After two weeks off, this weekend sees the return of the incredibly demanding Singapore Grand Prix; however, Pirelli Motorsports Director Mario Isola has warned that fans are instore for a “totally new race” due to the Marina Bay Circuit having been laid with “new asphalt”.
The Singapore night race is profoundly known as arguably the most demanding and physical event on the calendar, due to the high temperatures and unbearable humidity that reigns long into the Asian night. The race also typically goes close to the two-hour limit, with drivers having lost an astounding amount of weight before during the Grand Prix.
This weekend will be Formula 1‘s first time racing around the streets of Singapore since 2019, following a two-year absence due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The previous race at the venue was won by Sebastian Vettel, with Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen completing the podium.
With this weekend presenting somewhat of an unknown factor, given how long its been since any teams have gathered data at the venue, Pirelli have opted to bring the three softest compounds in their range, the C3, C4 and C5. Whether these will even be used remains to be seen, with heavy downpours and thunderstorms forecast for the entire weekend.
The new asphalt, which has been laid by Italian company Dirmo, isn’t as smooth as usually seen given the fact it is a street circuit, where a number of road lines and bumps will remain.
Isola is very much excited to see Formula 1 return to the “spectacular night action of Singapore”, where it looks unlikely that much rubber will be laid down with next to no support races.
“We’ve missed the spectacular night action of Singapore’s streets! With 18-inch tyres that have a completely different compound and structure compared to the ones used three years ago – as well as new asphalt this year – it’s almost like a totally new race. Singapore is all about slow corners – all 23 of them – and maximising traction.
“We’ve got the three softest compounds for maximum speed and grip but looking after the rear tyres in order to ensure the drive needed will be key. With the tendency of the latest cars to understeer, it will be even more important to find the right set-up balance to ensure a strong front end without compromising acceleration at the rear.”