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Singapore Grand Prix have 'contingency plan' for poor air quality

Singapore Grand Prix have 'contingency plan' for poor air quality
© Reuters
Air pollution in neighbouring Indonesia has reached 'unhealthy' levels.

Formula One officials are hopeful this weekend's Singapore Grand Prix will go ahead as scheduled despite dangerous levels of air pollution affecting the city state.

Lewis Hamilton is due to arrive on Wednesday for the sport's spectacular night race – but the championship leader is set to be greeted by a dense cloud of haze.

Forest fires in neighbouring Indonesia have caused air pollution to reach "unhealthy" levels for the first time in more than three years.

British Grand Prix 2019 – Race Day – Silverstone
Lewis Hamilton takes a 63-point championship lead to Singapore (Martin Rickett/PA)

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Singapore's National Environment Agency warned that the situation could deteriorate in the next 24 hours, urging people to "reduce prolonged or strenuous outdoor physical exertion".

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.

But bosses say a contingency plan has been established by the race's organisers to cope with the poor air quality.

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.

"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."

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."

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Toto Wolff pictured in April 2019
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Today's Olympic highlights header

Thursday's key events

· Comeback queen and super-mum Helen Glover goes for her third Olympic gold alongside Polly Swann in the women's pair final (1.30am)
· There is also a medal on offer for GB pair Emily Craig and Imogen Grant in the lightweight women's double scull final (2.10am)

· As second-fastest qualifier for the final, Team GB's James Wilby is among the medal contenders in the men's 200m breaststroke (2.44am)
· Alys Thomas takes part in the women's 200m butterfly final, although he faces a difficult task to challenge for the medals (3.28am)
· Caeleb Dressel of the USA has been touted by some as the successor to Michael Phelps, and he has the chance to notch up a fourth Olympic gold in the men's 100m freestyle final (3.37am)

· After Team GB's men narrowly missed out on a medal, the women get their campaign underway against the Russian Olympic Committee (3am) and New Zealand (10.30am)

· It is a Great Britain vs. Netherlands double-header, with the men up first in Pool B (4.15am)
· Most eyes will be on the women's showdown between the two nations, though, as Netherlands - the world's best team - look to gain revenge on GB for defeat in the 2016 Olympic final (11am)

· Mallory Franklin takes part in the women's canoe semi-final, and will hope to do enough to qualify for the final later in the day (6am-8.45am)

· With Simone Biles now out of the women's all-around final, the competition has been blown wide open. Team GB twins Jessica and Jennifer Gadirova are among those taking part (11.50am-2.05pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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