David Coulthard's i nside Track on the Singapore Grand Prix,
Who to watch
With the championship getting tighter by the race, upgrades are being thrown at the cars left, right and centre. I am curious to see how Ferrari fare after all their talk. Can Fernando Alonso halt the momentum of McLaren and Lewis Hamilton? Red Bull will be hopeful of improving their qualifying pace, which has dipped recently. Sebastian Vettel looked quick in practice yesterday. Kimi Raikkonen and Lotus are once again operating below the radar but are now a real championship threat. And then there is Mercedes, who have been talking up their new exhaust. It is going to be fascinating.
Where the race will be won and lost
Overtaking is possible in Singapore, but all the same this is a street circuit, and you always want to qualify as close to the front as possible on street circuits. The vast majority of winners this season have started on the front row. Thereafter it is going to be all about tyre strategy, as it has been all year. This is such a punishing race. If you decide to try to eke out an extra lap, only to find your tyres drop off a cliff half way around, you are going to lose masses of time with so many corners to negotiate. Timing your pit stops right will be absolutely crucial.
- Talking points
Singapore is a relatively new race but it is established as a must-keep. The place has real energy and it looks spectacular. As well as the old colonial buildings, which are so impressive when lit up at night, there are new developments every year. Sponsors love it, drivers love it, fans love partying until 5am. The traffic gets a bit snarled up, but you can see how seriously they want the race here. I was at a function yesterday with the president of Singapore. You don't get many heads of state turning up at grands prix.