Sunday, September 28, 2008

Formula 1 Night Race - Singapore

Singapore Grand Prix
Sunday 28 September 2008

Track: 5.067 km

Laps: 61

With just one point separating the world championship leaders, today’s practise on a new street track was always going to be tense. This tension was increased by having to qualify under floodlights. The Singapore circuit will see the first ever Formula 1 night race, which gets under way at 20.00 local time.

Felipe Massa gained a psychological advantage by qualifying over half a second faster than Lewis Hamilton but this may have been achieved with a significantly lighter fuel load. This will make Ferrari’s pit stop strategy even more critical than usual. Massa later said: “The track is very difficult and requires total concentration lap after lap because there is no room for error: it's much harder here than in Monaco”. Kimi Raikkonen in the other Ferrari qualified third, with Robert Kubica (Sauber BMW) fourth. Heikki Kovaleinen (McLaren) finds himself sandwiched between the two Sauber BMWs, having Nick Heidfeld behind him in sixth place. Sebastian Vettel (Toro Rosso), who won his first Grand Prix at Monza earlier this month, starts seventh with Timo Glock (Toyota) eighth. The two Williams drivers are ninth and tenth, giving Kazuki Nakajima his first ever top ten start.

Fernando Alonso failed to get into the top 10 after several promising runs in practice. His Renault engine cut out during the second qualifying session, which means he will start in 15th place.

The forecast? Thundery rain is expected but when and how much is still undecided. The race starts at 14.00 (or 20.00 if you happen to be in Singapore!)

The grid line-up:
1 Felipe Massa (Ferrari)
2 Lewis Hamilton (McLaren)
3 Kimi Räikkönen (Ferrari)
4 Robert Kubica (Sauber BMW)
5 Heikki Kovalainen (McLaren)
6 Nick Heidfeld (Sauber BMW)
7 Sebastian Vettel (Toro Rosso)
8 Timo Glock (Toyota)
9 Nico Rosberg (Williams)
10 Kazuki Nakajima (Williams)

Top six after 14 races:
1 Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) 78
2 Felipe Massa (Ferrari) 77
3 Robert Kubica (Sauber BMW) 64
4 Kimi Räikkönen (Ferrari) 57
5 Nick Heidfeld (Sauber BMW) 53
6 Heikki Kovalainen (McLaren) 51

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