Ultrasofts are the popular choice for the Marina Bay’s very unforgiving street circuit, especially given the hot and humid conditions of the Singapore climate.
The track that Hamilton once described as “twice as hard to negotiate” than the more famous Monaco street circuit has a polymer modified binder, which was laid on the track surface to offer vehicles 20% more grip. Taking this year’s wider bodies and higher grip levels, it is not surprising that most teams have gone for the maximum adhesion options.
Of course, the tyre choices were submitted to the FIA over 8 weeks ago, so the lack of variation of choice or team strategy was not only to be expected, it shows the predictability of the conditions to be expected, and that a “maximum attack” policy is going to be adopted.
The twisting layout is also hard on the brakes and gearboxes with around 80 gear changes per lap these gearboxes will be expected to change gear over 5000 times, 50 times faster than you can blink… in 30C heat and 70% humidity.
Interesting that Hulkenberg has also gone for “maximum stick” aggression to avoid winning the title currently owned by Adrian Sutil, as this the Singapore race marks Nico’s 129th F1 race. Unless he makes it into the top 3 he will beat the record set by Adrian Sutil for the maximum number of GP’s without a single Podium.
The choices are as follows: