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F1: Singapore GP Review

Marina Bay Street Circuit
Marina Bay Circuit: Image by acroamatic via Flickr

Singapore was an interesting race. The racing itself wasn’t the best we’ve seen this year by some margin, but the track is fascinating and the night race adds even more to the spectacle of the event. It’s a tight and twisty street circuit that requires an immense amount of concentration by the drivers in the humid atmosphere.

Fernando Alonso drove a very controlled race and did what he needed to do to keep Vettel behind him. Red Bull did well to salvage both third for Webber after taking a risky pit strategy and having to come back through the field. They will also feel that Sebastien should have been on pole and should have won the race, but they’ll be satisfied with their weekend anyway.

McLaren had a tough race with Button unable to catch Webber even with far fresher tyres at the end, and more so Hamilton who retired after having another run-in with Webber after the safety car. They will be hoping Korea does go ahead as they desperately need the points and that track with its long straights should suit their car.

Massa did well to recover from starting at the back of the grid to finish in the points. He may have had more if he hadn’t been stuck behind Timo Glock‘s train of traffic for a number of laps. It looked impressive to see a Virgin car running in 11th but in the end it didn’t work out and the safety car cost them dearly in their fight with Lotus. In the end though, Virgin Racing had the last laugh by having Di Grassi‘s car the only one of the new teams to finish, another small victory.

Robert Kubica provided most of the exciting racing alongside Mark Webber with multiple overtakes to end up 7th. He had to pit and move out of the points when the team discovered he had picked up a puncture somehow. With the fresh rubber he made up about 5 places with some really great driving. Rubens Barrichello had another solid performance for Williams in 6th with Hulkenberg 10th while the Force India and Sauber cars all struggled or had reliability issues.

Michael Schumacher has faced more criticism after finishing 13th while his team-mate Rosberg ended up 5th. It is worth keeping in mind however that this was his first Singapore race and Nico Rosberg regards Marina Bay as one of his strongest tracks.

Overall I thought it was an interesting race and I’m looking forward to Suzuka at the end of this week. Red Bull are likely to be either dominant or at least very competitive there, and it’ll be interesting to see if anyone can stop them from walking away with a one-two. It’s rarely ever that simple in F1 though.

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Miscellaneous

Big Week for Formula 1

F1 2009 (video game)
Last year's cover art. Image via Wikipedia

This week is going to be really exciting in the world of F1, especially for gamers. The Singapore Grand Prix starts on Friday with practice and continues over the weekend as normal. However, the new F1 game by Codemasters comes out on the same day and it’s going to be hard to put it down while the real action takes place. While I am excited about the race, the championship and the changes in track and decoration in Singapore, I’ll get to that in a later post.

I got the F1 2009 game on the Wii last year and am still loving playing it. The graphics are pretty awful and there’s no online at all but it’s just pure fun. This new game looks to have all of the fun of last year’s version, but adds amazing graphics, online, a better career mode and much more.

It’s so much more realistic this time around that it’s almost indistinguishable from before. So many details make this as true to life as has ever been achieved before. From amazing weather effects, season upgrades, realistic car performances, track evolution and much more. It’s all in there.

You would think I would have left all of the compliments until after I actually get a chance to play the game, but from all of the stuff I’ve seen on YouTube and elsewhere I don’t think there will be any nasty surprises.

I would go as far as to say that there is only one game that can come close to this as my personal game of the year, and that’s unsurprisingly Gran Turismo 5, which looks absolutely mind blowing. The amount of content that they’ve managed to fit on one blu-ray is almost beyond comprehension.

With that said, in terms of actual racing fun, they may be tied in that respect, but we’ll have to wait and see. All I know is that I’ve never been more excited about two games before than these, and I’ve been playing games since I had a big yellow brick of a gameboy when I must have been around 8 years old.