Category Archives: automotive

Alonso springs a Singapore surprise as Mc Laren are back in the top

Renault’s Fernando Alonso scored a surprise success just when he most needed it, in one of the most eagerly anticipated Grand Prix in Formula One history, under the lights of Singapore on Sunday. And he owed much of it to team mate Nelson Piquet, whose crash on the 14th lap changed the face of the race.

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Renault R28 crosses the line to win Formula One World Championship, Rd 15, Singapore Grand Prix, Race, Singapore, Sunday, 28 September 2008
Fernando Alonso (ESP) Renault R28 crosses the line to win Formula One World Championship, Rd 15, Singapore Grand Prix, Race, Singapore, Sunday, 28 September 2008

Ferrari’s Felipe Massa led from pole position from McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen in the second Ferrari, and Alonso dropped way back when he was the first to stop as the result of an aggressive opening stint. Then Piquet had his shunt and out came the safety car. Fourth-placed Robert Kubica for BMW Sauber and Williams’ Nico Rosberg both pitted before the pit lane was officially opened, and when it was on the 17th lap, Massa’s race fell apart as he led Hamilton, Raikkonen, Toro Rosso’s Sebastian Vettel and Toyota’s Timo Glock.

The green light within his cockpit told Massa he could restart, but the refuelling hose was still attached to his car. He knocked over a mechanic as the hose tore away, and fuel spewed everywhere. Subsequently he was given a drive-through penalty for another unsafe exit in front of the Force India of Adrian Sutil.

Kubica and Rosberg were given 10-second stop-and-go penalties. The Pole’s ruined his race, but Rosberg was able to keep in play even after serving his. In the pit stop shuffle Hamilton got delayed running behind Alonso, Rosberg, Toyota’s Jarno Trulli, Giancarlo Fisichella (who had started from the pit lane after set-up changes on his Force India), and Mark Webber and David Coulthard in the Red Bulls. Eventually the British driver moved up to fourth behind Alonso, Rosberg and Coulthard, but he was losing a second a lap behind the Scot, and that was where his chance of winning evaporated.

Not even a second safety-car period, on the 51st lap after Massa spun and an unsighted Sutil crashed, could throw him a lifeline, but with Raikkonen crashing while fighting Glock for fourth place on the 58th lap, he could afford to settle for the six points that took his championship tally to 84 points, with Massa still on 77, Kubica 64 and Raikkonen 57. Equally, McLaren were able to move a point ahead of Ferrari in the constructors’ chase.

Thus Alonso scored his first win since Monza 2007 and Renault’s first since Japan 2006, and Rosberg scored his best-ever finish after a fine drive. Behind Glock, Vettel fended off Nick Heidfeld for fifth, and Coulthard and Kazuki Nakajima completed the points scorers.

Jenson Button was ninth for Honda ahead of an unhappy Heikki Kovalainen, who lost out badly in a first-lap brush with Kubica as they fought over fourth place; the Pole was 11th from Sebastien Bourdais, the deeply unhappy Massa and Fisichella. Raikkonen was classified 15th.

Trulli failed to finish with a mechanical problem, as did Webber; Barrichello ran out of fuel in his Honda, and Sutil and Piquet both crashed.

With far more overtaking than the drivers had predicted, Formula One’s first-ever night race packed in plenty of excitement, and was adjudged a great success.

zipping thru the night @ 300kmph with no headlights

Imagine Hamilton bombing down the Esplanade drive , in Singapore,  approaching 300km per hour. With no headlights. If you’re wondering what the first ever night F1 Grand Prix is going to be like, think bright. Very bright.

trail of lighting systems
trail of lighting systems

New-age lighting equipment will bring daylight to the coming Singapore F1on the last weekend of September 2008.

Keith Collantine from F1 Fanatic UK reports about the the preparation Singapore has done at no expense spared:

Here are few pictures showing just how bright the lighting will be at the inaugual Singapore Grand Prix this weekend:

trail runs

They’ve also tested out the lighting system that will be used for flag warnings:

flag warnings

Concerns have been expressed by drivers and fans about the safety of racing at night – but from these pictures it looks as though the race will be very well-lit.

According to the organizers the pit building is complete and resurfacing work on parts of the circuit has been completed.

The 2008 Singapore Grand Prix will be held on 26-28th September. It will be F1’s first night race and is expected to be followed by Malaysia in 2009 and possibly several other Asian circuits in the near future. The scheduled race will be held on the third day of the race weekend, September 28, 2008. The 5.067km long track is composed of technical high speed turns and long straights with lots and lots of overtaking points that will surely keep the crowd on their toes. The F1 Singapore Grand Prix will be first street race in Asia and is one of three races in the 2008 F1 calendar to run anticlockwise. The cars will run in down town Singapore along the garden city’s beautiful skyline and some historic places lit up for the night race.

the track
the track