Hamilton hopes for clean roads ahead in hazy Singapore

SINGAPORE (AFP) – Formula one world champion Lewis Hamilton is keeping one eye on the haze situation in Singapore but admitted that there is only so much drivers can do to protect themselves against dirty air should conditions worsen over the weekend.

After the Singapore National Environment Agency reported over the weekend that the air quality index entered “unhealthy” levels for the first time in three years due to forest fires in neighbouring Indonesia, conditions had improved by Thursday and visibility was much clearer.

Race organisers will continue to monitor the situation, however, and championship leader Hamilton said he would also stay up to date with the conditions in and around the Marina Bay Street Circuit.

“We all have doctors on hand but it’s not been brought up as an issue for us although I am conscious of it,” the Briton told reporters.

“Naturally, you blow your nose after a race and loads of soot comes out… you’ve got the carbon and all the other stuff you are breathing in, so clean air is an important part of it.

“I have been told not to go for runs outside but I don’t know how that would impact us in the race. I will speak to my team about it but there’s only so much we can do, we can’t wear an extra mask in our helmets.”

Even without the threat of haze, the Singapore Grand Prix is one of the most demanding on the calendar, running for a full two hours, in hot and humid conditions.

Hamilton, however, seems to thrive in Singapore and is a firm favourite to record a fifth victory in the race as he continues his march towards a sixth world title.

“This is one of the toughest races, if not the toughest race, of the year,” added Hamilton.