F1 Racing - - CONTENTS - Pat Sy­monds Wil­liams chief tech­ni­cal of­fi­cer

After the high-speed de­mands of the Ital­ian Grand Prix at Monza, the streets of Sin­ga­pore of­fer a very dif­fer­ent and de­mand­ing chal­lenge. With 23 cor­ners, glar­ing lights, un­for­giv­ing walls, ex­treme hu­mid­ity and high tem­per­a­ture de­mands beyond those at any other cir­cuit, the track presents a very dif­fer­ent chal­lenge to driv­ers, cars and in­deed the teams, who will have to adapt to a noc­tur­nal rou­tine.

It takes more than three megawatts to keep the cir­cuit lit for this night race and the en­ergy de­mands on the cars are equally se­vere. The stop-start na­ture of the cir­cuit will test the man­age­ment of the ERS and will also lead to high fuel con­sump­tion. Com­bine this with the fact that this is the long­est du­ra­tion race of the year, of­ten com­ing close to the two-hour limit, and the re­sult is that most teams will be fu­el­lim­ited and look­ing for ways to save fuel to stay within the reg­u­la­tory 100kg race-fuel limit.

One fac­tor that can mit­i­gate high fuel con­sump­tion is Safety Car pe­ri­ods, which are no­to­ri­ously common here. In the Sin­ga­pore GP's mod­ern in­car­na­tion, there has been a Safety Car at ev­ery race. Th­ese dis­rupt the best-laid plans and while strate­gies are for­mu­lated with th­ese in mind, the abil­ity to adapt in real time is vi­tal. With cars lap­ping so slowly, teams are able to save fuel dur­ing any de­ploy­ment, but even this may not be enough and given the na­ture of the cir­cuit, with no long straights on which to em­ploy ‘lift and coast’ tech­niques, any fu­el­sav­ing will cost sig­nif­i­cant lap time.

The cir­cuit it­self will add to the ex­cite­ment, with sev­eral chal­leng­ing cor­ners, in­clud­ing the ‘Sin­ga­pore Sling’ (Turn 10), which has been known to launch cars into the air when driv­ers get it slightly wrong. There’s also a near-con­stant threat of rain, and although there have been show­ers and thun­der­storms dur­ing ev­ery race week­end so far, none have, as yet, af­fected the race it­self. If that hap­pens this year though, it is sure to cre­ate a great spec­ta­cle.

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