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Sep 14

Formula One teams Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix preview

Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix Formula One preview

150x80-flagworldf1Today’s report from Formula One teams & drivers in Singapore.

01 - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport

Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport

2017 Singapore Grand Prix – Preview

Battle continues with Round 14 of the 2017 season from the Marina Bay Street Circuit

  • Toto Talks Singapore
  • Stat Attack: Singapore and Beyond

Toto Talks Singapore

Identifying clearly our strengths and our weaknesses has been a strength of our team in recent seasons. As we have pushed to become better and stronger in every area, we have put the finger in the wound in order to understand the root causes of both our good performances and the bad ones. In 2015, Singapore provided us with one of the most painful experiences in recent seasons, so we rolled up the sleeves, learned from it and managed to bounce back with a great win last year. But notwithstanding that success, this is a circuit we have found difficult to master with its combination of short, sharp corners, relatively short straights and bumpy surface. And we head to Asia this time round with the expectation that we have a big challenge ahead of us.

So far this year, we have seen the pendulum swing according to circuit type. On the surface, Singapore is the kind of circuit that should favour both Ferrari and Red Bull. Both have shown strong performance on low-speed circuits demanding maximum downforce, and we have found life more difficult at those places in 2017. Sometimes, characteristics like this are simply in the DNA of a car. Nevertheless we learned a lot from our struggles in Monaco, raised our level of performance significantly in Hungary and we have made good progress in understanding what we need to do in order to get the most from the chassis.

Singapore is a fantastic showcase for our sport and a unique spectacle under the lights. But it’s a demanding weekend for the teams: the ambient conditions make life in the garage tough, it’s physically demanding for the drivers and challenging for the cars in terms of managing brake and tyre temperatures. Safety Car periods are almost guaranteed, so there are lots of variables to consider on strategy. It’s a weekend when every part of the team needs to be at its best if you wish to score a strong finish. We will aim to put all the pieces of the puzzle together and finish strongly.

Session Local Time (SGT) Brackley (BST) Stuttgart (CEST)
Practice 1 (Friday) 16:30 – 18:00 09:30 – 11:00 10:30 – 12:00
Practice 2 (Friday) 20:30 – 22:00 13:30 – 15:00 14:30 – 16:00
Practice 3 (Saturday) 18:00 – 19:00 11:00 – 12:00 12:00 – 13:00
Qualifying (Saturday) 21:00 – 22:00 14:00 – 15:00 15:00 – 16:00
Race (Sunday) 20:00 – 22:00 13:00 – 15:00 14:00 – 16:00

Circuit Records – Silver Arrows at the Marina Bay Street Circuit

  Starts Wins Podium Places Poles Front Row Fastest Laps DNF
Silver Arrows 7 2 3 2 4 1 4
L. Hamilton 9 2 4 3 4 1 3
V. Bottas 4 0 0 0 0 0 1
MB Power 9 3 7 4 7 3 13

Technical Stats – Season to Date (Barcelona Pre-Season Test 1 to Present)

  Laps Completed Distance Covered (km) Corners Taken Gear Changes PETRONAS Fuel Injections
Silver Arrows 5,607 27,844 87,780 265,917 224,280,000
L. Hamilton 2,715 13,474 42,390 128,571 108,600,000
V. Bottas 2,892 14,370 45,390 137,346 115,680,000
MB Power 15,832 78,902 247,490 751,707 633,280,000

All-Time Records – Silver Arrows in Formula One

  Starts Wins Podium Places Poles Front Row Fastest Laps 1-2 Wins Front Row Lockouts
Silver Arrows 161 72 145 83 150 53 39 49
Lewis Hamilton 201 59 112 69 114 37 N/A N/A
Valtteri Bottas 106 2 18 2 6 1 N/A N/A
MB Power 432 158 412 166 330 148 64 85

source: mercedesamgf1.com2017 photo album

01 - Infiniti Red Bull Racing

Red Bull Racing

Ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix

Daniel Ricciardo

“I believe Singapore won’t be our only chance but is one of our best chances of a win in the second half of the season. You have to build up speed a little slower in the practice sessions on a street circuit like Singapore. At some point you have to start taking risks but to do that straight away doesn’t make sense.

“I always prepare for the race with some acclimatization training. You feel the heat when you’re in the car,
but when you stop after the race and the adrenaline decreases you feel it even more. After the race I will easily sink five litres of water to rehydrate before I go to bed.

“I’ve started second and finished second at this track in the last two years, with fastest lap both times, so my aim this year is definitely to start on pole and try to go one better in the race.”

Max Verstappen

“I’m looking forward to getting to Singapore as it’s always a special weekend. The race has been a strong one for us in the past and I think we should be able to challenge for a podium this year.

“The night race and hot temperatures really test you to the limit and for me Singapore is physically the hardest race of the season. I have been preparing already for a
few weeks doing heat training in the sauna and getting ready to sweat so I can cope with the heat in both Singapore and Malaysia.

“The track itself has a lot of corners which is why I enjoy driving there and like most street circuits it’s pretty bumpy which makes it even more challenging.”

source: redbullracing.com2017 photo album

Scuderia Ferrari

Scuderia Ferrari

Singapore Grand Prix – The real Singapore

The night? The rain? No, the pitfalls lie elsewhere

When it first appeared on the calendar in 2008, there was a whole host of questions that needed asking about the Singapore Grand Prix. How would drivers and teams adapt to the time difference while tackling a night race? What about the risk of equatorial storms? Would the artificial light be bright enough? But nine races on, we know that those are not the questions that need answering at Marina Bay. To date, the rain has never halted proceedings, the drivers have never complained about visibility – in fact quite the contrary – and adapting physically and mentally to staying on European time has proved easier than expected, as it’s simply a case of working a nightshift over the weekend.

So what then are the pitfalls of Singapore? First of all, it’s a street circuit so the slightest mistake comes at a heavy price: it is over five kilometres long, but, at 520 metres, the main straight is the shortest on the calendar, after which there are no less than 23 corners. Most of them are 90 degree bends, so the main requirement is traction on the exit. Then there’s the mental and physical stress of a race that regularly runs to near the two hour time limit and the night time humidity makes life unbearable in the cockpit and the garages. The teams always have to take into account the possibility of a safety car period when working out race strategy, because, so far there has been one in every edition of this event.

One way or another, Scuderia Ferrari has played a key role on this circuit in the tiny Asian republic. From Felipe Massa’s dreams of victory evaporating in its first year, to Alonso’s victorious resistance against Vettel in 2010, to the very same Sebastian’s win in Scuderia colours two years ago and his great fight through the field after qualifying problems in 2016. In Singapore, nothing can be taken for granted and there is no clear favourite until the chequered flag falls…

source: formula1.ferrari.com2017 photo album

Sahara Force India pink logo.jpg

Sahara Force India F1 Team

2017 Singapore Grand Prix: Preview

Vijay Mallya: “It feels pretty good for our team to be sitting in fourth place in the championship as we get ready for the Singapore Grand Prix. The strong showing in Monza brought us our tenth double points finish of the season, which is a tremendous effort by the entire team.

“With seven races to go, the season is rushing by quickly and we just need to keep doing what we’ve been doing all year long. It’s about being consistent, picking up the points and taking our opportunities.

“We haven’t eased off. Development of the VJM10 continues and will bring benefits for the 2018 car too. We are still bringing new parts to the track and both cars will have developments this weekend.”

Sergio: “Singapore is definitely one of the toughest races in the season. It’s so hot and humid; a real test for the driver, but I am well prepared for racing in the heat. Sometimes you feel really uncomfortable in the car and you just want the race to be over as soon as possible. It’s hard to breathe, you are sweating a lot and the sweat goes in your eyes! But it’s still a special night and one of the best races of the year.

“I have been in the points every time I have raced in Singapore and I hope I can extend my record. It’s hard to single out a specific corner in Marina Bay because I really like them all. I love street circuits in general and this is a special lap. There’s no room for error – the wall is always next to you; one mistake and you’re out.

“Our objective is obviously to score points in Singapore and in all the races to follow. The season may be nearing an end, but there are still some very important races ahead of us and we want to make sure we do our best to stay fourth in the championship.”

Esteban: “There’s something special about Singapore. You race under the lights and the atmosphere is unique: it feels really glamorous and all the fans and guests are partying through the night during the race. On the other hand, it’s very hard physically. It’s hot and very humid, and you lose a lot of fluids when driving. It’s one of those places where everything needs to be perfect in the car, because you’ll struggle a lot if you’re not in the right position or there is something wrong with the seat. You try to prepare as best as you can for days like these; you train in hot places and try to maximise the performance of your body.

“The weird schedule doesn’t affect me. I like that we stick to European times: we wake up late, the days are shorter and you’re able to sleep a lot. It’s my favourite weekend schedule – I am someone who sleeps a lot and in Singapore I can get my 12 hours per night!

“The lap has some really interesting sections. For a street circuit, it’s very fast, but my favourite part is the twisty part in the middle of the lap, where you’re so close to the wall all the time. There are a lot of beautiful buildings next to the track and when they are all lit up at night the place looks very beautiful.”

Sahara Force India’s Chief Race Engineer, Tom McCullough, shares his insight about the race under the lights in Singapore.

“Singapore is the original Formula One night race and is as different a track from Monza as it can be. It’s an anticlockwise track and it has the highest number of corners in the calendar – 23 on the official map. The corners are quite evenly balanced between left and right and most of them are tight, low-speed turns. Qualifying will be very important as there aren’t many overtaking opportunities: despite this, races are often very entertaining and the Safety Car is a common sight. It’s a tough weekend for both the drivers and the team members: it’s hot and humid, even at night, meaning hydration is very important. The drivers, in particular, need to be in perfect shape: Singapore is the longest race of the year and one in which they will need to be confident in the car and precise, as the walls are unforgiving and there’s no room for mistakes.”

source: forceindiaf1.com2017 photo album

Williams Martini Racing logo.jpg

Williams Martini Racing

Singapore Grand Prix Preview

  • 15-17 SEPTEMBER 2017
  • MARINA BAY STREET CIRCUIT
  • ROUND 14 OF 20

Held at the glamorous Marina Bay street circuit, the Singapore night race sees Formula One enter the final international leg of the season. The circuit is famous for being the first night race to ever be held, as well as the first street circuit in Asia to host an F1 race. Typically, the twisty layout of the track means it’s a great viewing opportunity for the fans with slower laps and the added likelihood of a safety car. The circuit has been adjusted several times since its opening to meet new safety regulations and create added thrill during the race; the last change occurring in 2015. Being 137 kilometres from the equator, the temperature within the cockpit can reach staggering highs of 60 °C, adding to the challenge within the tropical climate.

For Singapore, Pirelli has made available the soft, supersoft and ultrasoft tyres.

Paddy Lowe: We head to Singapore this weekend, and into one of the most unique races on the calendar. This was the very first race to be held in the evening under floodlights and it creates a very special magic to the event that we see nowhere else. The Marina Bay street circuit itself requires high downforce and good mechanical grip. It is hard on brakes and with a lot of kerbs it is very tough on the cars. With a very slow characteristic speed, but still the full 300km race distance (unlike Monaco), we very often see the race reaching the two hour limit. The heat and humidity is intense even without the sun. Putting this together is one of the most challenging races for the drivers and the cars, hence we see many incidents as cars break and drivers become fatigued. All this makes for an exciting and dramatic spectacle! From Williams’ perspective we look forward to continuing the good momentum we had in Monza into the final seven flyaway races of the season starting here.

Felipe Massa: While we have three night races, Singapore is the only one in the middle of the city, in the middle of the night, and it’s great. I am looking forward to the race, although I know it will be very hot and humid, which makes it one of the most difficult tracks. As always, I am hoping we can have a good result.

Lance Stroll: Singapore is new territory for me, but I don’t mind that at all. So far the only night race I have done was in Bahrain, but this will obviously be very different as it is on a street circuit.  I like the looks of the track from what I have seen and certainly it appears to be very technical. While I am sure Singapore as a place to visit is really cool, the temperature when we race there will be the exact opposite and the conditions will be hot and humid.  The race should be really demanding physically and we will do a bit of training in the heat before going there.  However, really you just have to carry on with the normal training and then suffer through the conditions.

source: williamsf1.com2017 photo album

05 - McLaren Mercedes

McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team

2017 Singapore Grand Prix – preview

Looking ahead to Singapore

LOWDOWN

Race title 2017 Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix

Circuit name Marina Bay Circuit

First race 2008

Previous winners

2016 Nico Rosberg, 61 laps, 1:55:48.950s

2015 Sebastian Vettel

2014 Lewis Hamilton

History lesson The Singapore Grand Prix celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. First run in 2008, the race takes place at night and sees the cars run through downtown Singapore under floodlights. It’s a breathtaking spectacle. But motor racing isn’t new to the city-state; there was a non-championship Singapore Grand Prix on the Thomson Road street circuit between 1961 and ’73

TRAVEL

City Singapore

Time zone BST+7 / CET+6

Population 4.5 million

How far? Singapore is 6,820 miles (10,976km) from the McLaren Technology Centre

Getting there The sea freight, which includes a lot of garage equipment, arrived at the Marina Bay Circuit last week and the air freight arrived over the weekend. The mechanics arrived on Monday, with the engineers, management and drivers touching down later in the week

Surprising fact Singapore is one of only three city-states in the world, the others being Monaco and Vatican City

Local speciality There are many culinary delights in Singapore, one of which is carrot cake. However, this hawker staple is neither a cake nor made of carrot. It’s a white radish omelette, in which a gnocchi-like dough made from grated turnip, rice and tapioca flour is stir-fried with scrambled eggs and lots of garlic. Travel writers have described it as Singapore’s answer to a kebab, but no-one seems able to shed light on why it’s called carrot cake

Weather Hot and humid. Temperatures hover around 30 degrees in the day, with 80 per cent humidity. Thunderstorms occur regularly, but there has yet to be a wet Singapore Grand Prix

TRACK

Track length 5.065km/3.148 miles (13th longest track of the year – longest: Spa-Francorchamps, shortest: Monaco)

2016 pole position Nico Rosberg, 1m42.584s

2016 fastest lap Daniel Ricciardo, 1m47.187s (lap 49)

Lap record 1:47.187s (Daniel Ricciardo, 2016)

Tyre choice Purple Ultrasoft, red Supersoft and yellow Soft – the seventh time this combination has been used in 2017

Distance to Turn One 200m/0.124 miles (longest of season: Barcelona 730m/0.454 miles)

Longest straight 832m/0.517 miles, on the approach to Turn Seven (longest of the season: Baku, 2.1km/1.305 miles)

Top speed 305km/h/190mph, on the approach to Turn One (fastest of season: Monza, 360km/h/224mph)

Full throttle 47 per cent (highest of the season: Monza, 75 per cent). The longest period of uninterrupted full throttle is just 9s

Brakewear High. There are 16 braking events around the lap and few straights along which to cool the brakes

Fuel consumption 1.9kg per lap, which is relatively high and comes as a result of the stop-start nature of the track

ERS demands Medium. There are lots of demands on the ERS, but plenty of opportunities to harvest energy under braking

Gear changes 80 per lap/4,880 per race – the highest of the season
RACE

Laps 61 laps

Start time 20:00hrs local / 13:00hrs BST / 14:00 CET

Grid advantage It’s a short dash to Turn One, but there’s a definite grip advantage on the racing line. With that in mind, pole position is located on the outside of the track

DRS There are two DRS zones, on the approaches to Turns One and Seven

Don’t put the kettle on…Qualifying is always spectacular under the lights and the start of the race is crucial because overtaking is difficult. A lot can be won and lost in the opening 200 metres/0.124 miles. The firework display as the cars take the chequered flag is something not to be missed either

Pitlane length/Pitstops 420m/0.261 miles (longest of the season: Silverstone, 457m/0.283 miles). It’s a long and slow pitlane at Marina Bay, with a speed limit of just 60km/h/37mph. It takes 29s to make a stop, which is the longest of the season

Safety Car likelihood 100 per cent. There has been at least one Safety Car period in every Singapore Grand Prix. It’s something that teams factor into their race strategies

Watch out for…Rain. This is the 10th Singapore Grand Prix and there has yet to be a wet race. Question marks about how the artificial lights affect visibility in spray will only be answered when there’s a wet race. Also, look out for the right-left chicane at Turns 20/21. The cars accelerate onto the start finish straight from here and the drivers are eager to get the power down early
The drivers 

Fernando Alonso

#FA14  MCL32-05
“We knew the double-header of Spa and Monza would be difficult for us, but three DNFs out of four was still really disappointing. Still, we showed better pace than we anticipated, even though we could convert that into points.

“We’ve now put the European season behind us and we turn our attention to the fly-aways which signal the final chapter of the season. Singapore is a great place to start, as it’s one of the circuits on the calendar that suits our package better than others, and gives us a real chance for a more positive result.

“Singapore is a bit like the Monaco of the East. It’s a glamorous street circuit right in the centre of the city and the atmosphere is incredible. It’s tough – hot and humid, and hard on the cars and drivers. It’s really fun though: bumpy, tight and challenging, but exhilarating when you get it right. You need a car with good traction on the slower corners and a high downforce set-up, so we definitely have a better chance there – we just need to make sure we also have the reliability.”

Stoffel Vandoorne

#SV2  MCL32-04

“I’ve never raced in Singapore, but I’ve experienced the whole weekend alongside the team over the past couple of years. Living on European time and going to bed at 6am is surreal, and it’s part of what makes this grand prix one of the really special ones. Singapore is such a cool place and I’m looking forward to exploring more of the city this year.

“Of the grands prix I haven’t yet done, Singapore is one of the races that I’ve been most excited about all year. It’s a completely different experience to the other races and I think the whole atmosphere will feel pretty unique – racing under the floodlights in the middle of the city sounds really cool. The grands prix here have been some of the longest on the calendar, so it’ll take a lot of stamina in the high temperatures and humidity, but I feel well prepared.

“We’ve had a tough couple of races as a team, but from my side I’ve also been encouraged by the performances we’ve put in across the course of each weekend. In every session we’ve been able to take away positives – even if we haven’t managed to get the cars to the end of the race or finish with a good result. I’m pretty sure we’re due some better luck, so I hope in Singapore we’ll be able to maximise the strengths of our package over the whole weekend, and finish the all-important race day on a high on Sunday afternoon.”
the management

Eric Boullier

McLAREN-HONDA RACING DIRECTOR

“The whole team looks forward to Singapore each year – it’s a flagship event and an Asian jewel in the crown. The combination of the humidity, operating at unusual times during the day and night while working to the European schedule, the floodlights, high walls and gruelling track layout all makes for a truly unique grand prix, and an epic weekend of racing for fans in the middle of this great city.

“It’s a fantastic spectacle for fans, teams and partners alike, who all love to experience the best of Singapore and enjoy everything the city and grand prix organisers have to offer. It’s also a weekend that produces some of the best racing on the calendar, and never fails to throw up some drama.

“We’re also keen to move on from the last couple of weekends, and focus firmly on the future. Singapore is one of the best chances of the year in terms of matching our package to the characteristics of this gruelling street circuit. We’ve worked hard to try to avoid incurring any penalties which could halt our progress there, and we hope that following Stoffel’s retirement in Monza we won’t have to use any new power unit elements, although this is yet to be officially confirmed.

“Celebrating 10 years of the Singapore Grand Prix is a great achievement and we’d like to congratulate the organisers for reaching this milestone, at what is an incredibly impressive venue that teams and fans alike love returning to each year. For McLaren Honda, this year’s race offers us everything to play for, and we’re looking forward to fighting as close to our front-running competitors as possible.”
Yusuke Hasegawa

Honda R&D Co. Ltd Head of F1 Project & Executive Chief Engineer

“Although Italy marked the end of the European season, our F1 campaign continues to ramp up as we head to Singapore for the final run of fly-away races.

“With a typically tropical climate, the hot and humid conditions in Singapore are tough for both the drivers and team members. Despite this, the Singapore Grand Prix remains one of the favourites for the F1 paddock, with the city’s skyline providing a spectacular backdrop to the race.

“We had a disappointing result last time out at the Italian Grand Prix, however, it was still positive that we had good pace on such a power-hungry track.

“In stark contrast to the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, with so many tight, slow corners, the Marina Bay Street Circuit is less reliant on outright power and plays more to our strengths as we saw at the Hungarian Grand Prix earlier this season.

“The car’s overall balance between power unit and chassis will be the key to a good weekend, so our engineers are hard at work preparing the ideal set-up. Hopefully we can provide the drivers with a good package so they can be in the hunt for much-needed points.”

source: mclaren.com2017 photo album

Scuderia Toro Rosso logo

Scuderia Toro Rosso

2017 SINGAPORE GRAND PRIXVIEW

Daniil Kvyat

MEGA-ATHMOSPHERE

The Singapore Grand Prix is a very enjoyable event because it takes place in the city centre of a very cool city and there’s a MEGA-ATHMOSPHERE! Racing at night makes it all even more special and I’d say it’s one of the most unique weekends of the year.

WELL-PREPARED

It’s quite hot and humid there, which means it’s a challenging race from a physical point of view. The good news is that I always arrive there very WELLPREPARED thanks to all the work my physio and I put in throughout the whole year.

MORNING

Even if it’s difficult, I sometimes try and do some shopping as there are many shopping centres in the city. It’s not easy as we stay on European time in Singapore, so when we finish at the track it’s early MORNING all the shops are already closed! An option is to wake up earlier and do it before going to the circuit, but I like sleeping and that’s actually what I should do until “lunch time”.

FOCUSSED

Last year I finished in the points (P9) after a very good qualifying session on Saturday (P7) so I hope we can be competitive also this year. In addition, everything can happen in Singapore, the walls are very close and the physical preparation can make a big difference. I’ve trained very hard to be able to stay FOCUSSED on the driving without worrying about anything else… we need to take any chance that comes our way and bring home points.

SLEEP

Even if you SLEEP the usual amount of hours, having to wake up at lunch time gives me the feeling I’m allowed to SLEEP much more than during any other race weekend but still fit many things in during the day… Maybe also the fact of going to bed very late makes me feel in a way on holiday but, believe me, we are not!

Carlos  Sainz

DEGREES

I’d say Singapore is probably the toughest race on the calendar, not only because of the demands of the circuit itself, but also because of the physical stresses regarding the driver. The physical stress of driving at more than 50 or 60 DEGREES inside the cockpit due to the heat and humidity is enormous. The air doesn’t flow, as the city skyscrapers don’t allow it and you really feel the hot air inside the car!

DEMANDING

The track itself is really long, very tight and extremely DEMANDING. There’s no time to rest during the lap and you have to be 100% focussed at all times, as the walls are all very close.

WEIRD

We stay on European time while in Singapore, which can sometimes be a bit WEIRD: We wake up at around 2pm every day and leave the track at 3am, which is strange but also makes it more special. As we come from Europe I don’t usually struggle with this unusual timetable. I sometimes find it more difficult to adapt to the Malaysian or Japanese time zones for example.

TOUGH

Last year I performed one of my best qualifying sessions of the season, something which is very important to do in Singapore as it’s difficult to overtake during the race. Unfortunately, the good qualifying didn’t count for much in the end, as I had a frustrating start when I got hit as the lights went out… It was a very TOUGH moment, as I was expecting to fight for points. We probably lost a chance of scoring a strong result! Let’s see if we can do it this year…

ANTI-SHOPPER

There are many shopping centres in Singapore, but I have to admit that I don’t like to go shopping, I’m an ‘ANTI-SHOPPER’!! If I have some free time I prefer to use it in many other ways: doing some sport or going for a good meal!

source: scuderiatororosso.com2017 photo album

11 - Haas F1 Team

Haas F1 Team

Racing Spectrum Swings to Singapore

After Quickest Race of Year in Monza, Haas F1 Team Ready for Season’s Longest Race

After competing in the quickest race in terms of duration, as the Sept. 3 Italian Grand Prix at the 5.793-kilometer (3.6-mile) Autodromo Nazionale Monza ended in a blistering 1 hour and 15 minutes, teams participating in the FIA Formula One World Championship head to the series’ longest race – the Singapore Grand Prix Sept. 17 at the 5.065-kilometer (3.147-mile) Marina Bay Street Circuit.

Since joining the Formula One calendar in 2008, every Singapore Grand Prix has come to within four minutes of the series’ mandated two-hour time limit. The 2015 race was the longest, eclipsing the two-hour mark by 1 minute, 22 seconds. No one complains, however, as Singapore is a destination venue on the Formula One calendar. Its cutting-edge culture and incredible modernization have turned the tropical island located only one degree north of the equator into a global hub for business and tourism, with Formula One’s visit to the world’s only island city-state combining both in glorious fashion.

When Singapore came upon the Formula One scene, it was more than just a new venue in a stunning location. It was Formula One’s first night race and the first street circuit in Asia. The Singapore Grand Prix has grown in stature since, with drivers eagerly anticipating the 23-turn layout despite its challenging nature.

Powerful lighting illuminates the track in such luster that drivers say it is clearer than in daytime, as there is no glare. And with those lights shimmering off the cars’ sinewy shapes as they shoot down the straights at 320 kph (200 mph) while sparks shoot from their underbodies, fans are treated to a sensory assault that can only be found at Marina Bay Street Circuit.

Masking the awesomeness of 20 Formula One cars screaming around this elaborate track is the prowess drivers must possess to keep their cars in one piece. The walls surrounding Marina Bay Street Circuit are unforgiving, but in order for a driver to wring every ounce of speed from his racecar, he must dance with those walls while navigating the numerous bumps of the track’s surface.

If that’s not enough, Singapore in September is hot. Really hot. And for added measure, really humid. As much as the Singapore Grand Prix is run at night for aesthetic purposes, nighttime is the coolest time for drivers and spectators alike. Nonetheless, temperatures inside the racecar can reach 60 degrees Celsius (140 degrees Fahrenheit).

Despite the tough track and equally tough environs, the Singapore Grand Prix is embraced by drivers. The electric atmosphere of the city and the beauty of Formula One at night, where exhaust flames and glowing brake discs provide a technicolor display that goes unnoticed in daylight hours, are appreciated by the drivers. It’s a modern-day Monaco.

The lights are bright at Marina Bay, and Haas F1 Team wants to shine. The American outfit comes into Round 14 of the 20-race Formula One schedule in an incredibly tight battle with fellow constructors Toro Rosso and Renault. With 35 points earned so far this season to place itself seventh in the constructors standings, Haas F1 Team trails sixth-place Toro Rosso by just five points while holding only a one-point advantage over eighth-place Renault.

These razor-thin margins can change drastically with a strong, point-paying performance, and Haas F1 Team drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen are keenly aware of this fact. Grosjean last scored points two races ago in the Belgian Grand Prix with a seventh-place drive that pushed the organization well past its 29-point tally from all of last season. Magnussen’s most recent point-scoring effort was a seventh-place finish in June at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Both drivers are hungry for more points with only seven races remaining in 2017.

Singapore, home to numerous restaurants serving high-end cuisine that satisfy even the most discerning palate, can dish up points for the less discerning Haas F1 Team. Points are points, no matter how they’re served, and in the 10th anniversary of the Singapore Grand Prix, a top-10 performance will yield those coveted points. The table is set in Singapore for Haas F1 Team.

 

Romain Grosjean, driver #8

The past two grands prix have been at high-speed circuits where teams opt for minimal downforce. Belgium seemed to work out well for you and the team, but that wasn’t the case in Italy. Despite having to qualify in the wet on Saturday, what made these two high-speed tracks provide such different outcomes?

“I think Monza was more just about the drag and the efficiency of the low downforce. At Spa-Francorchamps, there were a few more corners where we could exploit a bit more of the potential of the car. So yes, we struggled a bit more in Italy. The pace looked good on Friday, but over the grand prix it was a bit more complicated and difficult.”

 

Now you head to a street circuit where downforce is much more necessary. Is the Singapore Grand Prix a venue that suits the Haas VF-17 better than the high-speed tracks?

“I think it will. Every time we run maximum downforce, the car seems to work better. We’ve got a better efficiency between drag and downforce, so that’s good. The key for us in Singapore will be to get into the tire window. If we do so, we’ll be in a good place. But again, that’s not easy to achieve.”

 

Singapore is one of only three night races on the Formula One schedule, but it’s also the original night race. Do you like competing at night?

“I do like the Singapore Grand Prix. I do like competing in the night. It’s pretty good fun. It makes some great footage, and clearly Singapore is one of the most beautiful races you can have by night. It’s pretty awesome. It provides something a bit different on the calendar. I’m very much looking forward to it and seeing what we can do there.”

 

Because the Singapore Grand Prix is at night, is there a heightened sense of speed?

“It’s actually easier at night because the lights never change. The luminosity is always the same. You stick with the same visor, and driving at those speeds in those conditions is absolutely fine.”

 

Can you describe the atmosphere generated by a night race? Is there a heightened sense of excitement and anticipation because the Singapore Grand Prix is so visually stimulating?

“It’s pretty cool. Everyone loves it, especially the VIPs, who then go partying after the race. It’s a special one, for sure. It’s a race everyone waits for. It’s a tricky track, and you’re racing at night downtown when it’s very hot and humid, so there are a lot of factors that make it exciting.”

 

Singapore’s layout forces drivers to run close to the track’s walls for the majority of a lap. While the margin for error is always low in Formula One, is it even lower at Marina Bay Street Circuit?

“Yes. You pretty much have to hold your breath and hope for the best, especially when you’re pushing in qualifying, as you run so close to the walls.”

 

How do you handle the bumpy nature of Singapore’s layout, and are there specific sections of the track you have to remember to avoid?

“Especially between turns three and four, and on the long straight, it’s very bumpy. You really want to find the right line there. When you make an overtaking move there, you’ve really got to be sure you’ve got the car with you as it’s very tricky.”

 

There are 23 turns at Marina Bay Street Circuit, the most of any Formula One venue. Which ones are the most treacherous and why?

“To be honest, every corner is tricky. It’s difficult to just pick one.”

 

Between the bumps and the heat, how physically taxing is the Singapore Grand Prix?

“It can be very physical. All week we never see the sunlight, so that takes a bit of energy away. Then it’s humid, it’s hot and it’s always a long race. We usually reach the two-hour limit. It’s very, very demanding. I remember back in 2013, I lost four kilos (nine pounds) of water during the race, which is quite a lot.”

 

In addition to its physicality, is the Singapore Grand Prix mentally exhausting because of the close proximity of the walls, its multitude of turns and high safety-car frequency?

“Mentally it’s very difficult, as much as it is physical. It’s clearly one of the races where you need to be at your fittest in the season.”  

 

Despite the mental and physical nature of the Singapore Grand Prix, drivers love it. Why?

“Simple, we love a challenge. That’s why we race in Formula One and that’s why we drive these cars and race at over 300 kph (186 mph). We love it.”

 

Because of Singapore’s high heat and humidity, do you do anything special in advance of the race and during the race weekend to stay hydrated?

“I think as long as you’re fit as you can be, that’s the most important thing. I cope pretty well with the heat, normally. I just get myself ready, jump in and go for it.”

 

Where are the overtaking opportunities at Marina Bay Street Circuit?

“On the long straight after turn four, and then again when you come back after the bridge on the second longest straight into the braking zone.”

 

Prior to racing at the Marina Bay Street Circuit in Formula One, did you have any experience at that track?

“No.”

 

Was your first Formula One race at Singapore in 2009 your first time racing under the lights? What did you think of the experience?

“It was pretty cool. The lights are perfect, so you don’t really feel like you’re racing at night. I didn’t get many laps first time out, but it was a great experience.”

 

What is your favorite part of the Marina Bay Street Circuit?

“Good question. I like turns one to three – the first complex, basically.”

 

Describe a lap around Marina Bay Street Circuit.

“Main straight going into turn one, heavy braking, easy to front lock. You want to carry through some speed there. You go into a tight hairpin with a tricky throttle application. Then turn four is a mid-speed corner going into the longest straight on the track, big braking at the end of that. Then a right-hand side, 20-degree turn followed by a left-hand side, 90-degree turn. Then you go to the left carrying some speed with a right chicane. It’s pretty tricky going under the bridge. There’s a bit of a bump, tricky braking at the end before that left hairpin. On the back straight it’s important to get good traction. Big braking to go into the next right-hand side, 90-degree turn. The next braking zone is a bit tricky, then the chicane at (turns) 18 and 19, having passed the stadium, where there’s no room for error. Last sequence – lot of inside curb through turn 21. We see a lot of cars touching the wall on exit there. The final corner is the second quickest on the track. It’s pretty cool. You carry top speed from there to the start.”

 

Kevin Magnussen, driver #20

The past two grands prix have been at high-speed circuits where teams opt for minimal downforce. Belgium seemed to work out well for you and the team, but that wasn’t the case in Italy. Despite having to qualify in the wet on Saturday, what made these two high-speed tracks provide such different outcomes?

“I think we were a little bit wrong in our tire choice in Monza in the wet. The car was handling well on the full wet, but on the intermediate tire, it was wrong for us, as we couldn’t get any heat into the tire. I think the full wet would’ve been a lot faster. This is a new tire and you learn all the time. Lesson learned, for sure.” 

 

Now you head to a street circuit where downforce is much more necessary. Is the Singapore Grand Prix a venue that suits the Haas VF-17 better than the high-speed tracks?

“It’s difficult to say. I don’t really have a lot of success in guessing our performance beforehand. I usually get it wrong. I’ll go there and see how we get on.”

 

You have two career starts in the Singapore Grand Prix and you’ve finished in the points each time. Is there something about the layout that suits your driving style?

“I don’t really know. I think it’s a cool track, fun to drive. It’s pretty difficult to overtake, but fun nonetheless.”

 

Singapore is one of only three night races on the Formula One schedule, but it’s also the original night race. Do you like competing at night?

“I would say yes. It doesn’t really make a big difference. You don’t notice it so much. It’s cool. It looks nice.”

 

Can you describe the atmosphere generated by a night race? Is there a heightened sense of excitement and anticipation because the Singapore Grand Prix is so visually stimulating?

“It’s not something that a driver really thinks about. It looks cool on television. The cars look a lot shinier and spectacular.”

 

Singapore’s layout forces drivers to run close to the track’s walls for the majority of a lap. While the margin for error is always low in Formula One, is it even lower at Marina Bay Street Circuit?

“Yes it is. If you miss your braking or get on the power a bit too early, there’s a wall and you’ll be likely to hit it. This makes the consequences a bit bigger for any mistake, which is cool.” 

 

How do you handle the bumpy nature of Singapore’s layout, and are there specific sections of the track you have to remember to avoid?

“There are some bumps around the track. You’re trying to avoid them as much as you can. It’s not possible to avoid all of the bumps as you need to take your racing line. It makes it easy to lock up in some places.”

 

There are 23 turns at Marina Bay Street Circuit, the most of any Formula One venue. Which ones are the most treacherous and why?

“Turn five. It’s pretty high speed and there’s a wall very close to the track.”

 

Between the bumps and the heat, how physically taxing is the Singapore Grand Prix?

“It’s pretty tough. It’s very hot and humid. It’s probably one of the hardest races. It goes on for the two-hour limit nearly all the time. It’s a tough race with so many corners – you don’t really get any breaks. There’s not a lot of straights to relax.”

 

In addition to its physicality, is the Singapore Grand Prix mentally exhausting because of the close proximity of the walls, its multitude of turns and high safety-car frequency?

“Yes it is because it goes on for a long time, so your fatigue affects your mental performance as well. It is a tough race.”  

 

Despite the mental and physical nature of the Singapore Grand Prix, drivers love it. Why?

“I think because it’s a challenge. It’s a different weekend to the rest of the calendar. It’s because it’s unique.”

 

Because of Singapore’s high heat and humidity, do you do anything special in advance of the race and during the race weekend to stay hydrated?

“You drink more to make sure you’re hydrated.”

 

Where are the overtaking opportunities at Marina Bay Street Circuit?

“Turn four and turn seven after the straight.”

 

Was your first Formula One race at Singapore in 2014 your first time racing under the lights?

“Yes, it was my first time.”

 

What is your favorite part of the Marina Bay Street Circuit?

“Sector two. It’s cool, twisty, and fun.”

 

Describe a lap around Marina Bay Street Circuit.

“Bumpy, twisty and hot.”

 

Guenther Steiner, Team Principal

The past two grands prix have been at high-speed circuits where teams opt for minimal downforce. Belgium seemed to work out well for the team, but that wasn’t the case in Italy. Despite having to qualify in the wet on Saturday, what made these two high-speed tracks provide such different outcomes?

“I think the outcome was not so different. In Monza, Kevin’s race pace was very good. Obviously, Romain starting last, then hitting somebody at the start and coming in on lap two to change the front wing, the race was gone. It’s very difficult to compete because you’re so far back, but Kevin finished 11th. Five teams finished in front of us. We were the sixth-fastest car. If one or two had dropped out, we would again have been in the points. So, it wasn’t a fantastic week for us in Monza. Spa was better. The car was in a similar performance level between the two races. It’s just like Spa, with a few dropouts, maybe it was better, and some of our main opponents being a little bit worse there put us into the points. All in all, for the development we are doing on the high-speed version of the car, it’s very small and we had a decent result. I would say we were a little bit better in Spa than we were in Monza, but otherwise we weren’t too far apart. It looked worse than it actually was.”

 

Now you head to a street circuit where downforce is much more necessary. Is the Singapore Grand Prix a venue that suits the Haas VF-17 better than the high-speed tracks?

“It’s not only about downforce levels, it’s also about how to use the tire and which level of downforce we need to run. As always this year, it’s not only about how good we are, it’s how good our opponents are and how they can get their cars to work at the circuits. We always see where we end up with our other opponents in the midfield.”

 

Using the tire properly means finding its optimum operating window. With Pirelli bringing the Yellow soft, Red supersoft and Purple ultrasoft tire to Singapore, what are your expectations?

“I would say in qualifying that the softest tire was always the fastest tire – even if the drivers don’t feel a big difference. A harder tire has never been faster. In the race, it’s more about race distance, what you can do, and how quick they drop off and the time you lose. Normally the softest tire for the race weekend is always the fastest tire. I think this trend will continue in Singapore.”

 

Singapore is one of only three night races on the Formula One schedule, but it’s also the original night race. Do you like competing at night?

“I think a street race and a night race are just cool. I quite like it. It’s something different. Singapore is a great city. The nice thing about doing it at night is that it cools down a little bit, as during the day it’s really hot. If they were all night races, maybe I wouldn’t like it, but a few in the year is very good.”

 

With Formula One’s slate of European races over, use of the team’s transporters and hospitality unit is also over. How helpful is it to have all that equipment at the track on a consistent basis, and how hard is it to transition back to flyaway races?

“It’s nice to have your own equipment with you. You know where you are going and don’t have to change every weekend, but then again, it’s just part of our job to always deal with what we are given. All of the supplies we take to flyaways we ship in sea containers, so it’s all of our stuff. It’s just in a different building and it needs to be set up. Our trucks and hospitality unit will be serviced and repaired and they’ll come back out in the springtime.”

 

Singapore has become a destination venue for Formula One. What makes it such a desirable event?

“It’s a race in a big city – a cool city – and it’s a night race. There are some cool elements for people to do when they go there. There’s lots of nightlife and you can stay in the city and walk to the racetrack.”

 

Singapore spurred more night races in Formula One just as Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway spurred more night races in NASCAR. You’ve been to both. Can you compare the two? Are there any similarities?

“I would say a night race is always exciting and I think if all the races were night races, it wouldn’t be as interesting. With NASCAR and Formula One night races, you have the whole day to build up to it. It’s just cool.”

 

The schedule at Singapore seems to be very smartly laid out. Practice and qualifying is at roughly the same time as the race, providing consistent data for the teams. And fans across the globe get consistent TV times to watch all the coverage, as the times are the same as they’ve been for all of the European races. As a competitor but also as a stakeholder, can you describe how beneficial this is for Formula One?

“Consistent TV times are good because fans know when to tune in. That’s very difficult to do with a global sport, so this schedule is good from that perspective. It’s also a good thing for the teams because they will sleep during the day and work at night, and not be jet lagged.”

 

Can you describe the atmosphere generated by a night race? Is there a heightened sense of excitement and anticipation because the Singapore Grand Prix is so visually stimulating?

“The adrenaline is higher when the atmosphere around the track is cool. The spectators have the whole day to get ready and get excited, and for us it’s just cool.”

The circuit

Marina Bay Street Circuit

  • Total number of race laps: 61
  • Complete race distance: 308.828 kilometers (191.897 miles)
  • Pit lane speed limit: 60 kph (37 mph)
  • This 5.065-kilometer (3.147-mile), 23-turn circuit has hosted Formula One since 2008, with last year’s Singapore Grand Prix serving as the venue’s ninth grand prix.
  • Daniel Ricciardo holds the race lap record at Marina Bay Street Circuit (1:47.187), set in 2016 with Red Bull.
  • Nico Rosberg holds the qualifying lap record at Marina Bay Street Circuit (1:42.584), set in 2016 with Mercedes in Q3.
  • The Singapore Grand Prix at Marina Bay Street Circuit debuted in 2008, making history as the first night race in Formula One. Today, Singapore is one of three night races on the Formula One schedule, with Bahrain and Abu Dhabi joining the fold. Singapore’s debut was massively successful and remains hugely popular among drivers and fans alike, which explains why it’s no longer the only night race in Formula One. With the famous Singapore skyline serving as a backdrop, the Marina Bay Street Circuit boasts one of the most spectacular environments in Formula One. Powerful lighting systems allow drivers to clearly navigate the track while providing fans a heightened sense of speed with sparks flying from the cars’ underbodies and the lights reverberating from their sinewy shapes. The harborside location makes Singapore a modern-day Monaco, and its 23 turns are the most of any Formula One venue.
  • DYK? The Singapore Grand Prix is the longest race of the year in terms of duration. Every Formula One race at Marina Bay Street Circuit has come to within four minutes of the mandated two-hour time limit. Two races have been cut short of the scheduled 61-lap distance because of this limit – 2012 (59 laps) and 2014 (60 laps). The longest Formula One race at Marina Bay Street Circuit was the 2015 Singapore Grand Prix, which eclipsed the two-hour time limit by 1 minute and 22 seconds. When the time limit comes into play, the leader is shown the checkered flag when he crosses the start/finish line at the end of the lap following the lap in which the two-hour period ended.
  • During the course of the Singapore Grand Prix, lows will range from 25-26 degrees Celsius (77-78 degrees Fahrenheit) to highs of 29-30 degrees Celsius (85-86 degrees Fahrenheit). Relative humidity ranges from 62 percent (mildly humid) to 92 percent (very humid), with a dew point varying from 22 degrees Celsius/72 degrees Fahrenheit (very muggy) to 26 degrees Celsius/78 degrees Fahrenheit (oppressive). The dew point is rarely below 21 degrees Celsius/69 degrees Fahrenheit (muggy) or above 27 degrees Celsius/80 degrees Fahrenheit (very oppressive). Typical wind speeds vary from 0-18 kph/0-11 mph (calm to gentle breeze), rarely exceeding 21 kph/13 mph (moderate breeze).

Where the rubber meets the road

  • Pirelli is bringing three tire compounds to Singapore:
    • P Zero Yellow soft – less grip, less wear (used for long-race stints)
      • This is one of the most frequently used tires in Pirelli’s range, as it strikes a balance between performance and durability, with the accent on performance. It is still geared toward speed rather than long distances, but it remains capable of providing teams with a competitive advantage at the beginning of the race where cars are carrying a full fuel load, and at the end of the race where the fuel load is much lighter and the race effectively becomes a sprint. It is a high working-range compound.
    • P Zero Red supersoft – more grip, medium wear (used for shorter-race stints and for initial portion of qualifying)
      • This is the second softest tire in Pirelli’s range, and it is ideal for tight and twisting circuits, especially in cold weather, when maximum grip is needed. The supersofts warm up rapidly, which has made it a stalwart choice for qualifying. But with increased grip comes increased degradation. It is a low working-range compound.
    • P Zero Purple ultrasoft – highest amount of grip, highest amount of wear (used for qualifying and select race situations)
      • This is the softest tire in Pirelli’s range, with rapid warming and massive performance. It is best used on tight and twisting circuits that put a premium on mechanical grip. However, because it is so soft, it has a limited lifespan. It is a low working-range compound.
  • The Singapore Grand Prix marks the seventh time these three compounds have been packaged together. Teams most recently used this tire package in the Belgian Grand Prix Aug. 25-27 at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. This is the same lineup Pirelli used for last year’s Singapore Grand Prix.
  • The Yellow soft tire has been used in every grand prix this season. The Red supersoft tire has been used everywhere except the Spanish Grand Prix. The Purple ultrasoft has been used in the Australian Grand Prix, the Russian Grand Prix, the Monaco Grand Prix, the Canadian Grand Prix, the Austrian Grand Prix and the Belgian Grand Prix.
  • Two of the three available compounds must be used during the race. Teams are able to decide when they want to run which compound, adding an element of strategy to the race. A driver can also use all three sets of Pirelli tires in the race, if they so desire. (If there are wet track conditions, the Cinturato Blue full wet tire and the Cinturato Green intermediate tire will be made available.)
  • Pirelli provides each driver 13 sets of dry tires for the race weekend. Of those 13 sets, drivers and their teams can choose the specifications of 10 of those sets from the three compounds Pirelli selected. The remaining three sets are defined by Pirelli – two mandatory tire specifications for the race (one set of Yellow softs and one set of Red supersofts) and one mandatory specification for Q3 (one set of Purple ultrasofts). Haas F1 Team’s drivers have selected the following amounts:
    • Grosjean: one set of Yellow softs, four sets of Red supersofts and eight sets of Purple ultrasofts
    • Magnussen: one set of Yellow softs, four sets of Red supersofts and eight sets of Purple ultrasofts

source: haasf1team.com2017 photo album

Renault Sport Formula One Team logo

Renault Sport Formula One Team

2017 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix Preview

Foreword from Renault Sport Racing Managing Director, Cyril Abiteboul

The Singapore Grand Prix marks the start of a busy period on the Formula 1 calendar as we gear up for the first of three races in Asia.

Marina Bay is an interesting and challenging street circuit raced under the lights of the night time sky. Its fast kinks and tight and twisty infield means it is much more suited to our car than the previous round in Monza.

We knew Italy would be challenging. Nico looked in a good position and was in contention for tenth place. But traffic in front of him meant overtaking was difficult and he had to settle for thirteenth.

Jolyon was on a reverse strategy as we had a bit of a license to try something different, but we had to retire his car with a transmission issue to prevent greater woes.

There are two positives to note from the weekend: among our closest rivals, only Williams scored points. And Daniel Ricciardo’s impressive drive from sixteenth on the grid to fourth place is particularly encouraging. It meant a Renault engine had a best finish at Monza since the introduction of the V6 Turbo Hybrid engines in 2014.

We are now focusing on these busy Asia rounds. Williams sit just 21 points ahead of us in fifth place in the Constructors’ Championship and, with seven races to go, it’s very much in our capability to chase that down by the end of the season. We need to create some momentum and string together some consistent results with both cars inside the top ten. Singapore will be vital to kick start this effort.

Track side, from the Singapore Grand Prix, Matthieu Dubois takes on the role of Head of Race Strategy of Renault Sport Formula One Team. He will functionally report to our Sporting Director Alan Permane.

Matthieu joined Renault Sport in 1998 where he has held various positions including the one of Race Strategist at Enstone from 2008 to 2012. Up until now, Matthieu has been in charge of the customer track teams (Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso).

Simultaneously, Ricardo Penteado, Head of the Engine Track Service, will take the direct responsibility for all three teams. In his day to day activities, he will be supported by the Lead Engineer from each team. He will also be in charge of liaising with our customers at the track.

Finally, it has been good to see continued success and trophies from the Renault Sport Academy. Jack Aitken added another podium in the GP3 Series as he remains in contention to win the title with Christian Lundgaard taking three podium finishes including a victory in the Spanish F4 Championship.

Normal Service

A low downforce configuration made things tricky in Monza, but Singapore offers a complete contrast of set-up as Technical Director Nick Chester explains.

What are the challenges of Singapore?

Firstly, it’s massively different to Monza and almost a stark contrast as a high downforce package is required, and that should suit us pretty well. There are a number of things to look out for: tight corners, big kerbs and a lot of traction demands, meaning it can be a hard place to get the right set-up. But if you have a reasonable amount of downforce you should have a quick and competitive car. We’d expect to be back to our Britain, Hungary and Spa level of performance.

Are there any updates to deal with Marina Bay?

We’ve made softer rear springs to make the rear end more compliant which will aid traction. As ever, you have to get the compromise right as it’s a balance between a compliant chassis and not losing too much aero performance. We have some minor updates to the bodywork which we will evaluate during the practice sessions.

How do you reflect on recent weeks?

We’ve kept improving the car which has been very positive. Since Silverstone the car has been a chunk more competitive. Budapest and Spa kept that trend up and we were the fourth quickest car in terms of pace. We weren’t as quick in Monza, but the upcoming races should see us back to the level of performance we saw at Spa. There are no remaining tracks with super low downforce. We have good potential to be strong at these next three Asian races.

How are the 2018 developments progressing?

We have to get the Halo on the car for next year and that’s a big challenge. That will be a big deal as it changes the chassis construction. There are other developments in the pipeline, we are still learning lessons from this year’s car and aiming to transfer that knowledge into next year’s car.

Night Fever

After missing out on the points in Italy, Nico Hülkenberg is set for a showdown under the Singapore night sky.

Is it a strange feeling to race under the lights?

It takes a little getting used to, but it’s not so bad. It’s been on the calendar so long that it feels like a normal race. It’s a very special Grand Prix and the only real night race we have. We don’t really see the day there! We sleep until lunchtime, and then it’s off to work, so there isn’t much of a social life for us drivers. The venue is amazing, how they’ve built it all is fantastic, especially as it’s right in the middle of the city.

And how is the circuit to drive?

As a track, it’s really tough and physically demanding – arguably one of the hardest of the season. The lap is long with lots of corners and some tight and sharp bits. The high temperature and humidity, combined with the fact that it’s a street circuit, makes it quite hard. It’s important to be in top physical shape due to the harsh requirements. Safety cars usually come out which makes strategy hard to call.

What are your feelings after Monza?

We’re finished with Europe, but ultimately Italy was a difficult weekend for us as a team. It’s disappointing not to come away with points. I got stuck in traffic in the race and couldn’t do too much. I’m going to get it off the mind as soon as possible and gear up for Singapore. I’m looking forward to it as we should be more competitive; onwards and upwards!

Under the lights

Singapore kicks off the Asian stint of the calendar with points the only thing on Jolyon Palmer’s mind.

What do you like about Singapore?

I love Singapore as it’s a highly unique event under the lights. I’ve won there in the GP2 Series and it was one of my best wins. In fact, I raced there two years running and both years were very good. Hopefully I can create more good memories there. It’s a cool feeling driving at night as you can see the circuit very clearly from the lights but your vision is channelled as the background is in darkness.

What are the challenges of the circuit?

The final sector is a real challenge with the section under the grandstand. It’s tight over the bridge too so you need your wits about you. Stringing a perfect lap together is very testing. Over the bridge and the middle of the lap are pretty tough to get right as you’re braking as you turn so it’s easy to lock a wheel, and the last sector is very tight and twisty.

How does it differ to other Grands Prix?

We see the circuit change a lot over the weekend as the surface rubbers in then the climatic conditions are reasonably different between FP1 and FP2, then FP3 and qualifying. Getting a good handle on the balance of the car gives us plenty of work as generally it’s cooler later in the night. It’s not your usual race weekend!

Do you find the time to see the city?

It’s a strange weekend as we wake up later than usual with a lot of the work completed in the evening, meaning we don’t get too much time to explore. But the great thing about the race is that it’s right in the centre of the city so you’re surrounded by everything you could want. You don’t have to go far for a good restaurant. It’s always great to sample the local culture.

How do you reflect on Italy?

It was a tough weekend but we knew it was going to be quite difficult as Monza doesn’t really play to the car’s strengths. We didn’t make the most of qualifying and I didn’t make the best start and fell to the back. I felt good in the car, made a few passes, we were in a good place on the reverse strategy but then we had a problem and retired. We get the retirement out of the way now and get ready for Singapore!

RSA Round-Up

Thrilling podium for Aitken in Italy

Renault Sport Academy Driver Jack Aitken battled to a thrilling second place in the sole GP3 Series race of the weekend in Monza.

Heavy rain in Italy meant the GP3 Series could only fit in Friday’s Practice session and Sunday’s race.

Jack ended Friday in fourth just 0.192s down on team-mate Nirei Fukuzumi in first.

And that would be Jack’s starting position for Sunday’s delayed race after torrential rain halted Saturday’s running which put an end to both qualifying and the opening race.

A clean start saw Jack in third and in the mix for the lead with his two ART team-mates. The 21-year-old eventually took the lead on lap 15 with an impressive launch at the end of the Virtual Safety Car to go from third to first.

But Jack fell back to second with Russell taking the flag meaning he trails his compatriot by 43 points with the next round taking place in Jerez in October.

Jack Aitken: “It was a strange weekend that involved a lot of waiting around! It was a shame that Saturday was washed out, so qualifying and race two were cancelled, but race one was a lot of fun. I started fourth and made it up to third immediately when Fukuzumi couldn’t start. After sitting back for a while, I got a great VSC restart and went from third to first! I struggled a bit with understeer after that, so could only get second, but I’m still in the championship hunt.”

Win for Lundgaard, points for García in Navarra

Christian Lundgaard took a fourth victory of the season in the Spanish F4 Championship as the series resumed in Navarra last weekend (2-3 September).

The Dane, who was recently crowned champion of the SMP F4 NEZ Championship, started all three races from pole position and finished second in the opening race on Saturday.

In race two, Christian cruised to his only win of the weekend before capping the weekend off with another second place in the final race.

Fellow Academy driver Marta García enjoyed a busy weekend with races one and three bringing her two top ten finishes.

Marta was consistently running in the top three across the two test days on Thursday and Friday and backed that up with third and second in the practice sessions.

Unfortunately, the Spanish teen couldn’t back that up in qualifying and settled for seventh. A stall on the line in race one saw Marta battle hard for 10th before she retired in race two. Marta finished the weekend off with seventh in the final race.

Christian Lundgaard: “Setting three poles last weekend was amazing, but it would have been even better to back it up with three wins. Overall it was a really good weekend and I have increased the lead to 56 points in the standings. I’m looking forward to Barcelona now.”

Marta García: “It was not the weekend I expected to have in Navarra, I was really fast across the test days and free practices, but it totally reversed. I made some bad starts and I had a small crash in one of the races, but it’s good to add a couple of points. I’m sure If we put everything together next time in Barcelona we will have better results.

Seventh podium for Latifi, frustration for Rowland

Renault Sport Formula One Team Test Driver Nicholas Latifi secured a seventh Formula 2 podium finish of the season after a pulsating Feature race at Monza.

The Canadian, who started down in fourteenth, finished fourth but was handed third after the race following winner Luca Ghiotto’s penalty for exceeding track limits. In the Sprint race, Nicholas struggled for pace and ended sixteenth.

Renault Sport Formula Team Development Driver Oliver Rowland endured a frustrating weekend which saw him dramatically retire from the Feature race.

Oliver, thirteenth on the grid, weaved his way up to third and looked set to battle for victory in the closing stages, but his rear left wheel dramatically slipped off and put an end to his charge.

Sunday’s Sprint wasn’t much better for Oliver who finished outside the points in eleventh.

Oliver Rowland: “The Feature Race was going very well, I set the fastest lap times and was catching the leaders before losing the wheel which was frustrating. The Sprint Race was difficult, but we made progress and weren’t too far away from the points.”

Nicholas Latifi: “It was a bittersweet weekend for me. Race one was quite positive as I managed to stay out of trouble and keep my nose clean going from P14 to P3 and fastest lap along the way. Race two for me was a bit of a mystery and a missed opportunity to score some more big points. We’ll analyse everything during this big break and fight back in Jerez.”

Academy Focus… Max Fewtrell

Renault Sport Academy Driver Max Fewtrell tops the rookie standings of the highly competitive Formula Renault Eurocup with two rounds in Spa and Barcelona to go.

A maiden win in Austria in July, as well as being one of only four drivers in the series to finish every race, means Max is in pole position to take the rookie championship.

Born in England, but raised in Singapore, the 18-year-old Tech-1 Racing driver discusses his career so far and how he grew up just a stone’s throw away from the Marina Bay Street circuit.

How did you get into motorsport?

I went karting with my mates on a school holiday and I thought ‘this is what I want to do’. I went back to that track after school and joined a little team. I had my first race in Malaysia and from there it progressed. I did two years of racing in Asia and then we felt we needed to move to Europe as that’s where the higher level is at, so we moved back as a family. Since then I’ve gone up through the ranks of karting and into F4 last year and this season into the Eurocup.

What was winning the British F4 Championship like?

I won the British F4 by winning the last race of the last round which I had to win. It was a long year, a close battle, with lots of up and downs but it was a really amazing feeling crossing that line and securing the title.

How’s your season going so far?

It’s been quite an up and down season in the Eurocup this year. There have been lots of positives; getting the first win in Austria was really important for me. The last round, Paul Ricard, we struggled with the car, so it’s been kind of like that. We’re getting there, that’s for sure.

Who were your racing heroes growing up?

I don’t really have anyone which I go ‘you’re my hero’. I have a few people who I really admire. I’m a bit young for Senna, I’ve seen highlights and seen what he used to do which is amazing. Schumacher is another one, seven world championships is awesome and Hamilton in this era – when he gets it all together – is pretty special.

What is your career standout moment?

The Red Bull Ring win from second off the grid. I was very happy with that.

What was it like growing up in Singapore?

Growing up in Singapore was different, totally different to England. The lifestyle was very chilled out, perfect weather every day which was really nice. I was there for eight years, studying at an international school. I lived about ten minutes from the Marina Bay track. I lived in Sentosa, the tiny island underneath Singapore; it’s a cool place with loads of things to do.

What’s the dream in motorsport?

The dream is Formula 1 and I’m working as hard as I can to get there. I don’t see it as impossible, I’ll do my best and prove to everyone I can, that’s my dream for sure.

Where is your favourite circuit?

My favourite circuit is probably Silverstone as it’s really fun to drive. Maybe because it’s my home track, I always feel comfortable there and seem to go well every time I race there. One-lap qualifying around Pau is also good for pure adrenaline. It’s a really busy lap and mental the whole way round!

Track Notes:

Introduced to the Formula 1 calendar in 2008, the Singapore Grand Prix was revolutionary with its intriguing combination of the night-time lights and public roads. At just over 5km, the Marina Bay circuit sweeps through the heart of the city and requires a high downforce package to combat the tight, often 90°, corners.

T1: Cars reach around 290kph down the start-finish straight before braking hard into the opening corner of Sheares. Drivers need to be wary of the bumpy entry here.

T5: Another bumpy entry at five for the medium speed, right-hander. It’s hard to get right and it opens up the fastest stretch of the circuit with a flat-out kink at six.

T7: Turn seven marks the end of the fast straight as drivers brake hard from around 300kph and turn 90° left.

T10: A tight and tricky corner to get right. The section has been revised over recent years with turn ten feeding into the right-left of eleven and twelve before the hairpin at thirteen – the slowest of the 23 turns.

T14: Turn 14 starts the ‘hotel’ section through the grandstands as the MGU-K begins to recover energy through the frequent braking zones and the seven right-angled corners. Rear tyres begin to overheat through this part.

T22-23: The two fastest turns on the circuit with pit-entry tight on the left. Important to hit both apexes here and open up the start-finish straight.

Power Unit Notes:

The Marina Bay circuit has two short straights: the 500m pit straight and then the curved straight between turns five and seven, which shoots down Raffles Boulevard. This 700m straight is the only time the driver will get over the 300kph mark. Although kerbs are used extensively here, the majority are relatively flat.

The long lap and the high chance of a safety car makes Singapore one of the longest races on the calendar. The 2009 race was the shortest so far, at one hour and 56 minutes.

Fuel consumption in Singapore is high due to the stop-start nature of the track layout. Using the ICE alone, the engine would consume around 150kg of fuel over the race, but energy harvesting and employment has brought this down to under 105kg.

The drivers can lose up to 3kg of fluid during the race in the hot and humid atmosphere. This needs to be taken into account when setting the car weight before the race.

  • Singapore is one of the slowest circuits on the calendar, rating just above Monaco and Hungary in terms of the lowest average speed. With 23 corners, the average speed is around 175kph
  • There are 82 gear changes per lap as opposed to just 52 in Monaco and just 44 in Monza. Due to the short bursts of power, eighth gear will only be engaged two times per lap. Only Monaco has a lower usage.
  • In Singapore the ambient humidity can be well over 80%. In the past, these conditions would have had a big impact on the power output, which decreases as less oxygen is available to burn. With the turbo engines, however, the turbo compensates for the lack of oxygen by spinning at a higher rate. In fact, it will spin considerably faster than a comparable race run in dry conditions.
  • The big stops on the lap are Turn 7 and 14 where the driver will brake from 300 to 110kph.
  • There are few long straights and lots of opportunities to recover energy on braking via the MGU-K. The K may actually be used to propel the car to a higher torque level than usual allowing us to save fuel at this circuit, which is notoriously difficult on fuel consumption.
  • Running in the evening will see the relative humidity reduce as the sun goes down. The electrical components of the PU will therefore be insulated against moisture and, in case of rain, the water will be diverted away using special ducts.

Tyres:

Soft (yellow) – French 75 – Not too hard hitting, but this classic gets the best out of champagne and gin.

Supersoft (red) – Singapore Sling – The go to drink. Vibrant, classy and great in the night.

Ultrasoft (purple) – Aviation – Another gin based classic with the Maraschino liquer giving it its soft and attractive purple tinge.

In Numbers:

18 – According to research by the British Council, Singaporeans are the fastest walkers on earth. On average they walk 18 metres in 10.55 seconds or 6.15km an hour.

63 – Singapore is made up of 63 islands.

280 – Due to busy air traffic, buildings in Singapore can be no higher than 280 metres.

682.7 – At 682.7 square kilometres, Singapore is one of the smallest countries in the world.

8 – Renault Sport Academy Driver Max Fewtrell lived in Singapore for eight years.

source: renaultsport.com2017 photo album

Sauber F1 Team logo

Sauber F1 Team

2017 Formula One Singapore Grand Prix

After competing in the last of the European races at Monza, the Sauber F1 Team is heading out to Singapore for the first of three races in Asia during the second half of the 2017 Formula One season. Popular among fans and drivers alike, the bright skyline of the city gives the night race a spectacular atmosphere, making it one of the highlights on the calendar.

Marcus Ericsson (car number 9):
“I am really looking forward to racing in Singapore again. It is a pleasure to be in such a great city, and night races are always a lot of fun. In terms of the driving experience, I’d say it is one of the best tracks of the year. The Marina Bay Street Circuit is a city track, and has the highest number of corners out of all tracks on the calendar. The high temperatures and humidity add an extra challenge to all the drivers and team members. As for the fan experience – there are a lot of events taking place around the city, so it will be an exciting weekend all-round.”

Pascal Wehrlein (car number 94):
“I can’t wait to be back in Singapore – it is my favorite race of the season. I generally like night races, but Singapore takes the experience of driving in one to the ‘next level’, especially in terms of the atmosphere. The city is lit up and I like the challenge of driving on a city circuit. We also get to break out of our usual weekend routine there, as most of our on and off-track activities take place at night – that’s nice for a change. Overall, this race weekend will be an exciting one and I am looking forward to climbing back into the car there.”

Track facts:
The Singapore Grand Prix on Marina Bay Street Circuit is the second race of the season to be held at night. The grip conditions on this city track improve from session to session. The circuit has 23 corners – the most corners featured in any circuit on the calendar – which, in addition, are all low-speed. The probability of the Safety Car being deployed is very high. Traction and braking dominate on this bumpy circuit. Due to its layout, overtaking is rather difficult, making a good starting position important.

 

Circuit Marina Bay Street Circuit / 5.065 km
Race distance 61 laps / 308.828 km
Schedule Qualifying 21:00 hrs local time (15:00 CEST), Race 20:00 hrs local time (14:00 hrs CEST)

 

Tyre choices:

Driver Marcus Ericsson Pascal Wehrlein
Soft 1 2
Supersoft 2 2
Ultrasoft 10 9

 

Driver information:

Marcus Ericsson Pascal Wehrlein
Born 02.09.1990 / Kumla (SE) 18.10.1994 / Sigmaringen (DE)
Marital status Single Single
Height / Weight 1,80 m / 70 kg 1,75 m / 63 kg
First GP Australia 2014 Australia 2016
GP started 69 32
Best race result 8th Australia (2015) 8th Spain (2017)
Best qualifying 10th Malaysia (2015), 10th China (2015),

10th Italy (2015)

12th Austria (2016)
Points 2017 0 (20th) 5 (16th)
Points in total 9 6
The Sauber F1 Team has 5 points to its tally and currently holds 10th place in the Constructors’ Championship.

source:  sauberf1team.com2017 photo album

Pirelli logo

Pirelli

Singapore Grand Prix Preview

  • Round 14 of 20
  • Singapore, 15-17 September 2017

Following one of the season’s most straightforward onestop races in terms of strategy, at Monza, Formula 1 now heads to one of the most complex tactical races of the year, around the illuminated streets of Singapore. The three softest tyres in the P Zero range – soft, supersoft, and ultrasoft – have once again been brought to Singapore, just as was the case last year, ready for a 61-lap race that normally lasts close to the full two-hour limit, with more than one pit stop. Added to this unusual challenge are the usual considerations of a non-permanent street circuit: variable levels of low grip, street furniture such as manholes and white lines, as well as a high probability of safety cars: 100% so far in the track’s nine-year history.

THE CIRCUIT FROM A TYRE POINT OF VIEW

With each session starting late and continuing into the night, the pattern of track temperature and track evolution is different compared to usual daytime sessions.

  • With 23 corners, the tyres have their work cut out; it’s one turn after another.
  • While it’s the circuit with the most corners of the year, it’s also the second-slowest lap after Monaco: a unique combination.
  • Even at night, ambient temperatures remain high, leading to some thermal degradation.
  • The rear left is the most stressed tyre, which will largely dictate the number of pit stops.
  • Two stops won the race last year, but there were several three-stoppers as well.

MARIO ISOLA – HEAD OF CAR RACING

“Singapore is always one of the most exciting and unpredictable races of the year, in which pit stop strategy often plays a crucial role in the outcome: also because of the near certainty of a safety car at some point during the arduous two hours. Having said that, pole position has historically had a strong influence on the race win at Marina Bay, so qualifying will be crucial as well. In order to prepare, teams will have to pay particularly close attention to the free practice data as track temperature at night will evolve in quite a different way than it does at a conventional daytime race. Understanding this will be key to getting a good handle on wear and degradation rates, and so implementing an effective tyre strategy”.

WHAT’S NEW?

  • Team have generally favoured the ultrasoft tyre for Singapore, with the soft and supersoft being chosen in more modest quantities.
  • There are no major modifications to the circuit layout and infrastructure this year.
  • Pirelli’s 2018 slick tyre prototype test programme continued at Paul Ricard last week, with Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas driving for Mercedes and fully completing the test schedule.
  • Pirelli claimed its first overall FIA championship title of 2017 recently, thanks to Simone Faggioli who clinched the European Hillclimb Championship on P Zero tyres.
  • Pirelli’s star guest at Salon Privé in the United Kingdom was former F1 driver John Watson from Northern Ireland, well-known for his overtaking prowess on street circuits.

2017-09-11 - Pirelli Singapore Grand Prix Previewsource: pirelli.com2017 photo album

Renault Sport logo

Renault Sport

coming soon

source: renaultsport.com

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