Formula One: Singapore Grand Prix at risk due to 'unhealthy' levels of pollution

Dangerous levels of air pollution are threatening Singapore’s Grand Prix this weekend.

Formula One officials hope the event will go ahead, with Lewis Hamilton set to arrive on Wednesday, but forest fires in Indonesia have led to the ‘unhealthy’ levels of pollution for the first time in more than three years.

The championship leader is subsequently set to be greeted by a dense cloud of haze, with Singapore’s National Environment Agency warning the situation could deteriorate in the next 24 hours.

An F1 spokesperson told the PA news agency: “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.

“They have put in place a number of measures, including public information at the circuit and have taken measures to reduce the impact of the haze for the race weekend.”

A spokesperson for the Singapore Grand Prix added: “The haze situation is highly changeable not only from day to day but from hour to hour.

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SINGAPORE - SEPTEMBER 16: A general view of Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes WO9 leading Sebastian Vettel of Germany driving the (5) Scuderia Ferrari SF71H on track during the Formula One Grand Prix of Singapore at Marina Bay Street Circuit on September 16, 2018 in Singapore.  (Photo by Will Taylor-Medhurst/Getty Images)
The Singapore Grand Prix could suffer from the effects of pollution (Photo by Will Taylor-Medhurst/Getty Images)

“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 race at the Marina Bay Street Circuit is regarded as the most physically demanding on the sport’s calendar due to the humid climate.

Hamilton’s Mercedes team are understood to be monitoring the situation, but are hopeful it will improve before the action begins on Friday.

Hamilton, who is 63 points clear in the title race, will land in Singapore after launching the latest collection of his fashion label in Milan on Monday night. The five-time world champion has won in Singapore for the past two seasons.

“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,” Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said.

“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.”

With PA:Media

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