Jenson Button has expressed his excitement for next weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix, praising the event for being unique and a “wonder” in Formula One.
The race is the only event on the calendar to start and finish at night, making it a spectacle for the fans and a challenge for drivers, teams and all personnel involved with the sport. Although the novelty of racing under the lights may have worn off for some, Button is still as excited as ever to be taking on the Marina Bay street circuit once again.
“I remember the first time we raced at Singapore, it seemed incredible to think that we could hold a Formula One race at night,” Button said in McLaren’s race preview. “I must say, the thrill and novelty of racing through spotlit streets is just as intense for me today as it was when we first raced there – it’s a unique spectacle, and one that I think is brilliant for F1.
“In fact, the Singapore Grand Prix is one of the wonders of modern sport.”
The race has proven to be a success, now entering its sixth year, and the likes of Abu Dhabi and Bahrain have followed in its footsteps with the latter rumored to be planning a night race for 2014. However, the long lap and extreme heat does mean that the drivers are tested physically, with Button acknowledging the circuit’s challenge.
“This is also a race where good fitness preparation really pays off: the race is usually close to the two-hour limit, so it’s the longest physical challenge on the calendar.”
Having finished second in the past two runnings of the race, Button will be keen on continuing this run of form but the lacklustre pace of the McLaren MP4-28 could cost him a shot at the podium.
Lewis Hamilton and Sebastien Vettel are the two most decorated drivers currently on the Formula 1 grid, with seven World Championships between them (four for Vettel, and three for Hamilton).
However, their paths have rarely crossed on the track, and only in 2010 did both drivers battle each for a World Championship in the same year. They also battled Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber that year, with Vettel emerging on top to claim his first World Championship.
However, the 2017 season sees Hamilton and Vettel in the two best cars on the grid, and they have gone head-to-head multiple times already this year, with each claiming two victories through the first five races. Currently, Vettel leads Hamilton 104-98 in the world championship, and the two men are developing a strong on-track rivalry.
Monaco Grand Prix coverage continues with FP3 and qualifying on Saturday. Full times are linked here.
In Friday’s NASCAR AMERICA Motorsports Special on NBCSN, we take you behind the scenes during F1 superstar Fernando Alonso’s qualifying runs for the Indy 500, including when he was on the pole for a brief period. He’ll eventually start fifth.
On Friday’s NASCAR AMERICA Motorsports Special on NBCSN, Parker Kligerman and his backseat driver, Kyle Petty, took to the iRacing simulator to make a mock run around Indianapolis Motor Speedway in preparation for Sunday’s Indianapolis 500.
They look at the challenges of IMS, as well as the challenges two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso will face in the first oval track race in his illustrious career. Alonso is among the favorites in the race and will take the green flag from the middle of Row 2 (fifth position).
Check out the above video.
Sunday is the biggest day of the year in motorsports, starting in the morning with Formula 1’s legendary Monaco Grand Prix.
Then, at Noon ET, it’s the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The final part of the tripleheader of racing is NASCAR’s longest race of the season, the 400-lap, 600-mile Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Newly-named NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2018 inductee Ken Squier gives you a great primer for what promises to be a memorable day around the world (see video above).