F1: Heat, Humidity And Rain Forecast For Singapore Photo:
Mike Stevens | Sep, 21 2011 | 0 Comments

The F1 world is expecting a warm, humid and possibly stormy and wet grand prix under lights in Singapore this weekend.

It has already been raining heavily this week in the Asian city-state, and more of the same is forecast for the weekend, set to be the fourth floodlit Singapore street race.

In previous years, drivers have expressed concerns about the effect rain would have on visibility around the tight layout, with the bright lights potentially reflecting off the raindrops and puddles.

Moreover, the skies amid the Singapore skyline are already hazy at present, due to forest fires burning in Indonesia.

And the street circuit "dries incredibly slowly" due to the high humidity, observed Mark Webber after some Singapore rain last year.

"It's something I haven't seen in my entire career," said the Australian.

Triple world champion Sir Jackie Stewart also commented on the challenge of Singapore rain.

"In daylight, we can see beyond the track if we're heading into rain. But here, the light is contained on the circuit and everything else is dark," he said.



Good news for Renault amid 2011 'difficulties'

Enstone based F1 team Renault plans to have a new driver simulator up and running in time for the 2012 season.

The outfit announced on Monday that the local council has granted permission for the new facility to be situated next to the upgraded wind tunnel.

Renault, whose existing simulator was once derided by then team driver Fernando Alonso as no better than a Playstation, said "building work will begin imminently".

"The confirmation that our simulator is on the way is further evidence of our continued investment for the future," added team boss Eric Boullier.

Group Lotus-sponsored Renault has had a difficult 2011 season; trailing the top four teams, batting off speculation of financial troubles and experimenting first with Nick Heidfeld and now Bruno Senna due to Robert Kubica's absence.

"Well, it has been challenging," admitted Frenchman Boullier.

"I cannot say all the challenges were enjoyable – going through the difficulties we had after Robert's crash was not easy – but overall I enjoy being tested with the issues that come my way, and tackling them in the best way I can for the team.

"Overseeing these challenges is part of my job. There's certainly never a dull moment," he smiled.



'No comment' amid Raikkonen/Sutil/Kubica rumblings

An authoritative German magazine has questioned Renault's rush to finalise its 2012 driver lineup.

Boss Eric Boullier said recently he wants to decide the next race lineup by mid October, despite injured regular Robert Kubica - who does not have a contract - only planning to get back at the wheel of a touring car next month.

The Genii-owned team already has Vitaly Petrov under contract for next season, while Bruno Senna and Romain Grosjean are both currently available for the other race seat.

Renault remains one of the few attractive teams with an available seat for 2012.

Potentially available will be Jaime Alguersuari, Sebastien Buemi and Daniel Ricciardo (Toro Rosso), as well as Adrian Sutil and Nico Hulkenberg (Force India).

Williams, meanwhile, is yet to decide upon Pastor Maldonado's teammate for 2012, meaning that Rubens Barrichello could also be on the market.

All of the drivers looking for a seat will probably therefore wait for Williams and Renault rather than sign for one of the potential alternatives, such as Virgin or HRT.

So why Boullier's rush?

"One can imagine that by mid October Kubica will not be able to say definitively whether he is race-ready for 2012.

"By imposing a strict deadline, has the 26-year-old from Krakow (Kubica) been rejected already?" wondered Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

One alternative for Kubica might be Williams, despite the Pole not having any sponsorship to add to the millions brought by his theoretical teammate Maldonado.

The famous British team, however, would have some money to spend by ousting Barrichello, amid reports Kimi Raikkonen recently visited the factory at Grove.

Also linked with Williams is German Sutil, who could transfer the backing of his personal sponsor Medion from Force India.

"I am afraid we have no comment to make on this subject," Williams spokeswoman Claire Williams, asked for confirmation German Sutil also recently visited Grove, told us on Monday.



Sutil's manager slams Williams switch reports

Adrian Sutil's manager has rubbished reports the German driver is looking to switch to Williams for 2012.

It has emerged in recent days that Kimi Raikkonen as well as Force India's Sutil recently made separate private visits to Williams' Grove headquarters.

The famous British team on Monday refused to deny or confirm the rumours.

But the suggestion is that Sutil, 28, would make an ideal replacement for veteran Rubens Barrichello thanks to his backing by the German computer company Medion.

Sutil's manager Manfred Zimmermann said the story is "nonsense".

"Our first choice for 2012 is Force India," he told the Daily Mail newspaper. "At this time there is no action talking to other teams."

Zimmermann also rubbished the suggestion it is Sutil's sponsorship that makes him a frontrunner for the Williams seat.

"There is no need to bring sponsors or money to a team for Adrian," he insisted.

"Last year and this year, he is fighting for a top ten result in the world championship.

"Medion make their decision after we have signed a contract. If there is a nice offer they become a sponsor of the team, if not, they will not."


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