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Singapore preview quotes - Ferrari, Mercedes, Force India & more 18 Sep 2013

Paul di Resta (GBR) Force India VJM05.
Formula One World Championship, Rd14, Singapore Grand Prix, Race, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Sunday, 23 September 2012 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari.
Formula One World Championship, Rd10, Hungarian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Hungaroring, Hungary. Saturday, 27 July 2013 Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, British Grand Prix, Practice, Silverstone, England, Friday, 28 June 2013 Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Practice, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Friday, 15 March 2013 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Preparations, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, 14 March 2013 Ross Brawn (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 Team Principal.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Preparations, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, 14 March 2013 Paul di Resta (GBR) Force India VJM06.
Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Chinese Grand Prix, Qualifying, Shanghai, China, Saturday, 13 April 2013 Adrian Sutil (GER) Force India F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Chinese Grand Prix, Preparations, Shanghai, China, Thursday, 11 April 2013 Paul Hembery (GBR) Pirelli Motorsport Director with FanVision.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Korean Grand Prix, Practice, Korea International Circuit, Yeongam, South Korea, Friday, 12 October 2012 Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Williams.
Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Chinese Grand Prix, Practice, Shanghai, China, Friday, 12 April 2013 Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Practice, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Friday, 15 March 2013 Xevi Pujolar (ESP) Williams Chief Race Engineer.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Preparations, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, 14 March 2013 Remi Taffin (FRA), head of Renault Sport F1 track operations in the Press Conference
Formula One World Championship, Rd18, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Practice, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Friday, 2 November 2012 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Italian Grand Prix, Practice, Monza, Italy, Friday, 6 September 2013 Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing.
Formula One World Championship, Rd4, Bahrain Grand Prix, Qualifying, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Saturday, 20 April 2013 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Practice, Sepang, Malaysia, Friday, 22 March 2013 Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Chinese Grand Prix, Race Day, Shanghai, China, Sunday, 14 April 2013 Martin Whitmarsh (GBR) McLaren Chief Executive Officer.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Practice, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Friday, 15 March 2013 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 on the grid.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, British Grand Prix, Race Day, Silverstone, England, Sunday, 30 June 2013 Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, 16 March 2013 Eric Boullier (FRA) Lotus F1 Team Principal.
Formula One Testing, Day 1, Jerez, Spain, Tuesday, 5 February 2013 Alan Permane (GBR) Lotus F1 Race Engineer.
Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Practice, Sepang, Malaysia, Friday, 22 March 2013 Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sauber.
Formula One World Championship, Rd4, Bahrain Grand Prix, Practice, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Friday, 19 April 2013 Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Sauber.
Formula One World Championship, Rd4, Bahrain Grand Prix, Race Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Sunday, 21 April 2013 Tom McCullough (GBR) Sauber Head of Track Engineering.
Formula One Testing, Day 4, Barcelona, Spain, Friday, 22 February 2013 Charles Pic (FRA) Caterham F1 Team.
Formula One World Championship, Rd6, Monaco Grand Prix, Practice, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Thursday, 23 May 2013 Giedo van der Garde (NDL) Caterham.
Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Race, Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday, 24 March 2013 Jules Bianchi (FRA) Marussia F1 Team.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, British Grand Prix, Practice, Silverstone, England, Friday, 28 June 2013 Max Chilton (GBR) Marussia F1 Team.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Preparations, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, 14 March 2013 John Booth (GBR) Marussia Racing Team Principal in the Press Conference.
Formula One World Championship, Rd10, German Grand Prix, Practice, Hockenheim, Germany, Friday, 20 July 2012

Round 13 of the 2013 FIA Formula One World Championship sees the paddock leave Europe behind for the floodlights of Singapore’s spectacular Marina Bay Street Circuit and the first of seven flyaway races that will culminate in the season finale in Brazil in late November. Those involved in the 2013 Formula 1 Singtel Singapore Grand Prix discuss their prospects for the coming weekend…

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari
2012 Qualifying - 5th, 2012 Race - 3rd

“This is a very demanding race from the physical point of view and also mentally, because as it takes place at night, it changes your rhythm a bit over the weekend. It’s a very special race with no room for mistakes, but it’s a track I like and where I have usually gone quite well, getting four podiums from five starts, so again this year, I’m tackling the weekend in a positive frame of mind, with great confidence that I can do well again. As a street circuit, it’s a track with a high risk factor, so the possibility is always there to make a mistake. I’d say the last sector, with Turns 18 and 19 that pass under a grandstand where you can easily make a mistake, is the most critical point on the track, where a small loss of concentration can end your race.”

Felipe Massa, Ferrari
2012 Qualifying - 13th, 2012 Race - 8th

“Singapore is one of the most tiring races on the calendar, or maybe the most tiring, because it is the longest race of the year, going the full two hours. Conditions are very humid even if we actually race at night. You sweat a lot in the car and you don’t get much air coming through the cockpit as the speeds are low. All in all, it’s the toughest race physically, but also psychologically, with it taking place at night, so that you see less, combined with the fact you are always so close to the barriers. Visibility is good under the lights but it’s not the same as driving in sunlight, which adds to the difficulty. But it’s fun and different to be there at night and makes for a great spectacle for the fans and an interesting event for us drivers.

“You can’t single out one aspect of the circuit which is more important than another. Everything counts here. If you make the slightest mistake at a corner, then you pay a high price. You have to take care at every corner and it’s a long track - one lap here is like two at Monaco, so precision and consistency are important, especially in qualifying when you have to put everything together perfectly. In fact, I’d say it’s harder to win at Singapore than Monaco. The track is longer and more complicated; a lap is around 1m 48s, while Monaco is much shorter.”

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes
2012 Qualifying - 10th, 2012 Race - 5th

“The Singapore Grand Prix is a fantastic occasion and the whole weekend has one of the best atmospheres of the year. For the drivers, it is one of the toughest races from a physical perspective as there are so many corners and no long straights where you can relax. It's also a very long race which runs close to the two-hour time limit. The chicane has been removed for this year which I'm pleased about, and the track should suit our car so I hope we can have a good weekend there. My best finish in Singapore to date has been second place back in 2008 and, of course, I would love to improve on that!”

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
2012 Qualifying - 1st, 2012 Race - DNF

“I have always really enjoyed the Singapore Grand Prix weekend and the unique 'night' timetable that we have to follow there. It certainly makes a change from the usual race weekend and it's actually very easy to do if you plan your sleeping and eating patterns well. As a street circuit, the Marina Bay track layout really suits my style. It's quite a testing circuit and you need to work the car hard the whole way round the lap to make the most of the tight corners and braking zones. We've had a tough couple of weekends in Belgium and Italy but I know that everyone at the team is determined to bounce back from here and make the most of the opportunities over the last seven races of the season.”

Ross Brawn, Mercedes team principal
“With seven races left of the Formula One season, we start the season-ending flyaway races in Singapore. The Singapore Grand Prix is always a fantastic weekend for Formula One and provides a great spectacle for the fans in the city and the viewers on global television. It's become a highlight of the calendar for many and the challenge of working late under the floodlights is enjoyed by the teams and drivers alike. The Marina Bay track layout is tricky, one of the slowest circuits on the calendar, and the punishing heat and humidity provide an extra challenge for the drivers and cars. There has been a lot of hard work at our factories in Brackley and Brixworth since the summer shutdown and the developments that we have found will be introduced during the upcoming flyaway races. Whilst our design and development priorities are naturally increasing towards our 2014 efforts, our aim is to extract the maximum from the car we are racing and regain our second position in the constructors' championship. This will require a big effort from the team combined with consistent points finishes from Nico and Lewis.”

Toto Wolff, Mercedes team executive director
“This weekend's race in Singapore begins a gruelling series of seven races in ten weekends for the team and we are all focused on regaining some of the momentum we lost at the past two races. We expect the return to maximum-downforce configuration to suit our car and we may see another shift in the competitive order between the teams. Singapore is a highlight of the Formula One calendar, with its unique setting and night race format, and provides the cars and drivers with tough tests of reliability and concentration during a race which usually lasts the full two-hour time limit. We will bring new developments to the car once again for this race and we are all focused on maximising the opportunities for both Lewis and Nico, in order to re-establish ourselves in second position in the constructors' standings.”

Paul di Resta, Force India
2012 Qualifying - 6th, 2012 Race - 4th

“Given our form lately it’s difficult to know what to expect. It’s a track I enjoy, a great venue and we had a great result there last year with fourth place. It would be great to try and repeat that, but it’s going to be tough given how competitive the grid is at the moment.

“It’s a popular race and the unusual schedule makes it interesting. I always stay on European time and that helps because you can avoid the jet lag. I will stick to my usual routine of going to bed at six in the morning and getting up at two in the afternoon because that’s always worked well for me.”

Adrian Sutil, Force India
2012 Qualifying - n/a, 2012 Race - n/a

“It’s not my favourite track, but it’s one of those places that I’ve come to like more and more. There are some nice sections and it’s quite wide for a street circuit, which helps with overtaking. I always enjoy street races and the city is amazing. The atmosphere means it’s definitely one of the best races of the year.

“In Singapore the night becomes your day and I’ve never had a problem coping with the schedule. Every year you learn more about the best technique for sleeping during the day. As for the track, you almost forget you are driving at night because the lights are so bright and clear. The visibility is perfect.

“We’ve got to qualify well to give ourselves the best chance of scoring points. We are still close to McLaren in the championship and we need to make sure we keep a healthy margin ahead of Toro Rosso and Sauber. Singapore can sometimes generate surprises and there’s always the risk of rain, so as a team we need to be ready to react quickly and make the most of any opportunities.”

Dr Vijay Mallya, Force India team principal
“We’ve been strong in Singapore, especially last year. Hopefully that will continue this year, but we know we’ve got to get on top of the tyres to unleash the potential of the car. Points must be the target for this weekend to keep up our momentum in the championship fight. There are a lot of Indians and a lot of our fans based in Singapore, and there’s always a great atmosphere in the city. It’s one of the highlights of the year, the place looks wonderful when it’s lit up and I always look forward to it.”

Pirelli
Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director

“The tyres we are bringing to Singapore this year represent a change from last year, when we went for supersoft and soft. This is because the tyres are generally softer across the board this year in order to maximise performance and grip. Singapore is quite bumpy - a typical feature of street circuits - and there’s lots of street furniture such as painted white lines and manholes that compromise grip and traction. We’re racing at night, which presents a unique set of parameters for the tyres to deal with when it comes to the way that track and ambient temperatures evolve. The cars also carry the heaviest fuel load of the year, which again has a direct effect on tyre wear and degradation. It’s a long race, and that gives the teams plenty of scope to come up with some interesting strategies at what is a truly spectacular event in every sense. We’ve always been made to feel incredibly welcome at Singapore, which is probably the most spectacular event of the year in terms of the whole show that is put on for the public. Our aim as always is to contribute to that show by providing tyres with exactly the right compromise between performance and degradation in order to guarantee close racing.”

Pastor Maldonado, Williams
2012 Qualifying - 2nd, 2012 Race - DNF

“Singapore is quite unusual for a street race because it's hot and humid with high speeds, heavy braking areas and lots of corners, all of which test the tyres in terms of traction and braking because it's a long race and the cars carry a very heavy fuel load. That puts a lot of energy through the tyres at the start of the race, so it's vital to manage the first stint well. Tyre strategy is always a key ingredient so I will be spending a lot of time with the engineers discussing how we are going to tackle this track. As difficult as the track is, managing the conditions is another element that drivers have to deal with over the weekend as it gets very hot inside the cockpit. I had a very strong qualifying here last year, finishing in second place, so I feel like this layout suits my eye and I know how to squeeze every tenth out of the lap time.”

Valtteri Bottas, Williams
2012 Qualifying - n/a, 2012 Race - n/a

“I've never driven at Singapore in a lower category and it was one of the tracks that I didn't drive in Friday practice last year for Williams so this will be a new challenge that I'm really looking forward too. I will be doing a lot of simulator work ahead of the Grand Prix to get used to the layout because it has a lot of corners that come in quick succession. I'm normally quite fast at learning new tracks though and showed in Montreal this year that I can quickly get up to speed. The fact that the race takes places at night creates a unique atmosphere but I will try and keep my routine the same as it is important to maintain a rhythm between races, and for that reason I will be staying on European time throughout the week. One thing I do change is the transparency of my visor as we have to use an anti-light glare instead of a sun protector because the lights lining the circuit are very bright.”

Xevi Pujolar, Williams chief race engineer
“The Singapore night race is a unique event that we all look forward to despite the fact that it is probably the most demanding circuit of the year for both driver and car. It is mentally and physically draining for the drivers as it's not only one of the longest races of the year, but they also have to cope with the high temperatures and humidity with the 23 corner layout offering almost no rest. Despite being run at night under floodlights the temperature still averages 30 degrees C, with a humidity of around 75 percent. There has been a modification to the track layout for this year, the chicane at Turn 10 has been removed and replaced with a flowing left-hand corner before the acceleration zone towards the Anderson Bridge. Singapore has the highest pit lane speed loss of the season and a high chance of a safety car - there hasn't been a race in the modern era without at least one safety car being deployed. These factors, added with how difficult it is to overtake, all hamper strategic capability and for the last couple of years it has typically been a three-stop race. However, Pirelli have gone one step harder on the prime tyre bringing the medium compound so this may change this season.”

Remi Taffin, Renault Sport F1 head of track operations
“The Marina Bay circuit has more turns than any other track on the calendar, however, most are taken in first to third gear. Average speeds are therefore correspondingly low and the engine is working at between 8,000 rpm and 13,000 rpm for the majority of the corner apexes and exits. The stop-start nature of the track and the short bursts of acceleration between the turns make Singapore one of the least fuel efficient of the year so we try and be as careful as we can with the engine settings to avoid a weight penalty. Temperatures are also something to watch carefully - particularly as the race is the longest in duration of the year. Not only are the ambient temperatures high, but the slow turns give the engines little time to breathe so we will tend to use an engine at the end of its life.”

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull
2012 Qualifying - 3rd, 2012 Race - 1st

“It sounds unusual but because the race starts at 8pm we have to try and stay on European time as much as possible, to make sure we’re alert later into the night. I get up at about lunchtime and have breakfast at about 2pm because that’s 8am in Switzerland. It is a bit weird to have lunch in the evening and go to bed in the early hours of the morning. But we’ve done it for a few years now so it feels more normal than it did the first time.

“You tend to see the most passes into Turn 8, and then next common is using DRS into Turn 7. My wins in 2011 and 2012 were the best because I think it’s one of the toughest races of the year to be honest, so to win is an amazing moment and you feel you deserve the champagne! It’s a very long race; the full two hours so the race just seems to go on forever. The circuit itself is a killer because there are so many bumps, there’s no room for mistakes.”

Mark Webber, Red Bull
2012 Qualifying - 7th, 2012 Race - 11th

“The last sector is probably the toughest to get right, it’s a very demanding last sector and the rhythm is very important over the bumps and the curves. You need to get the last sector correct. I think being on the podium is my best (Singapore) moment, after a long and hot race it’s a pretty good reward. I finished on the podium in 2010 and 2011, so both of those were special moments for me.”

Jenson Button, McLaren
2012 Qualifying - 4th, 2012 Race - 2nd

“Just as it’s exciting to return to Europe after the opening races of the year, it’s always cool to pack your bags for a long-haul flight, knowing that you’re heading off for the flyaways that bring the curtain down on a long season.

“I remember the first time we raced at Singapore [in 2008]; it seemed incredible to think that we could hold a Formula One race at night. I must say, the thrill and novelty of racing through spot-lit streets is just as intense for me today as it was when we first raced there - it’s a unique spectacle, and one that I think is brilliant for F1. In fact, the Singapore Grand Prix is one of the wonders of modern sport.

“I enjoy racing around the Marina Bay circuit. Although I’ve finished second there for the past two years, this year it’ll be interesting to see how our car behaves on a bumpy, high-downforce circuit. This is also a race where good fitness preparation really pays off: the race is usually close to the two-hour limit, so it’s the longest physical challenge on the calendar. I’m really looking forward to it.”

Sergio Perez, McLaren
2012 Qualifying - 14th, 2012 Race - 10th

“I’ve finished in the points in my two previous visits to Singapore, so, after the disappointment of just failing to get home in the top 10 at Monza, a points finish next weekend will clearly be my aim.

“Obviously, the fight at the sharp end of the championship means that the top three or four teams are still pushing hard to develop their current cars, whereas some of the others are looking more towards 2014. That means that it’s getting slightly harder to score good points in the remaining races. However, we’ve still got developments coming through - most with an eye to next year - and I hope that we can maximise our package for one of the toughest races of the year.

“Singapore is an unpredictable race - it’s tough on drivers and machinery, so we’ll be looking to get the best from our high-downforce set-up and see if we have a car that can ride the circuit’s many bumps. I like street circuits - you can really attack the corners - so I’m really looking forward to the whole weekend.”

Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren team principal
“It was around 10 years ago that the idea of a Formula One night race was first floated. At the time, I remember thinking it was an incredibly imaginative and ambitious idea, but, given the scope and scale of such an endeavour, I also thought it an unlikely possibility.

“However, the organisers of the Singapore Grand Prix have shown huge determination and ambition to bring the idea to fruition, and, as we approach the sixth edition of the race, I think everybody in Formula One now regards the event as one of the cornerstones of the Grand Prix calendar. Indeed, it’s one of the miracles of televised sport.

“As well as the spectacle, this is also a very hard motor race: in hot and humid conditions, and on a circuit where there’s little opportunity to relax, the drivers will race for nearly two hours on Sunday night.

“Our focus next weekend will be to continue refining and improving the MP4-28. After a run of fast low-downforce circuits, this will be an opportunity for us to measure our car’s performance on a significantly different kind of track. As ever, to achieve points finishes with both cars is our priority.”

Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus
2012 Qualifying - 12th, 2012 Race - 6th

“I really like going to Singapore. It’s a great place to be, I love the local food, and I don’t mind the unusual times we run in the car as it means I don’t have to get up so early. I have some unfinished business after my three Grands Prix there so far, as I enjoy the circuit but have not yet had a podium. That doesn’t mean I’m not quick there as I’ve been told I still hold the lap record from 2008. I crashed while fighting for fifth place that year, finished down in tenth in 2009, and took sixth last season, so I want more this time.

“In the first years of the race being held I was a little bit surprised by how people were talking so much about the different timing. Obviously when they switched on the lights it was exactly the same as racing in the day time. I think everybody in Formula One enjoys the night race. It’s worked out really well as Singapore is a buzzing city and lots of people turn up. Apart from one or two dark spots in the run-off areas the circuit is very well lit, so there is not a big difference to racing in the day.

“Monaco was not that good for us but there is no reason why Singapore should be difficult. Like at every street circuit it’s very difficult to pass other cars there, so starting the race as high as possible on the grid is very an important factor in getting a good result on Sunday. After these two weekends with zero points it’s nice to get back to a circuit we expect to be more suited to our car. We seem to go better at high downforce circuits, that’s for sure. Obviously, the podium is a target again. We’ve had two races without scoring any points so we need to score as many as we can in the remaining races this season.”

Romain Grosjean, Lotus
2012 Qualifying - 8th, 2012 Race - 7th

“Singapore is a pretty fantastic place and the race is always a challenge. I love street races; there’s something about racing in the middle of a city. We race at night which means it looks amazing for the fans, but in the car there’s not so much of a difference for us as drivers as the lights make it seem like it’s daylight on track. Another thing I look forward to when visiting Singapore is the noodles!

“It’s a fun layout to drive, with the last section being my favourite part of the track. It’s certainly a physical race, with lots of kerbs, some bumps on the track and frequent use of the brakes. It’s certainly not a circuit with a long straight where you can take a rest! The layout and the fact it’s a street course don’t make it easy for a driver or the engineers. It can be difficult to find the amount of grip you want so we have to work hard to get the set-up working well. There isn’t much margin for mistakes as the walls are very close, but this does mean that there’s a great feeling when you get a good lap as it’s very special to be driving at the limit around a street course.

“It’s a very high-downforce track and that seems to suit us best as we saw in Budapest. In terms of the tyres I think we should be looking good too. Certainly, we should be able to perform stronger than at the last two races which haven’t always suited our car.”

Eric Boullier, Lotus team principal
“There's no reason to think that a podium will be out of reach. We've been quite competitive on twisty circuits this year and Singapore shares a lot of Monaco's characteristics. Romain loves that type of circuit, while Kimi has always been quick in Singapore. It will be an interesting weekend.

“It’s probably best we don’t mention the wall, but it’s true that we probably have a better car on high-downforce circuits like Singapore than medium-downforce tracks like Spa where we struggled a bit. We have a good reliability record, a durable car, and the Singapore Grand Prix is likely to be one of the longest of the year in terms of running time.”

Alan Permane, Lotus trackside operations director
“We return to a high-downforce configuration, with some of the front wing developments brought to the car for the recent low-downforce races being carried over. Aside from that it’s business as usual with a package which we know works well from our performances in Germany and Hungary. We didn’t have the greatest of weekends in Spa or Monza, so we’re looking forward to a return to the higher downforce tracks that arise in the next few races where the aim is to get back on the podium.”

Nico Hulkenberg, Sauber
2012 Qualifying -11th, 2012 Race - 14th

“The Singapore Grand Prix is one of the toughest races of the year, with the high temperatures, humidity and the race almost always reaching the two-hour mark. It’s a challenging circuit with a lot of corners. I particularly like sector one and the first bit of sector two. Because it’s a night race, we stay on European time for the whole weekend, so it’s important to get into the right rhythm with your sleep from the beginning. Being in the paddock when it’s dark is something quite special. It’s the only total night race on the calendar and racing in a mega city like Singapore is unique. It’s a huge hub in many respects, financially and also with the airport being such a vital link between Asia and the rest of the world. To have a track like that is pretty spectacular. A mega event this large needs a lot of logistics, effort from the organisers and everybody involved to make this happen.”

Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber
2012 Qualifying - n/a, 2012 Race - n/a

“The Singapore Grand Prix is a unique event. The atmosphere and excitement is special, because it’s a night race, it’s right in the middle of the city and the crowd is great. Singapore is a tough circuit in terms of how it affects the driver physically. The humidity is very high, so there is less oxygen in the air, and that’s challenging. However, I’m quite used to racing in hot conditions, especially at the beginning of my career competing in Mexico at 45 degrees, but the difference in Singapore is the humidity. It impacts on concentration, so that means preparation is very important. There is nothing that you can do or train specifically for that, but I tend to arrive early to get used to the conditions. I like the track, it has a lot of corners and it’s quite long, which makes it fun. My favourite part used to be the Singapore Sling, a left-right-left combination, but that has been changed to a long medium-speed corner for this year.”

Tom McCullough, Sauber head of track engineering
“Singapore requires a totally different set-up philosophy compared to Monza. The circuit efficiency sees a return to our maximum downforce level similar to Monaco. The track is dominated by tight, low-speed corners and this is the area that the mechanical and aero set-up is optimised around. Like Monza, the track is pretty bumpy in some areas, so placing an importance on ride quality. The stop-start nature of the circuit gives the brakes a hard time as there are not many opportunities per lap for them to cool down. It is imperative to qualify strongly on Saturday evening, as overtaking on this track is difficult. The race tends to cross the two-hour mark and there is a high chance of a safety car at any time, which means this will keep the strategy engineers’ attention throughout the whole race. The ambient conditions make it tough for the drivers and crew throughout the weekend. As in previous years, Pirelli has selected the supersoft compound as the option tyre, but the prime will be the medium compound, unlike last year when it was the soft compound. We will bring a further update package to Singapore that should help us to continue fighting for championship points.”

Charles Pic, Caterham
2012 Qualifying - 22nd, 2012 Race - 16th

“The European season’s now over for 2013 and we’re back to the flyaway races, starting with Singapore. For me this is one of the best races of the year. It’s an amazing city and the fact we race at night obviously makes the whole event unique. Last year was my first time racing in Singapore and I had a good race, finishing 16th - this time I’d obviously like to finish higher, but I’m sure it’ll be another good week, whatever happens!

“One thing I know for sure is it’s going to be busy! Tony Fernandes is going to be in town and we have lots of sponsor and team partner activities taking place on and off track, so one of the challenges throughout the week is finding the time to step back from everything going on around us and focus on the main priority which is having as strong a weekend as we can on track.

“Everyone will be talking about how hot and humid it’s going to be, but for me that’s not really an issue. I like the heat - it gets very hot in France as well, even though it’s never really as humid as it is in Singapore, but we start preparing for races like Singapore way back in winter with the hours put in training, and then fine tuning the physical and mental preparation in the week leading up to the race. I’ll arrive earlier than I would for a European race so I can start acclimatising to the heat, and my fluid intake over the week will increase each day to the point where I’ll take on up to five or six litres of liquid before the race starts. That’s one of the keys to performing to the maximum - being properly hydrated means you can focus 100 percent in the car, and that’s vital around a circuit as technical as Singapore.”

Giedo van der Garde, Caterham
2012 Qualifying - n/a, 2012 Race - n/a

“I have really happy memories of Singapore as the last time I crossed the finish line there in 2012 I won the GP2 sprint race and finished Caterham Racing’s season on a real high. That was all part of my preparation for F1 and with that experience of the Singapore circuit under my belt I’m really excited about getting back out there in an F1 car!

“The team have already warned me it’s going to be a very busy week! We’re doing a load of sponsor events and Tony’s going to be unveiling a new Caterham car over the race weekend, and whenever he’s on track, especially in South East Asia, there’s always a real buzz, so I think the whole week we’re there will be one of the best weeks of the year.

“On track it’s a great challenge, both for me in the car and the whole team. I obviously train and prepare for the heat, but the team makes sure everyone’s drinking enough water and that sleep patterns stick to European time so we avoid any issues with jetlag. Once in the car I think this could be one of the circuits that suits us, a bit like Monaco. You need to have the confidence to be able to push around what are usually normal city streets, and I think we showed in Monaco that that sort of challenge is exactly what we like!”

Jules Bianchi, Marussia
2012 Qualifying - n/a, 2012 Race - n/a

“The Singapore Grand Prix will be a totally new experience for me as my first night race. In my debut season, where everything is new, it is certainly one of the highlights of the calendar for me and I can’t wait for next weekend. Having been to the race previously I know that there are so many different aspects to the weekend - staying on European hours, going to bed when I should be getting up and eating breakfast in the middle of the afternoon. I’ve driven the track on the simulator and it looks like a lot of fun, although it will be pretty hot in the cockpit. The next part of the season is going to be quite a challenge for everyone, but the Team is pushing so hard to maintain 10th place in the championship and I really hope that is going to be possible for us.”

Max Chilton, Marussia
2012 Qualifying - n/a, 2012 Race - n/a

“Singapore is a great city and I can’t wait for my first Formula One night race experience there next weekend, although it’s not a new circuit for me and I have great memories of winning there last year in GP2. The track is quite reminiscent of one of my favourite circuits, Monaco, and I would be happy to achieve the same sort of result as I did that weekend in Monte Carlo. Working to European hours is always interesting but I’ve seen the floodlights first-hand, so I know that while it feels like night-time in the paddock, it’s like daylight on the track. We’ve done a lot of work behind the scenes to try to optimise our current package and for my part I’m quite pleased with how my pace is really building, so my first objective for Singapore is to maintain that momentum.”

John Booth, Marussia team principal
“We always feel a little sad putting Europe behind us, along with some of the classic motor racing venues. Having said that, we’re never sorry to head to be heading to Singapore, for one of the team’s favourite races. The atmosphere and spectacle are quite unique and this year it will be nice to share our experience with two drivers who are very excited to be competing in their first night race. The conditions are quite tough for the race team and drivers, with the fierce heat and humidity, but the unique racing environment soon overshadows those factors and I’m sure we’ll look forward to enjoy every second of the Singapore Grand Prix.”

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