Singapore: If the fast world of Formula One needed any more spice to its 2008 season, it is here. This weekend's Singapore Grand Prix will have some of the best ingredients that make a race very exciting.
Apart from being the first night race of the calender there is a lot more that makes the race special.
The powerful floodlights illuminating the roads around Marina Bay lights the path that welcomes the stars of Formula One.
The race is only the third street race of the calendar after Monte Carlo and Valencia and the sheer novelty value of a race starting at 2000 hrs local time will ensure Singapore's historic debut.
"It's going to be an interesting one for all of us. We're all very excited to get out on the circuit for the first time and just experience what it's like," says McLaren Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton.
But along with all the excitement of racing on a brand new track, the 61 laps of the five-kilometer street circuit will throw in a host of new challenges for the drivers.
"Of course, it's a bit of an unknown. It can rain here, it is possible, but we've seen many times this year in similar conditions. There's been unstable conditions in many of the races and we just have to try to adapt to them as well as possible," Hamilton's teammate Heikki Kovalainen says.
"What will tire you out is your vision because you are concentrating so hard, tunnel vision, very like Monaco, though it is wider, it's still tunnel vision, and you have these bright lights shining in on you so I think its going to tire you out mentally," Jenson Button, Honda driver, adds.
In almost another first of sorts, the teams reached the city well before the start of the racing weekend.
The drivers are adjusting their body-clocks so they can peak at night for the race.
"I'm going to bed at 4 or 5 in the morning which is really weird, waking up at two in the afternoon, trying to get breakfast at lunchtime, having lunch at dinner time, and then having dinner at three in the morning, so it's quiet difficult," Button says.
And while sleep can be an issue, the drivers were seen using bicycles to try out the tracks first hand in the absence of their four-tyred beasts.