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Singapore Grand Prix: Night race provides unique parameters for Pirelli

F1's tyre supplier gears up for one of the most unusual challenges it faces during an already-varied season.
Following on from two fast historic circuits in F1's European heartland, the travelling circus is now headed for the complete contrast of Marina Bay in the heart of ultra-modern Singapore.

The street circuit plays host to the only race on the calendar run at night, adding to the already complex decisions facing the teams, but it is not just the competitors that have to deal with the unusual conditions.

As well as being run at night, with the teams all sticking to a European time schedule, the race is usually the longest of the year, coming close to the two-hour time limit, which means that the cars carry the heaviest fuel load of the season. It's also one of the most humid races of the year, and statistically there's a high chance of a safety car intervention, all of which affects tyre wear and degradation as well as strategy.

As a result – and to suit the stop-start nature of the track - Pirelli has selected the supersoft and medium compounds from its range, stepping the latter up one level in the spectrum.

“The tyres we are bringing to Singapore this year represent a change from last year, when we went for supersoft and soft,” motorsport director Paul Hembery confirmed, “This is because the tyres are generally softer across the board this year in order to maximise performance and grip.

“Singapore is quite bumpy – a typical feature of street circuits – and there's lots of 'street furniture', such as painted white lines and manholes that compromise grip and traction. We're racing at night, which presents a unique set of parameters for the tyres to deal with when it comes to the way that track and ambient temperatures evolve.

“The cars also carry the heaviest fuel load of the year, which again has a direct effect on tyre wear and degradation. It's a long race, and that gives the teams plenty of scope to come up with some interesting strategies at what is a truly spectacular event in every sense. Our aim, as always, is to contribute to that show by providing tyres with exactly the right compromise between performance and degradation in order to guarantee close racing.”

Tagged as: Singapore , Pirelli , tyres , Paul Hembery

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