The 2010 Formula 1 Singtel Singapore Grand Prix is round the corner. We bring you the highlights on and off the track.
Contributed By Kevin Wong
On the night of Sep. 26, the deafening roars of 24 2.4L V8 engines revving at 18,000rpm will drown the voices of an expected 100,000 fans spread out around the Marina Bay Street circuit for Formula One racing’s only night race on its calendar. Entering its third year now, the Singapore 2010 Formula 1 Singtel Singapore Grand Prix is expected to be a sell-out once again, with six out of 12 ticket categories already sold out.
Fans can expect to be thoroughly entertained not only by the races but by a music lineup that includes Mariah Carey, Missy Elliot, Adam Lambert, Sean Kingston and Daughtry.
One novel attraction will be the freestyle trials bikers performing daredevil stunts such as 180 and 360-degree spins and high-level stalls, against the backdrop of Singapore’s Marina Bay skyline. This choreographed adrenaline churner, taking centerstage on the floating platform, will see tricks performed by professional freestyle stunt bikers like Australian Jack Field as well as Frenchmen Julien Dupont Johan Picas and Chris Braund on a 50-meter wide and 12-meter high stage.
|PHOTOS: Chen Wei Seng|
A new addition to the scene will be the 280 meter-long Double Helix Bridge, located just beside the Benjamin Sheares Bridge. Besides linking the track with the triple towers of the Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort, it will offer additional pedestrian access and viewpoints to the race. On the night of the race, the bridge will be illuminated for extra visual oomph.
CONSTRUCTORS’ CHAMPIONSHIP AND TEAMS TO WATCH OUT FOR
Team Red Bull Racing is currently leading in the Constructors’ Championship (350 points) by three points over Team McLaren, followed by Ferrari with 290 points. Only these three teams have a realistic chance to win the Constructors’ Championship with the fourth-placed team Mercedes GP having fewer than half of Red Bull Racing’s points (158 points).
Last year, both McLaren and Red Bull had cars that performed very well in the Singapore GP, with Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) finishing second behind Lewis Hamilton (McLaren). This proved to be a forgettable circuit for Ferrari, with both their drivers finishing in 13th and 18th place last year. But don’t write off Ferrari just yet, especially with two-time World Champion Fernando Alonso and the fiery Brazilian Felipe Massa behind the wheels. Expect to see Red Bull Racing, McLaren and Ferrari fighting for the win.
DRIVER CHAMPIONSHIP AND TOP CONTENDERS FOR THE SINGAPORE GP
Mark Webber (Australia)—Red Bull Racing
One of the oldest drivers on the grid at 34, Webber is having some sort of a revival in his Formula 1 career. Currently leading the driver’s championship, this season has seen the Aussie grab five pole positions and two second place finishes. He also has the most race wins among all the drivers this year, with four wins. At Monza, he pulled off a stunning overtaking maneuver in the race, showing that age does not make him any less of a driver.
Lewis Hamilton (United Kingdom)—McLaren Mercedes
The Briton’s mistake (getting himself tagged with a DNF: Did Not Finish) at Monza last weekend caused him to drop from first to second place in the driver’s championship. The winner of the 2009 Singapore Grand Prix will have to race his best to fend off the red-hot Ferrari and the Red Bull Racing team which is widely tipped to have the car most suited for the Singapore GP track. As long as McLaren brings a car that is competitive, he will undoubtedly be one of the contenders. After a disappointing weekend at Monza, Hamilton should be fired up for this race.
Fernando Alonso (Spain)—Ferrari
Two-time World Champion and arguably Formula 1’s best driver currently, Alonso will be one of the favorites to win this race. Having won the last race at Monza, both expectations and sentiments are riding high for Alonso. The Singapore GP track may not suit the F10 but Ferrari has improved their car in all areas and with Fernando behind the wheel, all his rivals will be keeping one eye on him. He is the man most are rooting for to win.
Jenson Button (United Kingdom)—McLaren Mercedes
After winning two out of the first four races this season, the 2009 World Champion has been awfully quiet. One of the smoothest drivers in Formula 1, Button had a strong race at Monza, Italy, leading for a huge portion of the race before losing out to Alonso due to a bad decision made by his team to stop for a change in tyres, thus allowing the Spaniard to do a quick lap and come out of his pit stop in front of Button.
Sebastian Vettel (Germany)—Red Bull Racing
Many in the F1 circle have dubbed him as the next Michael Schumacher. He certainly has the pace, with seven pole positions in 13 races this season. However, only twice did he manage to turn those pole positions into wins. This talented German has proven that he is lightning fast, but he will have to start improving on his consistency and temperament to be crowned the world champion. Red Bull Racing, according to experts, has one of the best packages suited for the Singapore GP track and this should boost his chances at victory.
The 2010 Singapore GP may quite possibly turn out to be one of the best races yet. With the possibility for any one of the six drivers to be in the lead championship position by the end of the race—it will be all the more exciting for racing fans.
Did You Know?
• Made of two to four layers of Nomex, a fire-resistant, lightweight artificial fiber, the F1 drivers’ race suit (also worn by pit crews) allows them to survive for 11 seconds in temperatures of 840 degrees Celsius—comparable to that of the lava in a volcanic eruption, which ranges between 750 and 1,000 degrees Celcius.
• An F1 driver’s body is one of the most highly conditioned, even among elite athletes—the heart rate of a top driver can average over 180bpm for a race duration of 90 minutes or more (the normal heart rate is 60-100bpm).
• The action that takes place at the pit stop is one of the most interesting during an F1 race, with mechanics timing their tasks to split-second precision, be it replacing damaged parts, changing tyres or making adjustments to the front wings—a routine tyre stop, for example, can be executed in under five seconds.
Tickets range from S$38 for a one-day walkabout ticket to S$3,745 for a three-day Green Room ticket. For more ticketing information, please visit www.singaporegp.sg.