But there’s something else being talked about in the formula 1 drivers’ camp at marina bay.
Almost 30 degrees still in the evening, plus humidity of over 70 percent. Singapore makes the drivers sweat profusely, with temperatures in the cockpits rising to 60 degrees. Red bull’s max verstappen increased the number of sauna sessions in preparation for the race, and also increased the temperature of the training sessions. Estaban ocon of force india even put his home trainer in his sweat room.
It was not meant to be. Honda and mclaren have been trying for almost three years now. The sporting lack of success leads to the end of the partnership after this season. They wanted to win, as in their earlier, glorious times together. The car was painted this year even specially in retro orange look. Titles are the order of the day. Nothing succeeded. The honda engine was and is simply too weak. Honda must go, changes to toro rosso, renault to come. The confirmation is expected this friday.
It should come after the next season. After many years together, renault and red bull have grown apart. The successes led by sebastian vettel from 2010 to the end of 2013, with four drivers’ world championship titles alone, have long been history. The fact that red bull was always happy to publicly blame the manufacturer for the subsequent weak phases and jolts due to the engine has long been a source of irritation for the frenchmen. The fact that red bull wanted to see how the honda engine would run in the car of dietrich mateschitz’s B-team toro rosso next year and then allegedly decide on the engine for 2019 was too much for the renault bosses to bear.
Fernando alonso wants to wait for the mclaren decisions before deciding what to do next with him. In singapore, he is once again flirting with the many opportunities available to him – and not just limited to formula 1. But the premier class of motorsport, in which he won the title in 2005 and 2006, has top priority. He wants to win, not just race. On his 33. Alonso has been waiting for grand prix success since may 2013, when he won his home race. The new liaison between renault and mclaren was allowed to persuade him to stay – with renault, the now 35-year-old spaniard won his two titles.
Jolyon palmer does not want to leave. Nico hulkenberg’s unsuccessful british teammate at renault is sure: "i still have seven races to go."At least he contradicts the speculations that the race in singapore could be his last for the time being. Rumors persist that in the course of the engine change saga the current toro crosso driver carlos sainz junior could already sit in the renault cockpit at the race in malaysia in just over two weeks time.
One thing felipe massa doesn’t want: to stay at williams only because it suits the sponsors. The 36-year-old brazilian, who retired from formula 1 at the end of last season but was reactivated by valtteri bottas’ move to mercedes, expects to make a decision about his future very soon. 263 times he has been entered for a grand prix, there are probably not many more in the eleven-time race winner’s formula 1 CV.