Friday, September 18, 2015


The Singapore Grand Prix is a motor race on the calendar of the FIA Formula One World Championship. The event takes place in Singapore on the Marina Bay Street Circuit and was the inaugural F1 night race and the first street circuit in Asia. Spaniard Fernando Alonso won the first edition of the grand prix, driving for the Renault F1 team. The Singapore Grand Prix will remain on the F1 calendar through at least 2017, after race organizers signed a contract extension with Formula One Management on the eve of the 2012 event. The longest race in the F1 calendar at almost two hours, one of the hardest on brakes, with a 100% record of a safety car, a long slow pit stop and a choice of the softest tyres which cannot do the 308km marathon in one stop, the Singapore Grand Prix is always a strategy challenge.


Track Length : 5.073 kilometres.
Race Distance : 61 laps (309.316 kilometres).
Corners : 23 corners in total.
Aerodynamic Setup : High downforce.
Top Speed : 305km/h (with Drag Reduction System active on rear wing) – 290km/h without.
Full Throttle : 45.5% of the lap time (low).
Time Spent Braking : 21% of lap.
Number Of Brake Zones : 16.
Brake Wear : Very high. Toughest race of season for brakes as no cooling opportunities.
Total Time Needed For Pit stop : 29 seconds (very high).
Lap Record : 1:48.574 - S Vettel (2013).


Temperatures are traditionally scorching hot at Marina Bay and the temperature this weekend is forecast to stay around the 32/33 degrees Celsius mark. The lingering haze may well hamper visibility and alter the conditions throughout the weekend. There are also rain showers and even thunderstorms predicted for the weekend, which could turn an already-tricky street circuit into one of the biggest challenges of the season.

On Monday the Pollutant Standards Index in Singapore exceeded 200. This level which is described as “very unhealthy”, and the elderly, pregnant women and children are advised to do as little outdoor activity as possible when the air quality is this poor. Since then conditions have gradually improved. At 6pm on Thursday the PSI range for Singapore was between 68 and 85, which is considered “moderate”. Eastward winds may further improve conditions over the coming days.

According to Singapore’s National Environment Agency, “The 24-hour PSI for the next 24 hours is expected to be in the high end of the Moderate range and the low end of the Unhealthy range.” The weather pattern at the track will be typical for the region: daytime temperatures will peak at 30C and will only drop by a few degrees at nightfall, when the track action begins.


The night race featured just one zone in 2011 and 2012, but moved to two from 2013; the first area is situated on the long stretch from Turns 5 to 7, known as Raffles Boulevard, with the second on the start-finish straight.

Separate detection points control the two zones – the first just after Turn 4 and the second before Turn 22.


The two softest tyres in the range - P Zero Yellow soft and P Zero Red supersoft - have been nominated for this street circuit, which has a number of unusual aspects to it. Being a night race, with all the practice and qualifying sessions held at night too, the way that track temperature evolves is considerably different to more conventional grands prix - and this has a significant effect on the way that the tyres are used.

Singapore has the highest number of corners of any circuit on the Formula One calendar (23), creating more work for the tyres. Coupled with the 80% humidity, two-hour race time, and the fact that it's the second-slowest lap of the year after Monaco (which limits cooling and airflow through the car) this makes Marina Bay the most physically challenging circuit of all for the drivers.
All these corners mean that traction and braking are the two most vital aspects of the Marina Bay circuit. Like most street circuits, the surface in Singapore is quite bumpy, and this certainly doesn't help. With very little run-off area, mistakes rarely go unpunished: requiring a high degree of precision from the tyre. The left-rear is the tyre that is worked hardest, while the cars run very high downforce.

Expected performance gap between the two compounds: 1.8 - 2.2 seconds per lap.


Because the track is lined with walls, making it difficult for marshals to clear debris, the chance of a Safety Car at Singapore is 100% ! There has been at least one Safety Car at every Singapore GP so far with an average of 6 laps spent under Safety Car.


Lewis Hamilton is in ominous form right now. Eleven poles from 12 races is an incredible record, especially when his main contender is title rival and team-mate Nico Rosberg. Hamilton's 53-point lead has been built on the back of dominant drives in Belgium and Italy. The reigning world champion will have extra incentive this weekend - a win will move him level on career victories with boyhood idol Ayrton Senna (41) in exactly the same amount of race starts (161).

Last year's strategy and how the race was won: Lewis Hamilton won the 61-lap race using a three-stop strategy. He started on the supersoft, pitted for supersoft again on lap 15, supersoft again on lap 31, and soft on lap 52. There was a wide variety of strategies used throughout the field.

This will be THE race where Lewis Hamilton can hammer his advantage over Nico Rosberg with another win. Rosberg is not only 53 points behind but had to take his fourth engine of the season. After this he will have a penalty if he has to change engine again. Plus the knowledge that Lewis is on a qualifying roll will pressure Rosberg to make mistakes as he has nothing to lose to try to overdo himself.

If you enjoyed this posting, please do share it with your network so more people can enjoy it as well. Also, check out my Formula 1 inspired designs at my online shop - Formula One Tees, click on image or proceed over to the online shop here -

You can put any of my designs on almost any available product (doesn't have to be t-shirts). To design your own, select the product, select the design, put your own text if you want to, arrange the size and placement of the design then click "Add to basket". The product will be created and added to your shopping cart. To finish and make payment, click "Checkout". Once you are happy with your order, click "Proceed To Checkout" where you will fill in your shipping information and payment method.

Here is a sample.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015


Original article HERE

Pressure point, Monza magic, Nico's chances are slipping and more in our Conclusions From The Italian GP.

Pressure Point
At Spa all the talk was about a right-rear tyre, and at Monza it was all about a left-rear tyre.

"No questions, just execute," were the words relayed to Lewis Hamilton. The Mercedes pitwall urged the Championship leader to pull out more of a gap over Sebastian Vettel in the closing stanza of the Italian Grand Prix but were reluctant to give their man a reason for the request.

Hamilton duly won by around 25 seconds, but the nature of the messages suggests that Mercedes feared the repercussions of official sanction over a potential breach of the regulations.

After the race Mercedes were indeed summoned by the stewards because Hamilton's left-rear tyre pressure was 0.3psi lower than the mandated minimum.

Although Hamilton's 40th career victory was briefly at risk, the officials decided against punishing the Mercedes driver after discussions with the technical delegate, the team representatives and the Pirelli engineer.

Fans hate technicalities and, by upholding Hamilton's victory, the FIA has avoided the makings of a conspiracy theory that, the theorists would argue, would have resulted in an unjust Ferrari (and ultimately Pyrrhic) win at their home race.

As for Vettel, a tyre-related after-race verdict resulting in a race victory could have been a remarkable tonic after the spectacular tyre failure denied him a podium in Spa.

While most fans accept a tyre failure as an 'acceptable" reliability variable, not even the most strident tifosi would have enjoyed seeing Vettel win the race on a technicality hours after the chequered flag unfurled.

Monza Magic?
The Autodromo Nazionale Monza is inextricably entwined with the lore of F1. The Temple of Speed has been home of the Italian Grand Prix for decades and is the circuit on which the highest ever average speed in F1 was recorded; the 262.242kmh average over a lap that Juan Pablo Montoya set in 2004.

Yet in the era of modern F1, commercial interests slice through heritage and so Monza's place on the calendar is under threat. The drivers, led by Vettel, have voiced support for the venue.

"If we take this away from the calendar for any shitty money reasons, you are basically ripping our hearts out," he said.

Despite the mystique, the running order of the 2015 edition underlined the importance of starting on pole position. Including this year's race, the pole-sitter has won the last six grands prix at Monza.

The one-stop nature of the race further underscores the generally predictable running order – and again raises questions about the current state of F1's tyre regulations.

And a sceptic might argue that if the race were run in Asia or the Middle East, the track would be slated as "boring".

Nico's Chances Slipping...Again
By the time the F1 circus rolls into Singapore, Nico Rosberg will have gone three months without standing on the top step of the podium.

The German, in his 2014 drive at Monza, made several mistakes that cost him a potential victory. A year later, the Italian Grand Prix was merely an exercise in damage control as Rosberg found himself lagging behind his team-mate, Vettel, the Williams duo and others on lap 1.

Before his engine-related retirement, his recovery to third place was admirable, but given the manner in which the 2015 campaign has unfolded few were surprised to see bad luck befall the German, who quite simply has no answers to Hamilton's supremacy.

Rosberg had to revert to an old power unit after suffering issues with the upgrade that the team brought to Monza, which served Hamilton so well. Rosberg's was Merc's first mechanical-related retirement of the year and ended a run of 16 race finishes for Rosberg.

His last DNF was, in fact, in Singapore in 2014. Rosberg arrived in the city-state ahead of Hamilton in the standings last year. But his retirement at Marina Bay coupled with Hamilton's win meant that he ceded the Championship lead to the Brit who won four of the last five grands prix to claim the title.

Rating The Meaning Of Highly Rated
The two words "highly rated" are often bandied about in relation to the talents of Nico Hulkenberg and Valterri Bottas. Yet in Italy both drivers were beaten by their team-mates – Sergio Perez and Felipe Massa respectively.

The standings also tell a story. Ferrari "reject" Massa is ahead of Ferrari prospect Bottas, and Perez is ahead of The Hulk.

Perez is clearly revelling in the updated and much improved Force India VJM08B, but he is also showing signs of the skill that resulted in a second-place finish at the 2012 Italian Grand Prix.

Moreover, he seems to have done enough to purportedly attract the attention of Lotus (that would be Lotus at Enstone that was Renault and that could become Renault again).

Highly rated or not, we may well be witnessing the start of Perez's second coming.

Stray Observations
* Kimi Raikkonen blamed a clutch problem for his poor start. From second to last in a matter of seconds, the start-line incident highlights the Ferrari driver's difficulties in finding consistency. His recovery drive to fifth was admirable, though he was fortunate that Roberto Merhi did not rear-end him at pit entry. But at least the Manor-Marussia got some airtime.

* Massa collected his second podium of the season and his second successive third-place at Monza. Few would begrudge the Brazilian his second wind. Or is it his third?

* While Felipe Nasr has failed to finish in the points since Monaco in May, Sauber's Marcus Ericsson's tenth in Italy was his third points finish in a row.

Richard F Rose

Original article HERE
Controversy aside, Lewis Hamilton was brilliant on Sunday while Jo Bauer has a lot to answer for...

Good Race
Lewis Hamilton, Rightly Deserved
Say what you want about Lewis Hamilton being the only driver out on track with the upgrade for an already superior engine or about his tyre pressure being 0.3 PSI too low but the Championship leader fully deserved his Italian Grand Prix win.

He was untouchable on Sunday afternoon as he stormed away from Sebastian Vettel to become the first driver since Damon Hill in 1993/94 to win back-to-back Italian GPs. And after a brilliant drive to the chequered flag, he kept his cool when grilled by the media about his tyre pressure. Instead of reacting, he said "what will be, will be."

Blondes do have more fun and Hamilton proved that at Monza.

Sebastian Vettel, His Best P2 Ever
Two years ago Sebastian Vettel was booed on the Monza podium, this year he was greeted by wild applause. Amazing what swapping teams can do for a driver.

He may not have won the Italian Grand Prix this time around but Vettel's runner-up result on Sunday, his first Monza podium as a Ferrari driver, was almost as good as a win for the tifosi as the Scuderia's recovery continues.

Once again proving himself and Ferrari to be the best of the rest, the World title may be a leap too far but runner-up in the Championship is now within his reach.

Felipe Massa, Turning Back The Clock
Felipe Massa is up to fourth in the Drivers' Championship having returned to the Monza podium on Sunday. The Brazilian had a flawless afternoon at what used to be one his 'home' races and even held off Valtteri Bottas - often referred to a future World Champion - to take the final podium position.

Kimi Raikkonen, Sitting On The Pit Wall
Does an epic race filled with diving passes make up for an awful start that drops a driver from P2 to P20? That's the question surrounding Kimi Raikkonen's Italian Grand Prix.

The Iceman melted under the Italian sun as his SF15-T went into anti-stall, which pretty much looks like a stall to those outside the car. Raikkonen, though, got going and put in six fantastic laps to slice his way from P20 to P9. It took him another 47 laps to make up five more positions.

A dreadful start followed by a spate of epic racing turned into a good Sunday for the Finn – and for the fans.

Force India, Back Up To Fifth
A double points finish for Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg saw Force India shoot back in front of Lotus in their battle for fifth in the Constructors' Championship. In a car still waiting for its complete upgrade, Perez and Hulkenberg finished sixth and seventh. Perez is even inside the top ten in the Drivers' Championship after Sunday's result.

Marcus Ericsson, Hat-Trick
That's a first Formula 1 hat-trick for Sauber's Swedish racer as Marcus Ericsson has now finished three successive races inside the top ten. He may not be far inside it but at least he's slowly but surely helping Sauber keep McLaren at bay (now there's something I never thought I'd write). And he's getting the better of the much-heralded Felipe Nasr in the process.

Bad Race
Nico Rosberg, Powers To Retirement
Nico Rosberg was closing in on Sebastian Vettel for second place on Sunday afternoon so Mercedes decided to turn his engine up to give him a welcome power boost. It gave him a retirement.

The German's engine, an older spec Mercedes unit given that coolant leaked into his upgraded one on Saturday morning and "contaminated it", meant Rosberg was always on the back foot compared to team-mate and pace-setter Hamilton.

At least he was the first into the showers.

Lotus, Peacock To Feature Duster
From hero to zero, or as one journo put it, from the peacock to the feather duster. That was Romain Grosjean's fall from grace.

Two weeks after celebrating his first podium of this season, he was left to rue another DNF as he retired from the Italian GP when his E23 was damaged in a first lap collision. It was huge disappointment for Lotus at a time when the team really needs to find reasons to smile.

Oh yes, Pastor also retired due to a crash.

McLaren, Point-less And Pointless
One min,te Jenson Button was running inside the top ten, the next it was 'Pass Jenson Button Day' at the Monza circuit as the Brit was overtaken again and again and again...

One minute Fernando Alonso was 11 seconds behind Button, the next – well it took a bit longer than that - he had caught his team-mate. But the very next minute he suffered a loss of power and retired his MP4-30.

Another point-less race for McLaren-Honda and seemingly another pointless weekend overall.

Jo Bauer, Deflate-Gate Mini-Saga
Pirelli issued a directive regarding what they deemed to be the safe minimum tyre pressure for their rubber. Mercedes were under it. The FIA's technical delegate Jo Bauer was aware of this having measured the rear-left tyres on the grid and yet he allowed two drivers to leave the grid with what theoretically deemed to be unsafe tyres.

At a time when motor racing is still hurting from two tragic deaths, the FIA allowed Hamilton and Rosberg to race. Don't slate Mercedes, be angry at the FIA.

Michelle Foster

If you enjoyed this posting, please do share it with your network so more people can enjoy it as well. Also, check out my Formula 1 inspired designs at my online shop - Formula One Tees, click on image or proceed over to the online shop here -

You can put any of my designs on almost any available product (doesn't have to be t-shirts). To design your own, select the product, select the design, put your own text if you want to, arrange the size and placement of the design then click "Add to basket". The product will be created and added to your shopping cart. To finish and make payment, click "Checkout". Once you are happy with your order, click "Proceed To Checkout" where you will fill in your shipping information and payment method.

Here is a sample.

Friday, September 4, 2015


The Autodromo Nazionale Monza is one of the most iconic racetracks on the Formula 1 calendar. It was built in 1922 and has staged more world championship grands prix than any other circuit in the world. Only once, in 1980, has the circuit not been on the F1 calendar.

Up until the early ’60s, racing took place on a fearsome six-mile oval. But the death of Wolfgang von Trips and 15 spectators in the 1961 Italian Grand Prix resulted in future races taking place on a shorter road course, with the last true ‘slipstreaming’ battle taking place in 1971, after which chicanes were installed to slow the cars.

The track is still the fastest in Formula 1, with today’s cars exceeding 200mph (322km/h) on four occasions around the lap. The average speed is in excess of 150mph (241km/h), so the teams use one-off low-downforce aerodynamic packages to maximise straight-line speed. However, braking stability is important: there are a total of six braking events around the lap and on two occasions the cars slow from 200mph (322km/h) to 50mph (80km/h) in just two seconds.

Monza places an unusual combination of demands on tyres which are punished by kerbs and long braking zones in the chicanes and subject to high lateral loadings at Ascari and Parabolica. They also experience the highest speeds of the year: Daniel Ricciardo hit 362.1kph (224.9mph) during last year’s race.

But despite Monza’s unique contribution to Formula One’s heritage and its status as the only true high-speed, low-downforce venue left on the calendar, we may not have much longer left to enjoy it. Bernie Ecclestone insists he is offering the race organisers no more than anyone else pays to continue holding the race, but that minimum level is rising every year.

If the Italian Grand Prix organisers cannot afford it, the unthinkable will happen as surely as it has already happened in France and, this year, Germany.


Track Length : 5.793 kilometres.
Race distance : 53 laps (306.72 kilometres).
Corners : 11 corners in total.
Average Speed : 247km/h.
Aerodynamic Setup : Low downforce.
Top speed : 360km/h (with Drag Reduction System active on rear wing).
Full Throttle : 74% of the lap (high).
Time Spent Braking : 11% of lap.
Number Of Brake Zones : 6.
Brake Wear : High.
Total Time Needed For Pit Stop (at 80km/h) : 25 seconds (ave/high).
Lap record : 1:21.046 Rubens Barrichello, Ferrari, 2004.

2014 result:
1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes); 2. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes); 3. Felipe Massa (Williams); 4. Valtteri Bottas (Williams); 5. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull); 6. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull); 7. Sergio Perez (Force India); 8. Jenson Button (McLaren); 9. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari); 10. Kevin Magnussen (McLaren).

Last five winners in Italy:
2014: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2013: Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)
2012: Lewis Hamilton (McLaren)
2011: Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)
2010: Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)


Rain is expected to affect the build-up to the Italian Grand Prix but conditions should clear up before Sunday’s race. A low pressure system over the north of Italy will bring wet conditions and thunderstorms on Friday, though probably not until after the conclusion of the second practice session.

The rain will linger well into Saturday and there is a decent chance qualifying may take place on a damp or wet track. It will be warm, however, with air temperatures in the mid-twenties. However by Sunday morning the skies should clear and a sunny race day is forecast, though not quite as warm.

Friday - Light rain, high 24°C / low 16°C
Saturday - Heavy rain, high 23°C / low 13°C
Sunday - Sunny, high 23°C / low 13°C


Pirelli comes home to Monza this weekend; the 'temple of speed' that features some of the fastest straights on the F1 calendar, prompting the cars to run a specific low-drag aerodynamic set-up. The P Zero White medium and P Zero Yellow soft tyres have been chosen for the Italian Grand Prix, which are versatile compounds that are able to balance the unique demands of performance and durability that Monza always requires. With high-energy loads of up to 4.5g going through the tyres and some big impacts with the famous kerbs, the tyre compound and structure is challenged throughout the whole lap.

A fast circuit like Monza tends to be more demanding on tyres than a slow circuit, as all the forces at work encourage heat build-up, particularly on the shoulder of the tyre. There are significant lateral energy demands at Monza, due to long corners such as Parabolica, as well as big longitudinal demands, because of all the traction and braking. With a low downforce set-up as is used at Monza, the drivers need to take care of the rear tyres in particular, in order not to provoke wheelspin under acceleration. However, the other side to this is increased maximum speed, in the region of 360kph.

Expected performance gap between the two compounds: 0.8 - 1.0 seconds per lap.


There are two DRS zones; the first is on the start-finish straight and the second on the approach to Turn Eight, the Ascari chicane. But overtaking remains difficult because the impact of DRS is less at Monza than at other racetracks, due to the small rear wings being used by the cars. In fact, statistically, pole position is more important at Monza than it is at Monaco.


The chance of a safety car at Monza is statistically very low at 43% and 0.4 Safety Cars per race. There was however a Safety car three years in a row recently from 2007- 9.


Lewis Hamilton takes a 28-point championship lead into the race. He won here last season after Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg's error—a mistake that swung the momentum Hamilton's way and proved pivotal in the 2014 title fight.

This year, Rosberg is the man needing to turn the tide as the teams arrive at one of the oldest and most revered racing facilities in the world.

I fully expect Lewis Hamilton to be on form at Monza where he has done well many times and to hand the hammer to Rosberg.

If you enjoyed this posting, please do share it with your network so more people can enjoy it as well. Also, check out my Formula 1 inspired designs at my online shop - Formula One Tees, click on image or proceed over to the online shop here -

You can put any of my designs on almost any available product (doesn't have to be t-shirts). To design your own, select the product, select the design, put your own text if you want to, arrange the size and placement of the design then click "Add to basket". The product will be created and added to your shopping cart. To finish and make payment, click "Checkout". Once you are happy with your order, click "Proceed To Checkout" where you will fill in your shipping information and payment method.

Here is a sample.