I’m being encouraged to believe it’s 11am, though it’s fairly obviously five in the afternoon – welcome to the wonderful world of the Singapore Grand Prix. That’s the reality of staying on ‘European time’ in the paddock; you’re constantly looking at your watch and doing a quick subtraction to figure out what time it’s supposed to be. But I don’t mind, it’s actually pretty nice lying out by the pool at 3am when everyone else is in bed. Strange, but good
If you’ve read the blog before you’ll know I like street races – obviously there are walls and the surface tends to be much more slippery than you’d have on a permanent circuit, and that tilts the balance between driver and car a little bit more toward the driver.
As circuits go, this one is technical and quite slow, with a lot of second-gear corners. It would be nice to have a few faster bits but it is what it is. Last year wasn’t a great race for me: I damaged the car on the first lap and wasn’t really in it after that but up until that point I’d had a good feeling about the Marina Bay circuit. I had a good quali, so I’m hoping for more of that over the coming weekend. I think I’m better prepared this year, and I have a better car, so here’s hoping for a good result.
'If you’ve read the blog before you’ll know I like street races'
I don’t think Singapore has any positives or negatives for our car; it’ll be just another track for us. We don’t really have any big updates to bring here, so I don’t think we’re expecting a miracle, but because it’s a street circuit, and because a driver can maybe make a bit more of a difference, there is always the possibility for good things to happen.
As well I think there’s been at least one safety car period every year the race has been here, and that’s always an opportunity. So even if we don’t have the pace that we would like on Saturday, I think we can always have a stronger result on Sundays.
Points are possible, and we’ll just have to see if we can get them on merit, or if we need a bit of help from circumstances. I’ll take either, but it would be nice to have the pace rather than the luck.
Assuming it’s dry – which is a big assumption – the light isn’t really an issue at the circuit, but the heat definitely is. When your body temperature rises, you have to stay alert to avoid making mistakes. And being a street circuit your concentration has to be pretty high anyway, so there’s a real challenge there to stay on top of your game. It’s a real challenge, and because it’s challenging, it’s fun.