For the teams and drivers, the Singapore Grand Prix means a topsy-turvy timetable: sleep by day and work by night. Some call it “staying on European time”, while others have an altogether more basic description.
“It’s like being a student,” says MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS star Nico Rosberg. “We get to stay up all night, which is fun and it feels a bit weird over a grand prix weekend. It gives this race a completely different feel and that’s why I think it’s so popular with the paddock.”
Unlike real students, however, Nico has filled his nights with work and discipline. When his media work was completed on Thursday night, he went for a cycle ride around the Marina Bay Street Circuit for two hours – between 0000 and 0200. He then headed back to his hotel for dinner at 0300 and no beer was consumed! Clearly, the winner of the Chinese Grand Prix needs a few lessons on what it’s like to be a student.
As a result of the nocturnal timetable, you’re likely to stumble across some ‘lost in F1’ moments. Drivers and team bosses can be found wandering the streets of Singapore at silly o’ clock, either looking for somewhere to eat, or just taking some exercise. On Thursday night Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel were spotted running near the track at 0300, while another star – Williams F1’s third driver Valtteri Bottas – went the whole hog and actually ran back to his hotel.
Perhaps the most bizarre late night jaunt has been undertaken by Heikki Kovalainen, who went to play golf at 0300 on Thursday. We’ve heard of trying to beat the queue on the first tee, Heikki, but this is going to an extreme!
After the miserable summer endured by northern Europe this year, a return to the Tropics has been a shock for many F1 folk. Bruno Senna was so in awe of the 80 percent humidity after doing his track walk on Thursday that he immediately looked up the temperature at Spa-Francorchamps.
“We definitely need more hot races,” was Bruno’s reaction when he saw that the temperature at Spa was 13 degrees. And more night races, Bruno!