Thursday, September 24, 2009

Formula 1: Singapore GP expectations

Preparations are under way for the most anticipated Formula 1 event of the year, Singapore’s night race.

Started in 2008, the Formula 1 Singtel Singapore GP was a huge success, one which was widely participated by racing aficionados and F1 nuts and fanatics all over the world.

Seeing those million dollar technologically advanced single-seater open-cockpit racing machines from atop the Suntek Tower 4 last year and experiencing more than 90 decibels of squealing 2.4-liter V8s was an adrenaline rush by itself.

Never mind that the race last year was conveniently fixed by a few desperate people, Fernando Alonso’s win was by no means considered a fluke. The Spanish ace was already flat out on Qualifying if not for a mechanical problem. This was proven by the fact that the double world champion duplicated his feat in front of Japanese fans a week later.

Powered by 12 powerful independent generators sending more than 3 million watts of light with digiflag displays around the circuit, Singapore’s tract illuminates drivers and fans alike.

Together with Turkey and Bahrain, the race is anti-clockwise covering 61 laps with a race distance of over 309 km. Average speed is a little over 170 km/hr with maximum attained at over 295 km/hr, one of the slowest in F1. The track covers 23 turns—10 to the right, 13 to the left.

Ferrari driver Felipe Massa was the first driver on pole but finished out of the points system after a pit lane bungle. Kimi Raikkonen, who was running on 3rd that time, crashed onto the concrete barriers just 3 laps before the chequered flag.

This year having 8 races between them, the Brawn drivers Button and Barrichello are the clear favorites bouncing back in the Italian GP to finish their fourth 1-2s.

Looking forward to race redemption is a bevy of F1 drivers with a lot to prove: Lewis Hamilton of McLaren after an embarrassing DNF (did not finish) in Monza just a few hundred meters to the podium; Raikkonen, who will probably be handed back to McLaren next year, after a disappointing showing in SG last year; Fernando Alonso, transferring to Ferrari next year and arguably the best driver out there pound-for-pound, determined to repeat last year’s win without the controversy; Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber of Red Bull looking forward to redeem title contention; veteran Rubens Barrichello fast on the heels of a driver’s title win; and Jenson Button, with a hand cemented on the title.

Qualifying on Saturday and race day on Sunday. Can’t wait.


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