a very good job to keep the tyres together for such a long stint. Michael's speed before the accident looked good, considering our current technical package, so it is a shame for him as he could perhaps have finished in front of Nico. Without the safety car, and with an ideal strategy for Nico, he could have been in a position to finish one place higher. Thank you to the organisers here in Singapore for hosting this race, which is one of the most spectacular events in the calendar, and produces the best television images over the course of the season.

        Race Results

        Click here to enlarge
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        ^ Well done as always Scourge, you have no idea how much you help me.
      1. Scourge82's Avatar
        Scourge82 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        ^ Well done as always Scourge, you have no idea how much you help me.
        My pleasure Sticky. I wish I had more time to work on the articles to make them pop. Work out here has been crazy.

        It was a pity MS crashed. He had the fastest car on track at the time while Sergio Perez was on used up tires. Perez didn't leave any room into the corner and braked too early and Michael had no time to react.
      1. 220S's Avatar
        220S -
        When watching F1 on TV, you never get the sensation of speed since the cameras are usually panning along with the cars. Here's a short video that really exposes the difference between F1 and regular GT racing: