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Traction control has been banned in Formula One since 2009, but some people in the sport claim championship leader Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull car has some form of traction-control system after he was lapping the Singapore Grand Prix circuit more than two seconds per lap faster than his nearest competitor, USA Today and the BBC report.

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The Singapore Formula One Grand Prix is the Monaco GP of the Orient – a weekend known more for its glamour and time-slot than on-track action, with a temporary circuit that punishes every mistake, usually terminally.

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At any sporting event, there's no shortage of know-it-all buffoons. What there is a shortage of, is know-it-all buffoons that happen to be birds. In anticipation of this weekend's Singapore Grand Prix, Pole Position traveled to the Jurong Bird Park in Singapore, to get the not-so-professional opinion of Ippy, the talking scarlet macaw.

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Though you might call the Singapore Grand Prix one of the newer expansion races on the Formula One calendar, its roots actually trace back to 1966 when it was run as part of the (long since defunct) Formula Libre. It came back in 2008 as part of the Formula One World Championship, though, and its first night race at that.

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Despite the fact that the design study of its all-new P1 supercar is set to debut in Paris next week, McLaren is still keeping busy selling its existing MP4-12C model. We've heard news of other special edition Macs, after seeing the one-off X-1 Concept at Pebble Beach, and now it seems that a limited edition MP4-12C will be made available for the supercar-inclined one-percenters of Singapore.

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What makes Formula 1 stand out above all other forms of motorsport is not the level of competition, and it's not the glitz and glamor. It's the combination of the two. The race action keeps the hardcore fans coming back, while the allure draws in new fans from all walks of life. But the two need to be present in equal measures in order for the formula to work.

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The World Motor Sports Council took only 90 minutes to reach a verdict in the case of Crashgate – wherein former driver Nelson Piquet, Jr. intentionally chucked his car into the wall at last year's Singapore GP to hand the win to Renault teammate Fernando Alonso. Realizing that Renault was contrite and that the company's disappearance from F1 would be bad for a lot of people, the WSMC handed the company a two-year suspended sentence. If Renault – and its people – keep clean unt

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Flavio Briatore might have wished that he had been a little kinder to client and former Renault F1 driver Nelson Piquet. After Piquet was sacked for non-performance following the Hungarian Grand Prix this year, he sought revenge by saying that Briatore and team engineering director Pat Symonds instructed him to crash during last year's Singapore GP. The crash, done correctly, would cause the safety car to come out, and that would give teammate Fernando Alonso the best chance of winning the race.

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Click above for high-res gallery of the 2008 Singapore GP

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Click above image to watch the video

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On September 28, 2008 at 8 pm, the first Formula 1 race ever held at night will begin in Singapore. Sixty-eight miles of power cable will provide juice to 1,500 light projectors mounted on 240 pylons around the track. What does that mean? It means three billion watts of power -- about four times brighter than a sports stadium. And that might make it the only night time race that requires sunglasses.

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