Midnight Predictions: F1 2009 Singapore GP

What Happens When It’s Tomorrow On the Other Side of the World

11:49pm EST — While the people of Singapore have been awake and busy for hours, and the people of Europe are slumbering peacefully, those in the Formula1 paddock in Singapore are beginning to wake in preparation for Sunday’s GP.  There will be much concern that this season’s race does not bear resemblance to last season’s from multiple teams, as well as the governing body.  Except, of course, from Fernando Alonso who will be pushing hard from his fifth-place starting grid position to at least make the podium in an effort to vindicate his hard but tainted drive to victory in 2008.  Bob Bell will be giving Romain Grosjean a severe talking-to to not crash his Renault at Turn 17, as he did at the weekend’s first practice Friday, eerily reminiscent of Nelson Piquet, Jr.’s deliberate crash last season.  While Felipe Massa is still recovering in Brazil, Ferrari will be attempting to not have another pit-lane incident with improper signaling and a flying fuel hose.  A good race result will be difficult for Kimi Raikkonen (starting thirteenth) and Giancarlo Fisichella (starting eighteenth).

Lewis Hamilton, should he finish well, ought thank Rubens Barrichello for his last second crash during qualifying, gifting Hamilton with the pole despite a pair of charging Germans.  It truly was the least Barrichello could do for his own team, no doubt up late repairing his car, as teammate Jenson Button did not make it out of Q2 and will be starting from twelfth place on the grid, and the Brawn team needs all the luck it can manage to keep the Red Bulls of Sebastain Vettel and Mark Webber (starting second and fourth, respectively) behind in the championship.

The 2009 Singapore GP could finish nearly exactly as started, as it is a tricky and narrow street circuit, or completely shake up the running order.  All depends on the dust and grip on track.  Hamilton has been fast all weekend, as have the rest of the top five, but will have an advantage with the KERS system.  Vettel will likely stop first, but Nico Rosberg (starting third), Webber, Alonso, and Timo Glock (starting sixth) are all likely to stop on lap 18, 19, or 20.  Alonso has been playing with the lack of grip in beautiful slides all weekend, but that may not translate into race speed when other cars are fighting for the same space.

The championship is coming down to the wire and looks bad for the Brawns.  Starting in mid-pack is always a dicey situation, but will be particularly harsh at this circuit.  It will be most important to finish the race with any points, rather than attempt to push through for the win.  Look to Nico Rosberg, who feels he deserves his maiden win from last year’s arranged result, to be aggressive.  Barring crashes and unforeseen incidents (which are most likely going to happen), a likely podium would be Hamilton, Rosberg, and Alonso, in that order.  Button, however, might be one to watch with his heavy fuel load (first stop likely to be at lap 28 of 61), near ability to try a one-stop strategy, and desire to prove the doubters wrong.

Anything can happen at a GP, and this race is more likely than most to have drama.  Like Monaco, there will be many attempts, but few passes, and a lot of carbon fiber shards left on the streets for Monday morning.  Wake up Formula1, it’s nearly time to go racing over the water and through the grandstands and under the glare of floodlights.


1 Comment

  1. […] more from the original source: Midnight Predictions: F1 2009 Singapore GP « On Any Sunday, These Days Filed under: GP Race Tags: but-few, have-drama-, monaco, monday-, shards-left, streets, […]

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