Round 17 of the 2022 Formula One World Championship takes us this weekend to Singapore and its Marina Bay Circuit for the first time since 2019.
The Singapore Grand Prix is one of the highlights of the season as the high heat and humidity make it a real challenge for both car and driver, something that isn’t helped by the race’s long two-hour duration.
The race is also famous for being run at night, with visibility around the winding street circuit made possible by a series of 1,600 lamps. They shine so bright drivers often don tinted visors to reduce the glare.
Like Monaco, speeds don’t get very high due to Singapore’s short straights, tight corners and bumpy surface, a combination that nevertheless makes the race one of the trickiest to arrive at the ideal car setup. The good part is it gives some of the slower teams a better chance.
Marina Bay Circuit, home of the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix
Changeable weather can also be an issue in Singapore, with the current forecast calling for stormy conditions during both Saturday’s qualifying and Sunday’s race. Peak temperature is expected to reach around 85 degrees during the race, which is milder than most years.
Pirelli’s tire nominations include the softer C3 as the White hard, C4 as the Yellow medium, and C5 as the Red soft. There’s a new track surface this year, and teams will also need to concern themselves with the high degree of track evolution, as well as the usual street furniture such as manholes and white lines that can alter grip levels.
Going into weekend, Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen leads the 2022 Drivers’ Championship with 335 points. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc is second with 219 points and Red Bull’s Sergio Perez is third with 210 points. In the Constructors’ Championship, Red Bull leads with 545 points, versus the 406 of Ferrari and 371 of Mercedes-Benz AMG.
Based on the current standings, Verstappen could potentially take the title in Singapore if he wins the race and scores a bonus point for fastest lap, though Leclerc would have to finish ninth or lower. The previous winner in Singapore was Sebastian Vettel, driving for Ferrari.