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2011 Singapore Grand Prix Preview

From: Myron L
Sent on: Thursday, September 22, 2011 12:10 PM

2011 Formula One Season, Round 14

Race: Singapore Grand Prix
Track: Marina Bay Street Circuit
Lap Distance: 5.073 km / 3.152 miles
Number of Laps: 61
Race Distance:[masked] km /[masked] miles
Top Speed: 302 kph / 188 mph
Average Speed: 172 kph / 107 mph
Average Corner Speed: 105 kph / 65 mph
Full Throttle: 46%
Brake Wear: High
Downforce: High
Tire Usage: Medium/ High
Tire Compound: Super Soft / Soft
Pit Lane Loss (approx): 30 seconds
Fuel used per lap: 2.6kg / lap
Fuel Laptime Penalty: 0.3 s/ 10kg
Pit length: 404 meters

Key Issues – Low downforce aerodynamic efficiency, braking stability and tire management

Hello F1 Fans,

Welcome to the night race – the only one of the season! Round 14 takes charge on the clean streets of Singapore, where the noise is so loud that the roaring motors can be heard can be heard inside of the office buildings as we race under the stars. This race kicks off the last set of fly-away races of the 2011 Formula 1 season. The Singapore Grand Prix took its first steps in 2008 and is here to stay. For those wondering, not only are the flood lights present but the entire city skyline and Marina Bay will be lighting the way as the drivers tackle the corners. Approximately 1500 lights and 240 pylons will be used around the track and this will definitely ensure the pit crews can see their cars during the most vital point of the race. Cumulatively the lights generate more than three million watts or four times more than that needed to light a traditional sports stadium. With all these lights it’s no wonder drivers choose to wear tinted visors to help reduce the glare.

The course is Marina Street Bay, made entirely out of public roads, and runs in an anti-clockwise position. While this is a spectacular race to watch, drivers find the course’s start-stop layout which is not a favorite. This course also presents 23 turns a lap; many are first and second gear corners resulting in lower overall race speeds – an average of 172 kph or 107 mph. This also brings the average corner speed to 105 kph or 65 mph. This track is also the thirstiest (fuel hungry) on the 2011 schedule due to the previously mentioned stop-start nature, which is also known to wreak havoc on the brakes. Because of the number of corners and limited straights the engines will be given few chances to cool, but if we do have rainy conditions this shouldn’t be much of a problem. The key here is for the engine compartment to provide good torque at low revs and closer gearing to get through this tight track.

The biggest challenge Singapore presents are the feeling of being enclosed as some areas of the track are narrow and making certain the team has the correct aerodynamic efficiency for this slower course. On the opposite hand this track is also one of the widest street courses, which offers a couple of genuine overtaking opportunities. Please keep in mind the lighting, where drivers will have to adjust to driving under flood lamps which tend to amplify any scratches on the helmet’s visor. The Marina Street Bay is at sea level and has an average pressure of 1,010mbar. As a consequence, the circuit’s ambient characteristics will have little effect on engine power. Don’t be fooled by the night lights, this is still one of the warmest events of the season – a close third behind Bahrain and Malaysia. According to sources, the 90-degree left at turn 7, approached down the circuit's longest straight is seen as the best place for overtaking. For this year’s race it looks like it could be a wet one (showing a 60 percent chance of rain). The rain is the greatest equalizer of all.

“The venue is what makes this race special and the timing: it’s a very hard and very long race that almost goes to the two-hour limit even when it’s dry. The marshals have come a long way in the past three years, with the support of CAMS, the Australian motorsport governing body, and the event runs very smoothly.

“It’s a very easy place to work and the circuit is built to the highest standards with real precision. The only complication is that we have to open up two of the roads every night to traffic, so there’s an enormous amount of work to move barriers away and then back into place. So far we’ve been very lucky with the weather here. It rains quite often in Singapore and when it does, it’s usually heavy.”

Interesting fact(s):
A ‘Singapore Grand Prix’ was held eight times between 1966 and 1973 on the city’s Thomson Road Circuit. It was held for Formula Two cars and run to Australian Formula Two rules. The last Singapore Grand Prix before the modern World Championship event was won by Australian ex-Formula One driver and Le Mans winner Vern Schuppan, driving a March.

The Singapore Grand Prix can trace its origins to the Orient Year Grand Prix of 1961, that was renamed the Malaysian Grand Prix in 1962. With the declaration of Singaporean independence from Malaysia in 1965, the event was renamed once more, to become the Singapore Grand Prix.

If you’re in New York City we hope you can join us for this early morning delight!

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