Everything you need to know about the coming 2022 Singapore GP
The 2022 Formula 1 season will resume this weekend with the 2022 Singapore Grand Prix. The event at the Marina Bay Circuit will be the 17th race of the year and is the first in which Red Bull's Max Verstappen can become World Champion.
Will Verstappen clinch his second F1 title?
|Table of Contents|
|Will Verstappen clinch his second F1 title?|
|2022 Singapore GP Facts & Figures|
|Marina Bay Track Info|
|2022 Singapore Grand Prix - Tyres|
|2022 Singapore Grand Prix Weather Forecast|
|Who will be on the 2022 Singapore Grand Prix Podium?|
The Dutchman has taken advantage of Red Bull's dominance in 2022 and has won 11 races this year, which gives him a huge advantage over Ferrari's Charles Leclerc in the World Drivers' Championship standings (116 points).
Verstappen needs to extend that gap to 138 points on Sunday to seal the title with five races left on the calendar. Leclerc isn't the only rival with slim mathematical chances at the moment, as Verstappen's teammate Sergio Pérez is third in the WDC with 210 points, and Mercedes' George Russell follows in fourth with 203.
Verstappen needs to outscore Leclerc by 22 points, Pérez by 13 and Russell by six points to win the 2022 title on Sunday.
Verstappen has won the last five races in a row driving the forceful RB18 car and can still add to it with a solid weekend in Singapore. Although the track can give some chances to Ferrari and, possibly, Mercedes due to the high number of corners, Red Bull has to be the favorite again, given the car's domination on Sundays so far. Verstappen needs to win the race to have any chance of sealing the title with five races left, and that might be the easiest part of his Sunday.
Red Bull leads with 545 points in the World Constructors' Championship. Ferrari is second with 406, and Mercedes is third with 371.
Alpine (125 points with Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso) is now 18 points ahead of McLaren (107 points with Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo) for fourth place in the World Constructors’ Championship. The French team failed to score with both cars for the first time since the fourth race of the season, while Norris finished seventh for McLaren at Italy.
Alfa Romeo (Valtteri Bottas and Guanyu Zhou) ended a six-race scoreless streak with Zhou's 10th place in Italy and remains sixth in the WCC with 52 points.
Haas (Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher) is seventh in the World Constructors’ Championship with 34 points but failed to score in the last five events.
AlphaTauri (33 points - Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda), Aston Martin (25 points - Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll), and Williams (6 points with Alexander Albon and Nyck De Vries) round out the WCC positions. De Vries drove in Albon's place due to a medical emergency and scored points in Italy, while full-time driver Nicholas Latifi has failed to score this year and is confirmed to have lost his seat for 2023.
2022 Singapore GP Facts & Figures
The 2022 Singapore Grand Prix will be the 13th event of Formula 1's original night race, which started in the 2008 Formula 1 World Championship season.
Before the 2008 race, the Singapore Grand Prix existed from 1966 to 1973 in the Formula Libre class. As part of the Formula 1 World Championship, the Singapore round has been successful, with intriguing races, a difficult, physical track and solid attendance figures according to track info.
The first winner around Singapore was Fernando Alonso, driving for Renault in the 2008 race, which was one of Formula 1's worst moments, given the race was manipulated by the Renault team with second driver Nelson Piquet Jr. asked to crash purposely in order to create a Safety Car period that would perfectly suit Alonso's strategy.
In 2009, Sir Lewis Hamilton won for McLaren, while Alonso took arguably his greatest win in the 2010 event, winning with Ferrari and keeping Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull behind for the entire race. Vettel won each race from 2011 to 2013, while Hamilton won again in 2014 in a tough strategic battle against the German.
Vettel won with Ferrari in 2015 before Mercedes struck back with Nico Rosberg in 2016. The 2017 event was pivotal for the title fight between Vettel and Hamilton, as the German started from Pole Position and Hamilton was in fifth place, with the Mercedes being the clear third-fastest car.
When it rained on Sunday, a disaster happened at the start, with Vettel crashing with Red Bull's Max Verstappen and his own teammate Kimi Raikkonen. Hamilton then had a three-point gap over Vettel in the WDC entering the 14th round of the year. With Hamilton's win, he extended the gap to 28 points and managed to keep Vettel behind for the rest of the year.
The 2018 event was similar to 2017 in the pecking order, with Ferrari and Red Bull having cars that adapted better to the twisty, bumpy track. However, Hamilton produced arguably the greatest qualifying lap ever and then controlled Sunday's race to extend his gap over Vettel in the title fight.
Vettel took his most recent Formula 1 win (and the last in his career, to many) in the 2019 Singapore Grand Prix after a brilliant undercut against his teammate Charles Leclerc and Hamilton. The race was not held in 2020 and 2021 due to problems created by the Covid-19 pandemic, but will now return in the first year of Formula 1's new era.
Vettel, a four-time F1 champion, is the all-time leader in wins around Singapore, with five (three with Red Bull and a couple with Ferrari). He is followed by Lewis Hamilton, who won four times with two teams (McLaren and Mercedes). The Singapore Grand Prix has only been won by World Champions (Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Nico Rosberg). Rosberg wasn't a champion when he won the 2016 event, but he would win his only WDC at the end of that same season.
Among teams, Mercedes is the most successful in Singapore, with four wins.
Marina Bay Street Track
The first street F1 circuit in Asia, the Marina Bay Street Circuit has become an important part of the Formula 1 World Championship, as it has provided some great moments and brought the first night race to a series that now has more than a couple of races under the floodlights throughout the calendar.
The circuit has 23 corners and is 5.063-km long. Given the long lap both in terms of distance and time, the Singapore Grand Prix has even ended due to the two-hour limit, thus failing to complete the established race distance.
The track has had some small changes since 2008, but the main one came in what originally was the Singapore Sling, an awkward chicane in Turn 10, changed in 2013 and converted into a simple left-hander.
The current layout records are the following:
Outright record: 1:36,015 min by Lewis Hamilton in 2018, driving the Mercedes W09 at an average speed of 183,273 km/h.
Fastest Lap during a race: 1:41,905 min by Kevin Magnussen in 2018, driving the Haas VF-18 at an average speed of 178.782 km/h.
2022 Singapore Grand Prix - Tyres
The dry tyres for the 2022 Singapore Grand Prix will be the C3 as P Zero White hard, C4 as P Zero Yellow Medium, and C5 as P Zero Red soft.
Pirelli explained their choice with a simple statement in a press release and established the guidelines for the weekend: “The three softest compounds have been chosen for Singapore (for the first time since Austria): the P Zero White hard is the C3, the P Zero Yellow medium is the C4, and the P Zero Red soft is the C5. These compounds have been chosen to match the typical street circuit characteristics of the Marina Bay track, ensuring high levels of mechanical grip.
There’s some new asphalt for Singapore this year. This isn’t as smooth as the asphalt usually seen on street circuits, having been put down with a view to the grand prix. However, as a street circuit, the Marina Bay circuit is used by normal road traffic most of the time – and the surface contains street furniture such as white lines and manhole covers. A high degree of track evolution is expected; also because there are not many support races scheduled, which help to lay down rubber.
With the race starting at 8pm local time (GMT +8) and continuing for about two hours, track temperatures are generally stable for most of the race, while high humidity levels provide a big physical challenge for the drivers, the cars and also for the tyres, with thermal degradation.”
Pirelli's Motorsport Director, Mario Isola, explained what's the challenge of a return to Singapore: “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.”
The minimum starting pressures for the tyres will be 22.0 PSI (front) and 18.0 PSI (rear).
2022 Singapore Grand Prix Weather Forecast
Friday, Sep 30th - FP1 & FP2
Conditions: Partly to mostly cloudy with a stray thunderstorm late
Max. temperature: 25°C
Chance of rain: 55%
Sunday, Oct 2nd - Race
Conditions: A thunderstorm in the evening; otherwise, clouds breaking
Max. temperature: 25°C
Chance of rain: 61%
Who will be on the 2022 Singapore Grand Prix Podium?
A night race with rain? It could be 2017 all over again during the 2022 Singapore Grand Prix weekend. Of course, the pecking order could also be similar, with Red Bull and Ferrari at the top and Mercedes as the third force in Singapore.
Obviously, if rain affects the weekend, and mainly the race, results could be mixed up and surprises could be at hand. However, it still seems tough that any other car can stand up against Red Bull's RB18. Of course, Ferrari has a chance given the car's good behavior around corners. However, since the floor-related Technical Directive entered in the Belgian Grand Prix, the F1-75 hasn't been solid in race distance yet.
Verstappen has a big chance of winning his sixth consecutive race this weekend, while his teammate Sergio Pérez could be looking at another difficult night with his seemingly under-performing level and car.
Can Hamilton get back to winning ways in a circuit in which he's been solid throughout his career? Anything is possible, but the Mercedes W13 can give Hamilton and George Russell some big issues if it doesn't work well on the bumpy Marina Bay Street Circuit.
In order to see some outsiders fighting for a Top 5 place or a podium finish, there will have to be extreme circumstances, such as well-placed Safety Cars or DNFs that help the likes of Alpine and McLaren to get close to the front. Otherwise, it will be difficult to see any team from out of the Top 3 to be fighting for big results, as has been the case for a long time in F1, even though it was promised to be different during the start of the new era in 2022.
The prediction for the top three of the 2022 Singapore Grand Prix is 1. Max Verstappen, 2. Charles Leclerc, 3. Lewis Hamilton.
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