Ex F1 world champion’s Singapore GP assessment as drivers face huge weight loss

Former Formula 1 world champion Nico Rosberg revealed the gruelling lengths drivers must go to when racing in the Singapore Grand Prix. Rosberg explained how much weigh each racer on the grid will lose in the hot conditions around the Marina Bay Circuit this weekend. 

F1 figures are expecting brutal conditions during the Singapore Grand Prix; temperatures will soar on Sunday with current forecasts expecting a high of 38 degrees Celsius. It will be humid too, with the sticky weather bringing a 35 percent chance of thunderstorms prior to the race. 

Each year, the Singapore Grand Prix represents one of the toughest races of the year, with the extreme climate meaning that only the fittest drivers will thrive. Rosberg certainly did in 2016, winning the race as part of his nine victories to claim the Drivers’ Championship. 

However, he didn’t want to play down the difficulty of racing in Singapore. While it is contested at night, the humidity means the drivers battle the conditions as well as the rest of the grid. 

“I would lose eight pounds (3.6kg) of bodyweight from sweating,” Rosberg said on the Sky Sports F1 Podcast. “It’s like you’re in a skiing suit, while sitting on asphalt which is 45 degrees. Then you have the petrol right behind you, which is 65 degrees, so it’s extremely hot.

“There’s no fresh air coming in, you have the seatbelts really tight and the carbon seat moulded to your body, so you can hardly breathe properly. Corner after corner where you have to hold your breath in the corners, you can’t breathe when you’re cornering because you hold your breath.

“I remember after 10 laps I would look at the pit board and it would say ’50 laps to go’ and I’m thinking ‘I’m done. I’m 10 laps in and there’s 50 to go’. It’s so horrible the feeling in the car, it’s like you are in a sauna on a spinning bike for two hours.

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“Your head is starting to pump within the helmet, your sweat is dripping down on the eyes and burning. It’s incredibly tough.”

After a three year absence due to Covid, the Singapore Grand Prix returned in 2022. Red Bull star Sergio Perez took the win, with Ferrari duo Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz rounding out the podium after world champion Max Verstappen was stuck in seventh. 

The Singapore Grand Prix takes place on Sunday 17 September.

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