Singapore preview quotes - Virgin, HRT, Toro Rosso & more 22 Sep 2010
It may be one of the calendar's more recent additions, but the Singapore Grand Prix isnt short on fans in the Formula One ranks. Not only does it present the unique challenge of being a night race, the track itself tests everyone to their limit too. The drivers and senior team members look ahead to the Marina Bay race and discuss their prospects
Timo Glock, Virgin
2009 Qualifying - 6th, 2009 Race - 2nd
I am very much looking forward to this weekend as this is a unique race that is always very special. I finished the inaugural Singapore in the points and last year achieved a podium finish, so the place has good memories for me. We come here after a good race in Italy two weeks ago when the car performed well and I felt that I had a positive weekend all round. Here a car needs to be very good over the bumps, so mechanically it has to be strong. We have a new upgrade for this race that should help us here and in the remaining races. The first time we raced here it was tough to acclimatise to the time zone and the race weekend schedule because we actually stay on UK time. This means staying awake all night and sleeping practically all day before the engineering and running programme begins at 1700. After two races here though I am now pretty on top of how best to work the weekend. We have been doing very well in terms of our reliability versus our competition and I think with our new developments we can look forward to another positive weekend.
Lucas di Grassi, Virgin
2009 Qualifying - n/a, 2009 Race - n/a
This will be the first time I have driven the Singapore Street Circuit. I have done a lot of work in the simulator with our new developments and now I just look forward to laying my first night race experience on top of that. Obviously I will lose some track time as I am not participating in the FP1 session, so I will have a lot of work to do to get up to speed from FP2 in terms of getting used to the track and also with set-up work. We have an upgrade for this and the remaining races and the package looks pretty positive, so well be pushing hard to get the most from the weekend and keep our immediate competitors behind us.
John Booth, Virgin team principal
Everyone at Virgin Racing is looking forward to our first Singapore Grand Prix and therefore our first night race. Timo obviously has two years experience under his belt so the insights he has provided us with have been invaluable, as have the perspectives of some of our team members who have been racing here previously. We are very excited about the challenge ahead. The team will have to ignore their body clocks and learn to cope with starting work at 1400 and going to sleep at 0500, but they are a tough bunch who have not been averse to working unusual hours in our debut season! For the next two races we will have what will probably be the final significant update for the VR-01. We will of course tailor the package to suit the individual characteristics of the four other remaining circuits, but equally it is now full steam ahead back at our technical base as we focus on our 2011 challenger. We hope the update will be sufficient to maintain the current trend of closing the gap to the midfield teams and maintain our very narrow advantage over our great rivals Lotus. Our battle with them has been very tough from the very first race and I hope it has added an extra dimension to the racing for the fans. Weve certainly enjoyed it.
Sakon Yamamoto, HRT
2009 Qualifying - n/a, 2009 Race - n/a
It is my first race in Singapore and I am very excited to go there. I havent ever driven on this track, but I know the special night atmosphere from when I was there in 2008 as a test driver. As it is a street circuit, we might need high downforce for a good traction on the car. It is going to be a tough race for the car and physically demanding for the drivers as it is usually hot and humid in Singapore. We are confident for the race and we will try to do our best again.
Bruno Senna, HRT
2009 Qualifying - n/a, 2009 Race - n/a
I am very looking forward to the Singapore Grand Prix because it is my first night race and everyone who has already been there has said that it is a great event. It seems that it is a very challenging and bumpy circuit with walls very close and many corners. The bumps and big braking areas mean that the car has to have a good stability from braking to turning into the corner. It can be a good weekend for our team and I hope to finish the race again.
Dr Colin Kolles, HRT team principal
The Singapore Grand Prix has a very special atmosphere as it all happens at night. The 23 corners of the Marina Bay Street Circuit are mostly taken in slow speed. The drivers have to concentrate the last sector in particular is very twisty and the barriers are close. We are looking forward to this special night race after performing well at the European circuits. For the last five races overseas the team is highly motivated to achieve good results and to bring both cars to the finish line.
Sebastien Buemi, Toro Rosso
2009 Qualifying - 13th, 2009 Race - DNF
This will be my second time in Singapore: last year, I qualified reasonably well and then was having a good race until I had to retire with a mechanical problem. It is a unique event, running under the floodlights at night, which makes it interesting as the visibility, although good, is not the same as driving in daylight. The biggest worry would be for a sudden rain storm, which can happen in that part of the world, although so far it has never occurred while the cars have been on track. As for running the weekend at night, I didnt find this a problem and soon adapted to staying on European time. Marina Bay is a very demanding track, like most street circuits, in that it tends to be very bumpy in parts and, compared to Monaco, the lap is much longer, so that factor and the high temperatures and humidity make it one of the most physically demanding races of the season. Setting up the car is as tricky as any street track and on Friday we will also have to evaluate some changes they have made to the surface and the kerbs at certain corners. Im looking forward having a good end of season in the last five races.
Jaime Alguersuari, Toro Rosso
2009 Qualifying - 16th, 2009 Race - DNF
I really hope we can finish the race in the top ten and pick up some points, but it is very tough this year, when you consider that there are four teams usually finishing in the points. This means that unless one of their cars has a problem the first eight places are already accounted for. Last year in Singapore was my first experience of racing at night and that aspect of the weekend I found easy to deal with, as was the case with racing under artificial lighting, which did not seem so different to driving in the daytime, even if when you watch on TV, everything looks so bright, its like watching a computer game. So I know what to expect and, as at every race this year, my aim is to build on my first years experience in F1 and do better.
Adrian Sutil, Force India
2009 Qualifying - 15th, 2009 Race - DNF
Singapore is a real street circuit, like a cross between Valencia and Monaco. Some parts are very safe with plenty of run off - particularly in Turns One, Two and Three - but there are a lot of corners so it's challenging to drive. As everyone knows, we'll be racing at night so the whole approach is different - we'll be sleeping during the day and racing at night. In the last two years it hasn't been a problem and this year it should be easier as you learn more about the technique every time you go. Racing under the lights is also absolutely fine. Last year they were very bright so although it felt like you were driving at night it was very clear to see.
Points have got to be the aim this time. Williams had a great event in Italy and really closed the gap to us, so we need as many points as we can. There are only a couple of overtaking places so qualifying is crucial and we'll be looking to get the whole package right from practice so we can optimise our position for the start. We've shown we have a car that's capable of getting into the top ten - we were only a few hundredths from Q3 in Monza - but we have to really nail it this time to give ourselves the best chance of points. For the first time since Hungary we'll be running in high downforce configuration and we have some aero upgrades and bodywork updates we'll introduce specifically for the demands of the Singapore track. I'm really looking forward to it - we had a great race in Monaco and in Hungary we would have been in the points were it not for the accident in the pitlane. Singapore's not been the luckiest race for me in the past but this is my best chance to put that right.
Vitantonio Liuzzi, Force India
2009 Qualifying - 19th, 2009 Race - 14th
Singapore is quite a technical circuit, with a lot of corners and tight bends. Some people compare it to Monaco, but there are some big differences: you cannot make mistakes at Monaco but at Singapore you often get a second chance as there is so much run off area. It requires a huge amount of concentration from both the driver and the engineers to get the right balance of high downforce and speed for some of the straights, but I enjoy the challenge and last year it was a good race for me.
"The team is working hard and we will have another aero update ready for the car, so that is always a boost heading into a Grand Prix weekend, particularly when the field is so close now. I'll still try and make as big a difference as possible in the cockpit and do everything I can to make up for the points we missed out on in Monza. We've shown we are capable of scoring, the car is good and now everyone is particularly motivated to hang on to what we achieved in the first part of the year.
Paul di Resta, Force India test and reserve driver
Monza was a real shame for the team as we missed out on more points, which was frustrating as we really believe the car was capable of seventh or eighth. All the same I don't have any regrets from the weekend as we had a few mechanical issues that we know we are on top of and are confident won't happen again. With this in mind we can go out in Singapore knowing we are still very competitive and can take the fight to Williams for sixth.
Singapore is up next and it's a circuit I enjoy. It's quite a technical circuit, with a lot of corners and tight bends. Some people compare it to Monaco, but there are some big differences: you cannot make mistakes at Monaco but at Singapore you often get a second chance as there is so much run off area. It requires a huge amount of concentration from both the driver and the engineers to get the right balance of high downforce and speed for some of the straights, but I enjoy the challenge and last year it was a good race for me. The team is working hard and we will have another aero update ready for the car, so that is always a boost heading into a Grand Prix weekend, particularly when the field is so close now. I'll still try and make as big a difference as possible in the cockpit and do everything I can to make up for the points we missed out on in Monza. We've shown we are capable of scoring, the car is good and now everyone is particularly motivated to hang on to what we achieved in the first part of the year.
Dr Vijay Mallya, Force India chairman and team principal
We were of course all hoping to score some points in Monza, but we were very unlucky in qualifying and then the race. Yet with so much to play for in this part of the season we can't look backwards at missed opportunities: we have to look to making the most of the chances coming up. We've got a good package for Singapore that we have been working on back in the factory and the wind tunnel. Clearly it's a very different downforce level to what the last two circuits have needed, but we feel that we have a good compromise between speed and balance into the corners and are able to perform strongly on the high downforce tracks as well as the low. We certainly want to hang on to sixth in the world championship, and not let Williams get past us. That clearly is a priority. For personal reasons we'd love to do well in Singapore as well, there's a huge Indian community, a huge amount of excitement. The same holds good in Abu Dhabi for us. And now that the Indian GP has been officially announced, the whole region is full of excitement and buzz. Force India would love to score a result that consolidates our position in the championship on what we consider to be our second 'home' territory.
Robert Kubica, Renault
2009 Qualifying - 7th, 2009 Race - 8th
Singapore is one of the hardest races of the entire season. The circuit layout is very bumpy and youre fighting the car all the time. Youre continually in the corners and the only place where you get a breather for a couple of seconds is on the start-finish straight. After this, you also have the strange timetable that means we work late, go to bed late and wake up in the afternoon. You dont feel any difference during the race weekend itself, but each year it has felt a bit strange to come back to a normal schedule afterwards. There are lots of bumps, kerbs, and bits of track where you have to keep some margin for mistakes because the walls are very close - especially in the last sector. I always enjoy driving there and, although the race is very long and demanding, its a good track for racing.
The aero side is still very important but because its bumpy and there are many low-speed corners, the car has to be as good as possible in terms of mechanical grip. The behaviour of the car needs to be right: youre often using the kerbs in the low speed corners, and limited for mechanical grip, so the car must be easy to drive and give the driver confidence to attack the kerbs, if you want to extract the maximum from the package. The other factor is that because this is a temporary circuit, the grip levels develop much faster and much more than on a permanent track. So you need to anticipate the track evolution and what it will change for the car balance.
Vitaly Petrov, Renault
2009 Qualifying - n/a, 2009 Race - n/a
It will be a new challenge for me. I dont know these circuits at all so I will do the maximum to prepare for them. I have been watching videos of previous races and reading data. We also hope that our car will be much more competitive in Singapore and for the last few races. I look forward to racing there and to the challenge that lies ahead. There are a lot of difficult corners in Singapore and, from what I saw in the videos, the track is bumpy, the car is jumping a lot and it looks easy to lock the wheels. I have experience of racing at night because I took part in the GP2 Series night race in Qatar. So the night race wont be a problem for me.
"I like the fact that we will be working at night and sleeping during the day - I actually think that I will be able to sleep more! I will arrive in Singapore as early as possible to adapt and start living in race weekend conditions: going to bed late at night and getting up late in the morning. My objective is to fight in the top 10 and to get into Q3. Our objective remains to try and beat Mercedes. It will be a challenge because everything will be new for me, but it will be a challenging weekend for everybody.
Cosworth, engine suppliers to Williams, Lotus, Virgin & HRT
Singapore is one of four street tracks on this years Formula One calendar and, after Valencia, is the second circuit where Cosworth will be making its racing debut in 2010. The circuit was only introduced to the Formula One calendar in 2008, so the sound of a Cosworth V8 will reverberate around Singapores Marina Bay region for the first time at this years event. Although the two power circuits of Spa and Monza are complete, there is no let up on engines in the final races of this season. Singapores composition of 23 mainly slow corners mean that engines will be worked continuously with little time to breathe throughout the 5-km lap. Cooling of the unit will therefore be at a premium with the situation exacerbated by the regions hot and humid climatic conditions.
Engines will be at full throttle for just over 50 percent of the lap with drivers navigating numerous slow speed turns, including a number of 90-degree corners. Engine responsiveness at low speed will be crucial to a good lap time. Gear ratios will be adjusted to allow drivers quick shifting at the lower end of the rev scale. The track is similar in some ways to the rigours of Monaco or Valencia, demanding a high downforce aerodynamics package, but adds its own unique character by being a night race. Physically, the drivers will have to cope with the circuits bumpy nature, the proximity of the barriers and the anti-clockwise direction of the track.
Rubens Barrichello, Williams
2009 Qualifying - 9th, 2009 Race - 6th
Singapore is a lovely place to go and its completely different to the other races on the calendar. The track is a fairly typical street circuit and it benefits from a variety of corners. It can be a challenge to find the optimum set-up, but that makes it more interesting, and one of the reasons I like going there so much. There are some overtaking opportunities, like at turn four and towards the end of the lap. People also run different strategies which gives you the chance to gain position. We suffered a bit with the light the first year we raced there, but the organisers have improved that now. Driving a night race is similar to watching TV in standard, not high definition; theres just a bit less precision. In summary, Singapore is a lovely track to drive, theres always plenty of fun during the race and its a good event for Formula One. Theres just something special about it.
Nico Hulkenberg, Williams
2009 Qualifying - n/a, 2009 Race - n/a
We had a good result in Monza. I'm feeling more and more comfortable in F1 and in our car which is helping me to get the most out of a race weekend. I'm definitely getting more out of the FW32 than I was at the start of the season and I hope I can convert that into some more point-scoring finishes for the team. Singapore looks like a cool track. It will be my first time there, but I have been using the simulator so at least I know the layout already and I like street circuits. I drove a night race in GP2 Asia in 2009 so driving at night isnt new to me and it makes the whole event a bit more special. Driving-wise, I dont think itll be too different to normal; the key thing is to adjust to the timings; so going to bed in the middle of the night and then waking up at midday! Everything is out of our normal timeframe, but I'm sure it will be exciting. Everybody speaks very positively about this race, many people say it is the highlight of the year, so I really just want to go and find out for myself!
Sam Michael, Williams technical director
Previous Williams cars have been competitive around Singapores street circuit so the FW32 should be as well. With some further upgrades for the car which should improve our recent good form further, we're looking to have both drivers in the top ten in qualifying and then fighting for points in the race. As the season has progressed, the level of competitiveness throughout the grid has increased with closer lap times across the board. We dont anticipate this race to be any different.
Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber
2009 Qualifying - 20th, 2009 Race - DNF
I cant wait to get back in the race car. Im not just very much looking forward to going racing again, as I regard it as a special bonus that my first race will be the Singapore Grand Prix. Two years ago this race immediately became one of my favourites. Even for a city circuit it is quite demanding. It will be interesting to see how the situation with the bumps has developed. In this regard, the track got worse from 2008 to 2009 and it was said this would be sorted out. The atmosphere at this night race is simply massive. Of course I can hardly imagine how the circuit will suit the car as I havent driven it yet, but according to everything I saw and from what I have heard, the performance should be better in Singapore compared to Monza. Another positive thing is we found out I probably can use my seat from last year. This does not only save a lot of work, but it also gives me a good feeling because it was a very good seat and normally you have to do a lot of fine tuning until it fits that well. Im also very much looking forward to really getting to know James Key and my team mate, Kamui, and working with both of them.
Kamui Kobayashi, BMW Sauber
2009 Qualifying - n/a, 2009 Race - n/a
I have never raced in Singapore, but I know the track from the simulator. The last two years I attended the Grand Prix as a reserve driver for Toyota, so I had a look around Singapore and the track. It is quite a long track for one in a city. The atmosphere at that race is just great. Im sure for spectators this is one of the best events on the calendar. I have only driven in a night race once, and this was in Qatar in February 2009 in GP2. I finished fourth but what I remember most is a terrible sandstorm! I believe in terms of performance we should be able to do better in Singapore than in Monza. I must admit I would really like to have a good result in my pocket when we head to my home grand prix in Suzuka. It is exciting to get a new team mate during the season and Im curious about working with Nick.
James Key, BMW Sauber technical director
Singapore is the start of the last five races of the season, which are all flyaways. Its a tricky, technical circuit, one that is traditionally quite bumpy, so mechanical grip and mechanical set-up are important. Its probably the street circuit which is closest to Monaco in terms of the nature of the corners and the extreme high downforce levels. Of course, its a night race and unique in that respect. Its a case of using the car the best way possible on Friday to get the right set-up for the circuits conditions, and trying to ensure we have a good understanding of the tyres. The other important thing is that its a track where its quite tricky to overtake, so we are going to have to concentrate specifically on the qualifying performance. For the car we have quite a large aerodynamic update with a new front wing, a new diffuser and various other parts around the car. We hope the new package works as planned and then we shall see how we go.
Mark Webber, Red Bull
2009 Qualifying - 4th, 2009 Race - DNF
I like Singapore; its unique as we race at night. You get the impression the crowd is pretty close to the track in most sections, so its certainly cosy. Im hoping to improve on last years result, as its a high downforce street circuit that should suit our car. Its got some similarities to Monaco and Budapest and we did well at both those circuits, so Im hoping for a strong result. Weve yet to experience any wet running on a flood-lit track, so it will be interesting if that happens.
Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull
2009 Qualifying - 2nd, 2009 Race - 4th
As a night race, Singapore is an unforgettable event. Its important to manage the time difference, so I try to sleep until the afternoon so my body thinks its still in Europe. The circuit has 23 corners so its 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 theyre in a computer game and the scenery is amazing.
Jenson Button, McLaren
2009 Qualifying - 11th, 2009 Race - 5th
The Singapore Grand Prix will be a very interesting weekend because I think itll give us a clearer idea of the destiny of the world championship. The last time we were at a low-speed, high-downforce track was in Hungary back at the start of August; our car wasnt particularly competitive there, and maybe we havent had a properly representative view of the top teams relative pace because weve just visited two high-speed circuits.
But, equally, a lot has changed since that race in Budapest - not least, some quite hefty revisions to the rulebook regarding bodywork flexibility and, additionally, a lot of work by the engineers at the MTC to ensure our car is now better suited to slower circuits. Singapore will be interesting for all of us well not only get an idea of the speed of the Ferrari and Red Bull, but well get to see for the first time whether all our efforts over the past two months have helped put us back in the ballpark at high-downforce tracks.
Personally, I think Singapore has quickly established itself as one of the best races on the calendar, and Im already really looking forward to the race.
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren
2009 Qualifying - 1st, 2009 Race - 1st
Winning in Singapore last year was one of the most satisfying victories of my Formula One career. The whole team pushed for that result right from the start of the weekend, we overcame a number of problems, and we never gave up until it was in the bag. Crossing the line was a brilliant feeling. Ive already drawn a line under Monza. Ive learnt from the experience and, while it was extremely disappointing, those things are sometimes what you need to sharpen your mind and raise your game and motivation at an extremely crucial time in the season.
Its difficult to say accurately how competitive well be in Singapore. If Monza most closely resembled a track like Canada, then Singapore is far closer to places like Monaco and Hungary, where weve struggled relative to the competition. But the engineers are positive that weve made some good progress, so Im looking forward to getting out on track and sampling the changes for real. So I think we head into the weekend with renewed confidence following some positive tests and some developments in the wind tunnel. The race should give us a clearer indication of exactly where we stand as the championship closes down over the next five races, but I definitely want to score as many points as possible in this Grand Prix.
Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren team principal
In just two years, the Singapore Grand Prix has become one of the highlights of the Formula One calendar. The broadcast footage of the cars racing around in the fading evening light, against the glittering backdrop of the city, has set new standards in televised sport. I believe this race has shown the sport how it needs to move forward, and Im sure that any new venue that joins the Grand Prix calendar will be able to learn and benefit from the levels of excellence set by the Singapore organisers. Its the first race at a low-speed, high-downforce track since the Hungaroring back in August. Its also the first high-downforce track weve visited since the FIA tightened up its regulations on flexible bodywork, so its likely to give us a much clearer idea of the respective pace of the leading teams after two less-representative events in Belgium and Italy. This is a race the whole team looks forward to enormously, and we travel to Singapore with a number of new ideas to try out on our cars, feeling positive that well once again be in a position to race at the front.
Nico Rosberg, Mercedes GP
2009 Qualifying - 3rd, 2009 Race - 11th
"Singapore is one of the highlights of the year and I really enjoyed the last two races. The atmosphere is fantastic and the concept of a night race works really well once you get into the routine of staying on European time. I had the best finish of my career so far at Singapore in 2008 when I finished second so the race has good memories for me. The track is good fun to drive and a real challenge. It feels like a proper street circuit, very narrow and enclosed, with a stop-start nature that never gives you the chance to relax. We've had decent results at the last two races so we will be hoping to continue our run of points finishes in Singapore next weekend."
Michael Schumacher, Mercedes GP
2009 Qualifying - n/a, 2009 Race - n/a
"I have always been fond of getting to know new circuits and Singapore will definitely be an exciting adventure. I have three reasons to look forward to the weekend; it is a new circuit for me, it is a city race and it will be my first night race. Driving a new track has never been too complicated for me and I am usually very quick to learn and find the rhythm. As a team, we would like to perform strongly and we will give our maximum to deliver as good a show as possible."
Ross Brawn, Mercedes GP team principal
"Over the past two years, Formula One's night race in Singapore has proved to be a fantastic occasion enjoyed by drivers, teams and fans alike. The weekend creates a great spectacle to showcase our sport and with the championship battle getting closer, we can hope to see another exciting race. From our team's perspective, we have some refinements to our existing upgrades for Singapore and the high downforce set-up required for this low-speed street circuit. We have achieved decent results within the performance limitations of our car at the past two races and hope to have a strong end to the season during the final flyaway races."
Norbert Haug, vice-president, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
"Singapore's night race is a very special Grand Prix on the Formula One calendar which has quickly established itself as a favourite. The atmosphere around the illuminated circuit is unique amongst the 19 race venues that we visit as are the images of Formula One generated from the night racing. Although we are focusing on the design of our 2011 car, we do have some technical developments for Singapore and as at the last two races, we will aim to achieve the best possible results with Michael and Nico."
Hirohide Hamashima, Bridgestone director of motorsport tyre development
"Singapore is a street course so we will see a lot of surface evolution and improvement as the track is first cleaned by cars running, then racing rubber is laid, meaning better grip. This makes finding a good set-up difficult as the track condition is a moving target. The first time we visited the circuit was very bumpy, but this was improved for last year. For 2010 it will be interesting for us to learn about the surface again as it is made up of public roads which are used throughout the year for purposes other than a Grand Prix."
Heikki Kovalainen, Lotus
2009 Qualifying - 8th, 2009 Race - 7th
Its always slightly different racing in Singapore, but its something I look forward to. The race organisers always do a great job in preparing the track, and its pretty hardcore for the fans as the cars look cool and sound amazing around the city streets. The race itself is pretty tough on the cars and the drivers, but we make sure our body clocks stay on European time and as long as we sleep well and stick to our normal schedules, we cope with it fine. Before the race Ill be doing some intensive training over the next week and a half to make sure Im ready for the remaining flyaway races. Its important to make sure I have enough in reserve, not just for Singapore, but for what lies ahead in Japan, Korea, Brazil and Abu Dhabi.
Jarno Trulli, Lotus
2009 Qualifying - 14th, 2009 Race - 12th
I really like the challenge of racing in Singapore - as a driver its good to push yourself and while the track itself isnt hugely different from a couple of others on the calendar, the fact that its a night race makes it a unique event. Itll be good to give the fans in Singapore, so close to Malaysia, their first chance to see the car on track, so were all looking forward to it. In terms of preparation for the race, there isnt a huge amount you can do - we use a clear visor to maximise visibility in the twilight conditions, but apart from making sure your body stays on European time, its pretty much the same as any other race - train hard for the heat and make sure youre ready.
Tony Fernandes, Lotus team principal
Singapore is going to be amazing, for me and the whole team - well be making a couple of very exciting announcements over the race weekend, so itll be good for us on and off track. Fairuz (Fauzy) is driving in FP1 and its always good to see a young Malaysian competing on a global level, particularly for Lotus Racing. On a purely visual level it will be very cool to see our cars under the lights, and I think that green and yellow paint scheme, with the white flashes running along the cars, will look amazing on track - its something the fans will love. They also need to keep an eye on the skies, as the pictures of one of our AirAsia planes in Lotus Racing colours have appeared on the internet. I was sent a few pictures of it by Twitter, and while that is obviously very cool, it means even more to me that that plane will be taking the team back home to Malaysia after the race, and that they will be taking a bit of time off between Singapore and Japan in our other home. It is great to know they can land on the other side of the world from the UK and be given the sort of welcome they will receive in Malaysia, where Lotus Racing has really touched the heart strings of a huge amount of Malaysian fans.
Singapore itself is obviously somewhere that is very close to my heart - I know a lot of people there, and I have had a lot of emails from friends and colleagues who are very excited about seeing us on track, so I cant wait. Singapore is where we first announced the formation of Lotus Racing, standing there in black polo shirts and black caps. Mike had brought some parts with him to show Dr Tun Mahathir and now we have gone from that small beginning, with just a few parts and a very big dream, to where we are today, and long may that dream continue.
Mike Gascoyne, Lotus chief technical officer
Looking back to Italy it was obviously not the outcome we wanted in the race, particularly after such a good weekend until that point, but Jarnos pace was very encouraging, particularly in the race, and Heikki put in a good performance to finish 18th. Now we move on to Singapore where we will be looking to get both cars over the finish line and reinforce our position in front of the new teams. The focus now is really on the 2011 car, so we wont be bringing any major new parts to Singapore. Despite that, I think well be able to maintain the advantage we have over our nearest rivals on what is a pretty high downforce track. The track is bumpy and some of the kerbs are pretty high, so being able to deal with the bumps and the kerbs well is important. Both our drivers have reported that they feel like the car deals well with uneven surfaces, and they have the confidence to attack the kerbs in the T127, so lets see what happens.
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