Jakarta – Formula 1 has now left the European round and started a series of races on the Asian continent starting with the Singapore Grand Prix at the Marina Bay Street Circuit this weekend.
The first two practice sessions on this street circuit will take place on Friday, followed by final practice and qualifying on Saturday (16/9) and the Grand Prix on Sunday (17/9).
Former Aston Martin strategist Bernie Collins assessed that the race in Singapore, which was held at night, presented many challenges, from the intense heat and humidity to the layout which was quite difficult, making the drivers and teams have to be alert.
On the circuit there will be a large drop in track temperature between the first and third practice sessions (held in the afternoon) and second practice, qualifying and the race (held in the evening), so drivers will have to balance changes in set-up, dashboard and LED brightness as well as helmet visor color.
Marina Bay Street Circuit
Track length: 4,940 km
Race distance: 306,143 km or 62 laps
2022 Singapore GP winner: Sergio Perez (Red Bull) 2022
pole position: Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
Fastest lap: George Russell (Mercedes, 1:46.458)
Victory Most poles so far: Sebastian Vettel (5)
Most poles so far: Sebastian Vettel (4) and Lewis Hamilton (4)
Meanwhile, Max Verstappen (Red Bull) is trying to extend his lead in the championship standings this season as well as his record of consecutive wins with 11 wins if he later emerges as champion in Singapore.
However, Verstappen believes that the Singapore GP will likely be the most challenging weekend. “The stakes are higher on street circuits and the pitches are usually very close, not to mention the heat and humidity,” said Verstappen.
The Dutch racer has never tasted victory at Marina Bay. Meanwhile, a number of drivers from rival teams such as Mercedes and Aston Martin hope that the high-downforce track will provide an opportunity to put more pressure on the world champion.
Charles Leclerc has proven to be a conqueror at the Singapore GP in recent times, scoring the last two pole positions at the track for Ferrari (2019 and 2022).
Meanwhile McLaren, which has given its car an upgrade, is confident in its performance following podiums at Silverstone and Hungary.
Paris : Draxler is close to leaving Saint-Germain and joining a Qatari team
A news report said that German midfielder Julian Draxler is expected to move from Paris Saint-Germain to Qatar’s Al-Ahly.
The Sky television network reported that Draxler (29 years old) retracted his position, as he had initially refused to move to the Qatari team.
The French sports newspaper L’Equipe had already published a report a few days ago regarding the expected deal.
The former Schalke and Wolfsburg player is expected to sign a contract with Al-Ahly of Qatar until 2025.
Draxler had moved from Wolfsburg to Paris Saint-Germain in January 2017, but he did not achieve the desired impact with the French team.
He joined the Portuguese club Benfica on a loan contract in September 2022, and the loan period ended at the end of last season.
It should be noted that Draxler’s contract with Saint-Germain is supposed to last until June 30, 2024.