Just like the old dirt track in Grand Forks, ND, the streets of Singapore will be lit up this weekend to welcome the first night race in Formula One history. I am going to hold most of my reservations, but the thing that I thought I would be excited about, a new track and a street circuit, was made into a parade lap spectacle in Valencia earlier this year. Maybe the addition of bright lights and the constant threat of monsoon quality downpours will add some much needed drama to the race.
Of course, no drama needs to be added to the drivers or the constructors. This week, the FIA officially threw out McLaren-Mercedes appeal of Lewis Hamilton’s 25 second penalty following the Belgian Grand Prix. What this means is that Hamilton only leads Felipe Massa by one point with only four races left. Will it be a party in Brazil, or a party in England? Only time will tell.
There is also some drama going on in the teams themselves as Kimi Raikkonen still believes that he can fight for the title and doesn’t want to give Massa the full support that Massa was giving him at this time last year. It was also reported that Felipe and Kimi are not the best of friends when it comes to their lives away from the sport. While Massa calls Michael Schumacher his bigger brother, it seems as though Kimi is just the other guy in the red car. How will this play out over the rest of the season or the rest of their time together? Will it turn into an Alonso/Hamilton war, or will it fizzle out? Again, only time will tell.
Time will also tell if it is going to rain or not during the race. Because this race takes place at night, and it rains almost every single night in Singapore, you can pretty much bet that it will be wet on at least one, if not two, of the three days. The forecast even calls for a 50% chance on Friday and Saturday, with Sunday’s chance of rain rising to 80%.
Also in the news is the fact that the drivers just had their first walk around the track on Wednesday, and some stuff stands out. One of the most talked about things at this stage is the curbing in turns 10 and 13. It seems as though the curbs are extremely high and sharp. Hitting one would probably mean the end of your race (unless you are very lucky – just watch as Lewis hits one and goes on to win the race).
Like I said earlier though, I am going to hold all reservations on this race until I see it. I can always hope that it will be exciting, but I don’t count on it because it is a street race (plus if you lower your expectations, the outcome will always seem better). Here’s hoping it’s a good race – and Massa wins!