F1: Singapore – A chance for Mercedes’ rivals

Source:Getty Images Sport, Mark Thompson

The championship continues the next weekend in a Singapore race which will mark the start of the final stage of the season. Before the last seven races, the Mercedes driver Louis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg are separated by only two points.

The battle between the two Mercedes drivers has been the highlight of the season so far, except on the Gran Premio de España Pirelli race, where Red Bull driver Max Verstappen triumphed. Although Hamilton leads in general standings Rosberg is the one with more victories. He now has 7 triumph – one more than Hamilton.


However, before the race on the famous track, “Marina Bay” in Singapore, Mercedes is a skeptic. They believe that the track is more suitable to the Red Bull. The results are here to prove this statement. Red Bull won 3 times in Singapore which is the most by any team. Sebastian Vettel, now the driver for Ferrari, brought all victories to the Austrian team.

Vettel, himself, was the best in Singapore last year. Only two other drivers had the privilege to consider themselves the champions of Singapore – Hamilton and the legendary Fernando Alonso. The defending champion was the best in 2009 and 2014 whereas the famous Spaniard celebrated in 2008 and 2010. He was also the very first winner of the Singapore race.

However, the race form 2008 was controversial. Apparently, Nelson Piquet Junior found out that his former Renault president, Flavio Briatore, had issued him an order to hit the wall intentionally so that the safety car would appear on the track, allowing Alonso to reach the finish line first. When the scandal was revealed, it was too late to make any corrections, but Briatore and Pat Symonds had been excluded from the F1 world for several years.

The F1 lead architect Hermann Tilke designed the “Marina Bay” which was built in exactly one year. It is 5.605 meters long with 23 curves. The interesting fact is that the first night race in the history of F1 was driven on this track. Also, Daniel Ricciardo recorded the fastest lap last year with 1:50,041 minutes.

The first and second practice are on Friday, while the third is on Saturday. The qualifications are three hours later on the same day and the race starts on Sunday at 7 a.m.