The Singapore Grand Prix is upon us yet again. Similar to Monaco, it is a street circuit with many traction events. The difference is Singapore is a night race. It keeps the drivers on European time, which is very difficult when its light when you are going to bed and night when you wake up. This track has the most corners of any track on the calendar which is yet another form of stress put on the drivers. With the additional torque of this years motors, and the removal of explicit radio communications to help the drivers, this will be quite the race.
Pirelli’s Singapore Preview
Since Singapore is a street circuit with a lot of slow speed corners, tyres play a huge part in the race. Knowing their operating range and temperature, as well as the life of the specific compound is crucial to the race weekend. Let’s hear some more from Pirelli.
It’s always a great pleasure for us to come to Singapore, which has consistently proved itself to be one of the most spectacular races of the year. Racing under the lights in such a vibrant city provides an amazing atmosphere that showcases Formula One at its very best. The unique nature of the race at night obviously has an impact on the tyres, and we’ve selected the two softest tyres in the range for their rapid warm-up and high levels of mechanical grip: vital characteristics on a street circuit. This is actually a step softer than last year, when we nominated the medium and supersoft, so we should see some interesting tyre strategies with teams taking full advantage of the performance on offer. There’s traditionally quite a high incidence of safety cars, so every strategy has to be flexible enough to bear this eventuality in mind as well. With the championship seemingly getting closer, all the signs suggest that we’re in for an exciting and unpredictable race.Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director
I’ve never actually raced in Singapore but my impression is that it’s a bit like Monaco, with its capacity to transform a simple mistake into an absolute disaster, given how little run-off there is. Here you also have to add in the high ambient temperatures and high humidity, plus the fact that you are racing at night while keeping to a European timetable. So it’s easy to see how physically fatiguing the race can be for the drivers. From a technical point of view, the most important aspect is to have a car with the best traction possible. Consequently it’s important to look after the rear tyres, otherwise you lose a lot of time coming out of the corners (which are nearly all slow corners in Singapore). This can really compromise your race if you are not careful.Jean Alesi, Pirelli consultant
Noting that the two Pirelli men suggest tyres are important in this race is quite evident. Running the proper strategy is the answer to this race. With the 100% chance of a safety car, it will come down to who makes the right decisions on when its time to stop for the change. Too soon, your competitors will have fresher tyres, and too late, they’ll have fresher tyres when they are chasing you down. The narrow streets and minimal run off make mistakes costly, and most times race ending.