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Sep 25 2010

F1: Singapore Qualifying

What makes the Singapore race unique is that it’s the only F1 race run under the lights.  This is actually a nice fit for the island nation since most drivers don’t use their headlights because the streets are so well lit.  I have this bit of information from Richard who had a conference there many years ago.  The reason they’re an island nation is that the socially dominant Chinese are so fucking racist against native Malay that Malaysia won’t have them.

With 4 races (5 including this one) left to go the commentators are obsessing about engines with teams using Ferrari powerplants in the worst shape (most on their last one already) and those with Renaults in the best (Mark Webber for instance has 2 left).

Since Singapore is a street circuit most teams are re-using their Monte Carlo aero packages.  The course is a little over 3 miles and while there are at least 3 areas that are generally considered available for passing it’s not a particularly fast track with lots of turns and short straights, which will save the engines somewhat.  The curbs are high and the boundaries concrete Jersey barriers so there isn’t a lot of room to recover from a mistake.  Expect many flaming chunks of twisted metal.  Indeed the most notable thing about practice was Sutil launching his Force India off a curb in a chicane and wacking his front end clean off (no O’Donnell jokes, please).  Monster Jam RULZ!

You might be thinking that the last race at Monza’s surprising results with Hamilton geting punted on the first lap and Alonso going on for the win might have shaken things up a bit in the standings.  Not as much as the commentators would have you believe.  Lewis is only 5 points behind Webber.  Alonso did leap frog Button and Vettel for 3rd, but he’s a dismal 21 points out of the lead and without a few more unexpected DNFs can hardly be considered a contender.  In the Constructors Championship Red Bull leads McLaren by a mere 3 points with Scuderia Marlboro UPC huffing and puffing 60 points down.

The weather pattern seems to be heavy rains in the afternoon with the track damp and clean at race time.  This will affect grip until the racing line wears in, I would expect Softs to be the tire of choice.

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