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The Singapore F1 Grand Prix 2016

by Jo Yie Leong

Singapore’s Grand Prix, which is the first night race and first street circuit in Asia, is of such high intensity and excitement because of a number of factors. F1 drivers are exposed to incredibly hot conditions in the cockpit, which can result in them losing up to three litres of water and 4 kg of body weight per race, and this is only exacerbated by the intense heat and humidity in Singapore. Additionally, the track features difficult turns and a slimmer circuit due to the fact that it uses Singapore’s ordinary roads.

Nico Rosberg of Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 was locked in pole position with teammate Lewis Hamilton in third. Australian Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull Racing – who was voted by fans as most likely to win the race – qualified second on the grid. Max Verstappen and Kimi Räikkönen qualified fourth and fifth respectively.

Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, who won last year’s night race qualified last on the grid due to a suspension problem with his Ferrari. Taking full advantage of his position, Vettel changed some of his power unit components. Such a move normally incurs grid penalties, but because  he was already in last place, it cost him nothing. Undeterred by his 22nd position, Vettel charged to finish an impressive fifth place, earning him the ‘Driver of the Day’ award.

Nico Rosberg maintained his pole position to win the race, with Ricciardo and Hamilton finishing a close second and third to complete the podium. Four drivers did not finish the race: Jenson Button, Valtteri Bottas, Nico Hülkenberg, and Romain Grosjean. Hülkenberg’s crash from the starting line brought the safety cars out on the very first lap, and the debris from his car forced drivers to divert their route by driving through the pit lane. Since Singapore’s first Grand Prix in 2008, there has been at least one safety car deployed, and this year was no exception.

Singapore’s night race was the fifteenth out of a total 21 races. Rosberg currently leads the standings at 273 points with teammate Hamilton close behind at 265, place Mercedes AMG Petronas at the top of the Constructors’ standings. Red Bull’s Ricciardo is presently third in the Driver’s standings, followed by the Scuderia Ferrari teammates Vettel and Raikkonen.

The next F1 race will take place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on the 2nd of October 2016.

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