The original Formula 1 night Grand Prix returns to the calendar for the first time since 2019 after Covid-19 restrictions forced its cancellation. The last time F1 visited the Marina Bay Circuit, Sebastian Vettel was driving for Ferrari and scored his fifth win at the Southeast Asia race.
On the track, the street circuit is one of the most demanding on the calendar. Drivers can expect to lose up to three kilograms thanks to battling with the 80% humidity during Sunday’s 61-lap race covering a distance of 308km.
Since 2008, the Singapore GP has showcased the glorious liveries under the powerful 1 600 lights as the cars scythe through the city’s CBD. A total of 23 corners features four high-speed sections, seven slow turns, and with 49% of the lap at full throttle. The maximum speed of around 325km/h is reached as the driver heads out of Turn 5 lefthander and pins the throttle through the kink at Turn 6 before braking hard into Turn 7.
In terms of the car setup, maximum downforce is needed to offer drivers the most grip through the high-speed corners. This is where we’ve seen reigning champion Max Verstappen dominate with the RB18 in 2022. One aspect all the drivers mention is the bumpiness of the street circuit that requires full concentration, as it can unsettle the car at high speed. Since 2008, 21 Safety Car deployments have taken place, at least one every race.
Verstappen has won the last five races and will be looking to put the Red Bull in pole position, as eight pole-sitters have gone on to claim the chequered flag. The Dutchman can claim the championship if Charles Leclerc finishes outside of the top eight and Sergio Perez fails to claim a podium place.
Ferrari’s inconsistent performances have seen them last taste victory at the Austrian GP in July. Charles Leclerc’s title hopes have disappeared like a gust of wind blowing away scarlet flare smoke at Monza and he looks like a deflated figure. Ferrari’s F1-75 should be well suited for the high downforce nature of this weekend’s race. Spaniard Carlos Sainz is 16 points behind Mercedes’ George Russell and will hope to move into the top four.
The Mercedes duo of Russell and Lewis Hamilton should pose a major threat to Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz in Singapore. The Woking team says its package should suit the Marina Bay Circuit’s nature and with a three-week break after the triple-header. Now is the time for Mercedes to make a strong surge towards P2 in the constructors’ championship.