Singapore—The organizers of Singapore Grand Prix have said that there is a ‘contingency plan’ in place so that drivers can cope with the poor air quality in the country due to forest fires in neighbouring Indonesia.
Officials from Formula 1 are optimistic that the Grand Prix will proceed as scheduled despite the threat of haze. It is the first time in over three years that air pollution in Singapore has reached levels this unhealthy, with air quality worsening on Wednesday, September 18. Pollutant Standard Index (PSI) readings ranged between 116 to 128 at 1:00 pm on Wednesday.
According to the National Environment Agency (NEA), readings of 50 and below mean “good” air quality, readings of 51-100 mean “moderate” air quality and for readings between 101-200, this denoted “unhealthy” air quality.
The Singapore Grand Prix is considered to be the most physically demanding of all, because of the humid climate of the country.
However, according to a spokesperson for Formula 1, “The Singapore race organisers have covered the issue of air quality in the contingency plan for this year’s grand prix alongside stakeholders, government bodies and the Formula One community.
Race organisers have taken measures to reduce the impact of the haze for the race weekend.
They have put in place a number of measures, including public information at the circuit.”
Furthermore, a spokesperson for the Singapore Grand Prix has also said,
“The haze situation is highly changeable not only from day to day but from hour to hour.
Therefore, it is currently not possible to reliably predict what the PSI level might be over the race weekend.
We will continue to work closely with all the relevant government authorities to receive the best possible forecasts when they are available.”
The United Kingdom’s Lewis Hamilton, five-time Formula One World Champion, is expected to arrive in Singapore on Wednesday. For the past two seasons, Mr Hamilton has won in Singapore.
Mr Hamilton races in Formula 1 for Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport.
Austrian investor and former racing driver Torger Christian “Toto” Wolff, the CEO of Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport Formula One Team, said, “For a long time, Singapore used to be one of our weakest tracks, but we’ve made some inroads into that and performed well last year.
However, there are no home runs at a track like Singapore: we take absolutely nothing for granted in our approach to the weekend. We are looking forward to a tough battle.”
Mr Hamilton is leading the current championship by 63 points. There are seven races of the season remaining.
Last week, representatives of 10 religious groups came together to bless the F1 Singapore Night Race, which is an annual event. The 10 faiths that were represented were Hindus, Jews, Zoroastrians, Buddhists, Taoists, Jains, Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, and Baha’i.
Singapore Grand Prix posted a photo of the ten clergymen standing side by side, shoulder to shoulder on the track, speaking their prayers and blessings. It was captioned, “Truly a #SingaporeGP special! A gathering of religious leaders, representing 10 different faiths, shower their blessings upon the event. #F1NightRace.”
The Grand Prix for this year will be held at the Marina Bay Street Circuit from September 20 to 22. / TISG