With Sepang, 300 kilometres away, no long on the Formula 1 calendar, Singapore will be the championship’s only visit to the region’s tropical rainforest climate this year, a location where predicting the exact timing of the area’s characteristic thunderstorms several days in advance is always tricky. This time last year there was only a suggestion the race would be affected by rain for the first time in the 10-year history of the Singapore Grand Prix.
At present, though the usual thunderstorms are expected over the weekend, they do not appear set to coincide with the evening track action. First practice at 4:30pm local time on Friday – always an unrepresentative session as it’s held before the sun sets – could catch the tail end of one shower.
Qualifying (9pm Saturday) and the race (8:10pm Sunday) should be held on dry tracks. But the conditions will be as sweltering as ever. While midday temperatures will reach 31C it isn’t likely to be much cooler after the sun goes down – easily in the 28-29C region. High humidity will sap the drivers’ energy during what is usually one of the longest races of the year.