THE CIRCUIT FROM A TYRE POINT OF VIEW:
• Singapore has the highest number of corners of any circuit all year (23) but is the second-slowest lap after Monaco: placing demands on tyres in terms of cornering, braking and traction.
• The surface is typically bumpy, also with street furniture such as painted lines and manholes.
• Being run at night, track temperatures don’t evolve in the usual way seen at a daytime race.
• Ambient temperatures still remain high though, meaning drivers have to manage degradation.
• A long race and high safety car probability open up many different tyre strategy opportunities.
• Low downforce means all the mechanical grip comes from tyres: the left-rear works hardest.
• Pit stop time is long due to a lower speed limit and long pit lane: a key strategic consideration.
THE THREE NOMINATED COMPOUNDS:
• Yellow soft: the hardest set available this weekend, capable of long stints at Marina Bay.
• Red supersoft: a versatile compound, which proved to be a key element of last year’s race.
• Purple ultrasoft: designed to offer a considerable pace advantage: will be used in qualifying.
HOW IT WAS A YEAR AGO:
• Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel won with a two-stop strategy, starting on supersoft, switching to supersoft again on lap 13 then soft on lap 37. There were two safety car periods.
• Best alternative strategy: Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen went for an alternative two-stopper (supersoft-soft-supersoft) to finish eighth from a lap down after the start.
PAUL HEMBERY, PIRELLI MOTORSPORT DIRECTOR: “Singapore is probably the most spectacular circuit that we visit all season, and this year we hope to make it even more special with the arrival of our rapid ultrasoft compound, in order to maximise the speed and grip available at the Marina Bay track. This is one of the most unpredictable races of the year – it's the only track with a 100% safety car record – so all the complex variables inevitably throw up opportunities for teams to do something creative with strategy. In terms of competition, it looks set to be one of the closest races we will see all year, where tyre management will make a big difference.”
• Following some minor changes to the circuit in 2015, there are no big alterations this year.
• The 2017 tyre test campaign continued last week, with Ferrari and Mercedes mule cars.
OTHER THINGS THAT HAVE CAUGHT OUR EYE RECENTLY:
• Ferrari has gone for the most aggressive tyre choice, with a maximum allocation of ultrasoft.
• Pirelli recently won the FIA European Hillclimb Championship (the oldest FIA championship still in existence) with Italy’s Simone Faggioli claiming a record-equalling ninth title.
• The penultimate round of the European Rally Championship takes place in Latvia on the same weekend as Singapore, with Pirelli standing a strong chance of clinching another title.
TYRES NOMINATED THIS YEAR:
Purple Red Yellow White Orange
Australia Supersoft Soft Medium
Bahrain Supersoft Soft Medium
China Supersoft Soft Medium
Russia Supersoft Soft Medium
Spain Soft Medium Hard
Monaco Ultrasoft Supersoft Soft
Canada Ultrasoft Supersoft Soft
Azerbaijan Supersoft Soft Medium
Austria Ultrasoft Supersoft Soft
Great Britain Soft Medium Hard
Hungary Supersoft Soft Medium
Germany Supersoft Soft Medium
Belgium Supersoft Soft Medium
Italy Supersoft Soft Medium
Singapore Ultrasoft Supersoft Soft
Malaysia Soft Medium Hard
Japan Soft Medium Hard
United States Supersoft Soft Medium
Mexico Supersoft Soft Medium
Brazil Soft Medium Hard
Abu Dhabi Ultrasoft Supersoft Soft