Pirelli warns the grid prior Singapore GP
Pirelli says F1's switch to 18-inch wheels and track surfaces changes at Marina Bay mean that teams will face in Singapore this weekend.
It's been three years since Sebastian Vettel took his last victory for Ferrari during the Singapore Grand Prix.
Since then, the iconic night race around the Marina Bay Street circuit, which often tests drivers physically due to the hot and humid conditions, has been called off due to Covid restrictions.
This year it returns with the extra challenge that the drivers haven't raced in the new cars or with the 18-inch tyres yet.
Three sections of Singapore's Marina Bay track have been resurfaced by F1 partner and specialist firm Dromo, which, coupled with the introduction of ground effect cars and 18-inch wheels that rely on a new tyre structure, means that previous set-up data can no longer be relied upon.
Pirelli's Motorsport Director Mario Isola says it will be 'a brand-new race' as the drivers grapple with managing tyres around the toughest track on the calendar.
“With completely different tyres to last time in Singapore, it’s almost like a totally new race”
“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 maximizing 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 TYRES ON TRACK
- 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.