The hardest challenge for the drivers at the Marina Bay track is to adapt to this unusual schedule, driving under artificial light and of course the warm and humid climate. Therefore the drivers are keeping to European time from the moment of arrival in Singapore, waking up in the early afternoon and going to bed around four in the morning. So unlike to most of the other races during the season, where arriving a few days earlier for a perfect preparation is the norm, here it is better to arrive as late as possible.
Even if the corners themselves are not that challenging, the 5.067 kilometre track contains all the tricky demands of a usual street circuit. However with just five Grand Prix remaining, there are no more second chances.
Sebastian Vettel: “As a night race, Singapore is an unforgettable event. It’s important to manage the time difference, so I try to sleep until the afternoon so my body thinks it’s still in Europe. The circuit has 23 corners so it’s extremely important for the driver to find a good rhythm without touching the barriers. Besides that, this circuit is hard on the brakes and it has a lot of kerbs; the resulting bumpiness demands extreme concentration from the driver. I think Singapore offers a great show for the Formula one fans, the cars come across on the TV like they’re in a computer game and the scenery is amazing.”
Marc Webber: “I like Singapore; it’s unique as we race at night. You get the impression the crowd is pretty close to the track in most sections, so it’s certainly cosy. I’m hoping to improve on last year’s result, as it’s a high down-force street circuit that should suit our car. It’s got some similarities to Monaco and Budapest and we did well at both those circuits, so I’m hoping for a strong result. We’ve yet to experience any wet running on a flood-lit track, so it will be interesting if that happens.”
Fernando Alonso: “I think we can have a quick car everywhere in the remaining races. We might not have the quickest car in the slow corners, or even in terms of straight line speed, but overall we have a very competitive package at all types of circuit and in all types of conditions. Hopefully this will help us for the remaining races. If we have five podiums from five races, at least we will be very close, as consistency has not been a strong point for anyone among the top teams. Everyone has had some up and downs. We need to have good races because at this stage a DNF (Did Not Finish) or a retirement would probably mean bye bye to the championship. We need to finish all the races on the podium. This race has the same importance as all the other remaining races, although having won the last race in Monza, Singapore is important for Ferrari to keep the momentum going, to keep everyone in the team motivated.”
Felipe Massa: “I like this circuit and I did a great qualifying here in 2008, six tenths quicker than second place, so I hope I can be very strong here again this year. What is important is that we have new things on the car here at a track which is very similar to Monaco in terms of being a place where the more downforce you can apply, the better it is. Mathematically, I can still win the championship, even if it looks difficult, but that does not change my attitude to each race, where my aim is always the same, namely to try and win. I think whoever is more consistent in these remaining races will be champion, because if you look at the points situation and the fact that who is quickest at each race often seems to depend on the track characteristics, then finishing regularly in the top places is the key.”