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Rain forecast for Singapore

NEWS STORY
23/09/2010

Mat Coch writes:

After just three years on the calendar, Singapore has already established itself as a favourite among the Formula One fraternity. Friendly locals, a stunning backdrop and a unique floodlight-drenched street circuit add to the allure of what is fast becoming Formula One's second Monaco. Even the drama of 'Crashgate' in 2008, when Nelson Piquet deliberately crashed in order to bring out the safety car and hand victory to teammate Fernando Alonso, hasn't taken off any of the shine.

However this weekend the race may face an even sterner test than the wills of the Renault team management; that of Mother Nature.

With rain forecast throughout the weekend, teams were welcomed to the circuit on Thursday with heavy showers dousing the temporary street circuit. For the teams it may come as welcome relief from the otherwise oppressive heat, though for the drivers it will be an unwelcome visitor throughout the weekend.

If rain were to fall during one of the Formula One sessions it would be the first time the sport has raced under lights in wet conditions. Speaking with Pitpass in Melbourne, several drivers voiced their concerns about the late race start for the Australian Grand Prix, where the dark and overcast conditions reduced visibility dramatically.

The Australian Grand Prix however was run at dusk, not in the Singaporean darkness of 20:00, the scheduled race start time. While brilliantly lit, the circuit has not been forced to contend with the elements and the spray thrown up by either wet weather, or even intermediate tyres, raises questions that at this stage don't have answers.

For the moment the forecasts indicate temperatures in the high 30s C, with lows in the mid 20s. Most concerning however is that forecasts include showers, some suggesting the thunder storms which visited the circuit on Thursday afternoon could linger throughout the weekend.

On the program alongside Formula One is Formula BMW Pacific, an open wheel feeder series, and the Carrera Cup saloon cars. Formula BMW will be the first to hit the track on Friday morning, followed by the Carrera Cup. They may give the first indications as to what we can expect should the skies open up.

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