A modern-day classic despite its unusual timings as a night race, Singapore has become a popular stop for the Formula 1 championship. Williams aims to get points there and to strengthen its position in the constructors battle. The Grove team is 4th in the standings after 14 rounds, but is only 3 points ahead of Force India.
Due to the high humidity the drivers lose up to three kilos in sweat during the race in Singapore. Thus preparation is vital to maintain concentration amidst the looming street circuit barriers. The race’s susceptibility for safety cars makes it one of the longest of the season. It often finishes close to the FIA’s two-hour time limit.
Williams: Traction and car stability are vital for a good lap time
The circuit is quite bumpy but unlike other street circuits, overtaking is possible.
“The move from Monza to Singapore is one of extremes”, Pat Symonds points out. “We are going from the lowest downforce and drag circuit of the season to a street circuit where emphasis is on high downforce and good mechanical grip. Singapore presents many unique challenges, not least of which being that it is a night race. It does however, also bring some advantages; being so close to the equator we can quite accurately predict the ambient and track temperatures. The circuit puts a premium on low-speed grip and traction. It also has a high braking demand with certain areas requiring good ride to maintain mechanical grip. It’s a circuit we have performed reasonably well on in recent years, so we look forward to collecting some strong points as we continue our championship battle.”
Valtteri Bottas married his longtime girlfriend Emilia Pikkarainen on Sunday but they have not time for a honeymoon. The driver is already in Singapore and ready for one of the most challenging race weekends on the calendar.
Bottas: That track has so many corners and it’s quite tricky to complete a perfect lap
“But it’s really rewarding when you do”, the Finn continued. “Personally, I do like the challenge. It’s a night race and in terms of how much you need to focus, it’s probably the most difficult track after Monaco. There’s no room for mistakes. It’s extremely hot, which makes it much more physical for the driver and hard on the car. It’s a very unique and cool looking grand prix.”
Felipe Massa also said the race is very difficult: “Singapore is one of the few night races that we have, together with Bahrain and Abu Dhabi. It’s very humid and so hot. A tricky race for everybody and one of the hardest on the calendar. That said, I really enjoy racing there and it’s a very rewarding track. It’s always a good feeling racing in Singapore.”