Singapore morning preview: looking forward to a potential race of the year…

Good morning. Official F1 Timing is telling us you still have plenty of time to get to the shops and get in all you need to prepare for what promises to be one of the races of the year. If the view outside from your Sunday Afternoon sofa is as grim as ours it’s not like there’s anything else to do. Go on, get the dog a bone.

There is no reason why Lewis Hamilton should not win under Singapore’s spotlamps this afternoon, he has after all converted his last two pole positions to wins. We know he can still get in to trouble in traffic, but leading from the front, well…. There is every chance he can take a chunk out of Alonso’s championship lead this afternoon and take us all one step closer to the showdown this season had long promised.

Actually there is one reason why not, and that’s the bloke starting next to him, but surely as you read this Pastor Maldonado is sat down in the Williams caravan getting a BLOODY GOOD TALKING TO. Please Pastor, don’t screw it up for all of us. Assuming then Lil’ Lewie does run off to Raffles, there is still a huge amount to play for behind him, all of it significant to the championship.

We’ve already said Sebastian Vettel seems a lot more like his old self this weekend, only with more steel. Then there’s Jenson Button… Hard to see him overhauling Hamilton, but he’ll be determined to grab second at the very least. Mind you, with the bonkers Singapore micro-climate and with just about everyone more confused than ever over which tyres to run when (there’s been talk of FOUR stop strategies), maybe we’ll see JB’s tactical nous come in to play. Someone will hit the wall — probably Bruno Senna who’ll start from the back, what with the handicap of a gearbox penalty on top of his wall-bothering practice performance. That means there will also be a safety car.

Oh, and there’s Kimi’s need to make up ground after an ordinary qualifying, RoGros showing no signs at all of having calmed down. There’s the Merc’s playing tactical, Webber talking tough and of course the championship leader himself. Alonso needs to score lots to hold back the erosion of that lead, he’ll be right in there don’t fear.

So you have to watch, okay? Okay…? The only decision you’ll have to make will be to go with the Beeb or, for those with the choice, go with Sky. Of course we’ve learned this week that Jake’s days on the F1 beat are numbered and that’s a great shame; he’s not only a superb host, he’s a jolly good journalist too, and has the charm and tact to ask the tough questions without putting drivers on the defensive. Just see his interview with Romain Grosjean yesterday.

Personally, what we won’t miss is some of the gang show element that’s crept in to the BBC’s live coverage this year. Don’t get us wrong, there’s plenty of fluff on Sky too and some terrible PR-led stories, but Sky has the balance of their quite excellent team of hard-core racers Martin Brundle and Anthony Davidson, the spookily perceptive Ted Kravitz and the extremely-easy-on-the-ear David Croft.

Yesterday’s BBC coverage was less flighty, even if it did look at times like a Tourism Ministry film for Singapore. Good stuff on driver hydration and on the permutations of the driver market. Have the producers been listening to us and knocked the knockabout stuff on the head? We hope so – we’re going with the Beeb today, what about you?

We’ll be back later once we’ve calmed down…

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