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2013 Singapore Grand Prix Preview

Sep 19, 2013, 9:30 AM EDT

Jenson Button AP

As the only night race on the calendar, the Singapore Grand Prix is one of Formula One’s glamour events alongside Monaco and Abu Dhabi. The Marina Bay Street Circuit comes alive when the sun goes down, illuminated by thousands of lights in one of the most challenging races on the calendar. As Sebastian Vettel closes in on his fourth world championship, the German driver will be keen on claiming his third straight win in Singapore, but he can be certain that Mercedes and Ferrari will be doing all they can to cut the gap under the starry sky.

Singapore Grand Prix Talking Points

Massa a changed man?

This is the first grand prix since it was confirmed that Felipe Massa would be leaving Ferrari at the end of the season to be replaced by Kimi Raikkonen. Massa has admitted that he feels under less pressure after his future was decided, meaning that we could see the Brazilian driver displaying a renewed vigor and perhaps even some pace harking back to his title charge in 2008.

Mercedes look to deliver on their promise

After a difficult few races, Mercedes have earmarked Singapore as being their chance to return to the front of the pack. Given the fashion of Nico Rosberg’s win at Monaco and Lewis Hamilton’s victory in Hungary, the circuit in Singapore (also high downforce) should suit the W04 car, so expect the Silver Arrows to run strongly under the lights.

First race for new super-soft tires

Since reverting back to the 2012 tire constructions in Hungary, this will be the first race for Pirelli’s super-soft tires. Although the safety aspect is no real concern, this does however pose a fresh challenge to the teams. Force India have been hit hard by the changes made, dropping off the pace and back towards the depths of the midfield. Therefore, the first usage of the softest compound could accentuate these issues, as well as affecting the team’s rivals.

Seb looks to triple up

As mentioned earlier, Sebastian Vettel is chasing a third straight victory in Singapore this weekend. After dominating the race in 2011, he was somewhat fortuitous last season when leader Lewis Hamilton retired due to a gearbox failure. The circuit does suit the partialities of the Red Bull RB9 car, meaning that he will (once again) be fighting at the front. It just appears to be a question of whether or not Mercedes and Ferrari can pose a challenge to the defending world champions.

Right place, right time?

One of the biggest challenges for all personnel involved with the Singapore Grand Prix is adapting to the timings of a night race. Despite being in Singapore, most choose to live on European time, waking up in the middle of the afternoon and not going to bed until dawn. Therefore, it is a challenge for the drivers to adapt quickly and be prepared for the race on Sunday.

Track: Marina Bay Street Circuit
Laps: 61
Corners: 23
Lap Record: Kimi Raikkonen 1:45.59 (2008)
Tire Compounds: Super-soft (Option); Medium (Prime)
2012 Winner: Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)
2012 Pole Position: Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) 1:46.362
2012 Fastest Lap: Nico Hulkenberg (Force India) 1:51.033
DRS Zones: Main Straight (T11 to T1); T7 to T8

Friday – Free Practice 1: 06:00am ET
Friday – Free Practice 2: 09:30am ET (LIVE on NBCSN)
Saturday – Free Practice 3: 06:00am ET
Saturday – Qualifying: 09:00am ET (LIVE on NBC Sports Live Extra)
Sunday – Race: 08:00am ET (LIVE on NBCSN)

  1. cuencanolenny - Sep 19, 2013 at 10:18 AM

    This is the lowlight of the season. This garage racing just stinks.

    • f1waybetterthannascar - Sep 19, 2013 at 12:16 PM

      well stick to your boring nascar then

  2. f1spd - Sep 19, 2013 at 10:23 AM

    Will qualifying be shown on TV? This article says it will be on Live Extra. Is that online only? How can you not show qualifying on TV? IF there is a conflict on NBCSN, you can show it on another network. CNBC is showing infomercials at that time. This is an insult to F1 fans. I can’t believe that you wouldn’t show this later in the day on a delay.

    I thought the days of being treated poorly were going to end when NBC took over the contract from Speed. I can’t wait until you guys pick up NASCAR and the F1 programming gets interrupted for NASCAR pre-pre-pre-race shows.

    • f1waybetterthannascar - Sep 19, 2013 at 12:07 PM

      i was worried about the same thing, qualifying will be on NBCSN at 1am EST. took me a min but I found it on the guide for NBCSN

      • f1spd - Sep 19, 2013 at 12:51 PM

        I don’t think the 1 AM time is correct though. If you look at the F1 website it says that qualifying is at 9 PM local time, which would be 9 AM Eastern. If it was live on Saturday at 1 AM Eastern, that would be during the day in Singapore.

  3. 65gator - Sep 19, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    This can’t be happening… I have kept an open mind about NBC taking over F1 BUT to preempt Qualifying for soccer and yachting is a disgrace… Please reconsider.

    • f1waybetterthannascar - Sep 19, 2013 at 12:15 PM

      i was worried about the same thing, qualifying will be on NBCSN at 1am EST. took me a min but I found it on the guide for NBCSN

    • apexassassin - Sep 19, 2013 at 12:22 PM


  4. indycarseries500 - Sep 19, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    Calm down it’s just qualifying. Formula 1 is pretty low on the totem pole in the States, we’re very lucky to get what we’re getting, you also have to remember SPEED was a (semi)dedicated racing channel whereas NBCSN is a sports channel. Geting all races and nearly all qualifying sessions and FP2s live is extremely good plus they have live extra for when they show something else.

    • apexassassin - Sep 19, 2013 at 12:22 PM

      Lol, “it’s just qualifiy” is NOT what a true F1 would ever say.

      • indycarseries500 - Sep 19, 2013 at 12:55 PM

        Haha I think I was trying to compare to the race, I’ve got NBC Sports Live Extra no worries for me.

      • apexassassin - Sep 19, 2013 at 8:39 PM

        Doesn’t everyone?

  5. apexassassin - Sep 19, 2013 at 12:23 PM

    Best looking race of the year on the worst circuit. Such a shame….

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