Lance, Checo and Otmar look ahead to the Singapore Grand Prix!
“Singapore is probably the most demanding race on the calendar – certainly in terms of the physical side of things. To prepare for it, I do lots of training in the heat and endurance work. It’s a long race – lasting about two hours – so it’s a mental test of concentration as well. It’s narrow and, with the walls so close, there’s no room for mistakes. It’s a place where you put a wheel wrong and you’re in the wall. It really tests you as a driver.
“There is a really nice flow to the lap. It’s technical and very long, so hooking up the perfect lap is a challenge. You need confidence in the car and a balance that suits your driving style. To find the last few tenths, you really need the confidence to push. It’s quite a bumpy track and you have to be fully committed over the kerbs, so it’s a race where you’re really beating up the car. I remember having a pretty big headache after the race last year!
“The lights above the track are impressive. They are so bright and I still use a dark tinted visor. It’s a really spectacular sight when the track is all lit up. It’s one of the races that everybody wants to attend. To drive through those streets at night with all the lighting and the fireworks at the end feels really glamorous.
“It’s an odd one for your routine because we stay on European time, so you’re going to bed at three or four in the morning and waking up at midday. It’s different but luckily we have blackout shades at the hotel. As long as housekeeping don’t come knocking on your door at ten in the morning you’re usually all good.”
“Spa and Monza were not easy weekends, but we scored important points and it feels as though my season is properly underway now. The hard work at the factory is paying off and we are doing a good job at the track too. There’s a great feeling in the team just now: a nice atmosphere and excitement about the rest of the year.
“I always enjoy racing in Singapore. The city has so much energy and the track is a challenge. It’s physically difficult with the heat and humidity and, because it’s a street circuit, there’s little margin for error. When you’re driving, you’re sweating so much. That’s why you need to make sure you’ve done your fitness training in hot conditions too. You need to be ready because it’s hard to breathe sometimes. It’s also the longest race of the year in terms of duration.
“We stay in hotels next to the track and you really feel so close to everything. You walk to the track with the fans and you get to feel the buzz and atmosphere in the city. That makes it quite different from other races too. It’s a great place to have a race and when the sun sets the track looks really beautiful under the lights.
“I’ve had some good drives in Singapore over the years. It’s a track layout I like and I have always enjoyed street tracks. You have to be aggressive and accurate and it’s a track where you can make the difference as a driver.”
Otmar Szafnauer, CEO & Team Principal
“We head to Singapore with good momentum off the back of some strong results. We were unlucky in Monza not to come away with both cars in the points, but we took away a lot of positives overall.
“We always felt we would be much stronger after the summer break and the results in Spa and Monza are good indications of what we can expect for the upcoming events. There are still seven races remaining – that’s a third of the season – and plenty of opportunities to score well.
“The progress with the car continues and this weekend we bring further aero developments that should give us another performance step.”