News Trentham Sleaves

2015 Singapore GP preview

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F1 journalist and utter titwipe TRENTHAM SLEAVES looks ahead to this weekend’s race

trenthamsleaves1The nocturnal magnificence of a fully illuminated circuit set against the soaring spires of a modern metropolis is something that can’t be fully appreciated unless you are here in Singapore in person to gaze upon the city in all its glowing glory, which of course I am.

Like the teams and drivers, I stay on UK time while here in the fascinating city state, a policy which pays dividends for all the track action yet leaves one’s internal clock in a state of confusion that can only be experienced if you are actually here which, as I might have mentioned, I am. I spoke of this unusual experience to my old mate Christian Horner as we chatted while I chased after him down the paddock. ‘Yea, no, whatever,’ he said enigmatically before adding, ‘Please leave me alone’. So nice to see that, despite his team’s current troubles with Renault, he can still retain his marvellous sense of humour!

The various behind-the-scenes sagas that so fascinate those of us on the inside of this sport were something I had time to reflect upon last night as I dined alone at a wonderful Italian place, far from the beaten track. Discretion prevents me from naming this fine establishment but, if my experience is typical, you will know you’ve found it when they loudly say, ‘Oh my God, not this prick again!’ as you walk through the door! Typical of Singaporean humour, as dry as the air is humid!

I speak a little Singaporeanese and was able to order in local tongue and, as I feasted on a newspaper drizzled in lemonade and two fish heads in a cup, I pondered on whether Renault will buy back Lotus and many other bits of gossip I overheard in the press room.

Someone who would surely have a great view on all this is a certain British world champion of the 1990s who I bumped into in the lobby of my hotel. I hoped to ask him for his views on the complex politics of the sport but he simply said, ‘Stop hanging around in the lane near my house!’ and then ran into a lift! What a jester!

As to who will take the chequered flag in this after-dark spectacular, to me there is no doubt whatsoever that it will be a Mercedes, or a Ferrari if they are on form or perhaps a Williams or Red Bull, or even a surprise from Toro Rosso. Whatever the result here under the famous floodlights, rest assured that I will have a front row seat for all the action.

Because remember, I’m here and you’re not.