P ZERO RED SUPERSOFT OFF TO A FLYING START IN SINGAPORE
The final street circuit of the season showcased Pirelli’s P Zero Red supersoft tyres and P Zero White medium during the opening two free practice sessions. Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel went fastest in the second session, with a time of 1m44.249s on the supersoft.
As expected, humidity was close to 75% at the Marina Bay circuit, which hosts Formula One’s only night race. This is just one of the factors that makes Singapore such a physically demanding race, so the two free practice sessions were essential for the teams to capture data that will allow them to maximise their opportunities during the race. After the flat-out straights of Monza, the teams revert to a high-downforce set-up for Singapore, which is the second-slowest lap of the year after Monaco.
Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “It’s absolutely fantastic for us to be back in Singapore where the atmosphere is as spectacular as ever. Because it is such a different race to anywhere else, the work done in free practice is vital to assimilate information with different fuel loads, set-ups and compounds. This data forms the backbone of each team’s strategy, but with the high probability of a safety car, the strategies have to be as flexible as possible. Normally we’d be looking at two pit stops here, but it depends so much on how the race pans out or even if it runs to its full allocation of scheduled laps, which wasn’t the case last year. Singapore is also a massive contrast to the two races that have preceded it, so seeing how the high-downforce set-ups work with the tyres in these conditions was another priority. We’ve got more data to look at but what we can say for now is that wear is low and there is a significant performance gap of approximately two seconds between the two compounds which really opens up the opportunities for strategy. We’d expect most people to qualify on the supersoft, as it’s the closest we get to an actual qualifying tyre, but then what they do in the race is completely open.”
|1.Hamilton||1m47.055s||Medium Used||1.Vettel||1m44.249s||Supersoft New|
|2.Webber||1m47.420s||Medium Used||2.Webber||1m44.853s||Supersoft New|
|3.Vettel||1m47.885s||Medium Used||3.Rosberg||1m44.258s||Supersoft New|
Tyre statistics of the day:
|kms driven *||1,445||3,961||N/A||N/A|
|sets used overall **||22||44||N/A||N/A|
|highest number of laps **||24||26||N/A||N/A|
* The above number gives the total amount of kilometres driven in FP1 and FP2 today, all drivers combined.
** Per compound, all drivers combined.
May the Force be with you:
|-Max. g-force braking (longitudinal force):||-4.53 @ T7|
|-Max. g-force cornering (lateral force):||4.15 @ T22|
Pirelli facts of the day:
The Singapore Grand Prix, which was inaugurated in 2008, has only ever been won by world champions: Fernando Alonso (2008, 2010) Lewis Hamilton (2009) and for the last two years Sebastian Vettel. Currently Vettel and Fernando Alonso are tied for the number of overall Formula One wins: 32. Only three drivers – Michael Schumacher, Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna – have more. Both will be battling for supremacy under the 1,500 lamps that line the Marina Bay circuit.