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Toughing it out: Kvyat and Sainz talk Singapore

13 Sep 2016

Ahead of this weekend’s 2016 Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix, Toro Rosso drivers Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz chat about their memories of the famous street circuit…

Daniil Kvyat: Singapore… Hey Carlos, the first time we raced there was in Formula BMW, do you remember?!

Carlos Sainz: Yes! It was actually raining that weekend…

DK: It was a semi-wet qualifying, that's right.

CS: Yes, and we raced in the afternoon and not at night… And it was always raining at that time of day. But that Quali was a drying track on slicks. Then you went back to race there again with F1 in 2014…

DK: And then you joined me in 2015.

CS: Yep! You were P1 in Free Practice, right?

DK: Yeah, it was a good Friday!

CS: What do you remember from Singapore?

DK: I remember that it's always quite hot and humid over there, like a sauna!

CS: Yes, and I heard that your first F1 race was a tricky one…!?

DK: Correct! My drink system didn't work, so it wasn't much of a pleasure… So before racing there for the second time, we anticipated this and trained harder. We went to a sauna and put a jacket on as well as doing outdoor exercises with a winter coat on.

CS: So it was much better, but still tough, I'm sure…

DK: Yes, still tough, very tough!

CS: Also for me. I'd say last year's Singapore race was probably the toughest race I've done in my life!

DK: From a physical point of view, it's definitely that kind of race where we test our fitness levels. Okay, this can also happen in Malaysia when it's really sunny and humid…

CS: Yes, but it doesn't beat Singapore, because here there's less air as there are so many high buildings everywhere. You also don't have any time to rest as there are no straights… It's full of slow corners and no time to pick-up any air…

DK: Yes, I agree.

CS: This is also why you usually arrive in Singapore a bit earlier than usual, in order to get used to the climate, do some sport there…

DK: I play tennis, go for walks around the city to get used to it all… And another particularity is the funny time schedule we have to follow, as it's a night race. So we go to bed at around six in the morning… Like we usually do in Europe, so it's okay! [both laugh]

DK: The track is all about corners, corners and more corners.

CS: Twenty-three, to be exact! And I'd say that 90 percent of them are chicanes.

DK: And when it's your first time driving there, you sometimes struggle to remember what the next chicane is.

CS: Wow, it's six years ago now since we first raced in Singapore!

DK: You're making me feel old!

CS: Another particularity of this track is that it's very bumpy.

DK: Yes, and some corners also are tricky when braking.

CS: Hmmm true… This reminds me of my crash last year at Turn 19.

DK: Did you over push?

CS: Yes. I didn't do Turn 18 well, tried to carry too much speed into here and I clipped the wall. But then I recovered myself by overtaking Maldonado into Turn 20 during the race.

DK: Yeah, I think that in 2014 I was also touching a few walls here and there, especially on entry!

CS: A lot of wall-kissing…

DK: Yes, but hopefully that won't be the only thing we're going to kiss! [both laugh]