Force India Preview Sinagpore
|Author: Will Hings||Published: 11th September 2018 10:43|
Otmar Szafnauer, team principal of Silverstone based Racing Point Force India previews Singapore Grand Prix.
“We arrive in Singapore after two strong weekends where we maximized what was available to us. 32 points combined from Spa and Monza is an excellent effort and the team deserves credit for performing so well after all the uncertainty that surrounded us in August.
“I think Singapore is another opportunity to build on this momentum and keep scoring points. Traditionally we have always gone well there and both drivers enjoy street circuits. We have more performance to bring to the car this weekend with an updated aero package.
“It’s never easy to introduce and understand new parts during Friday practice, but hopefully we can unlock some performance straight away. Beyond Singapore, we hope the developments will keep us competitive as we begin the final third of the season.”
Sergio: “I am really looking forward to racing this weekend. The last couple of events went really well for us and you can feel the positive atmosphere in the whole team, so we want to keep the momentum going.
“Singapore is a special event and I don't think there's any other race in the world like it. The city is buzzing and the circuit looks amazing when all the lights are on. The hotel is close to the paddock, so we walk to the track and that's a way to see the city and feel the atmosphere - something you can't really do at other races.
“The race is a big test for the body. When you're in the car, it is hard to breathe and you're sweating a lot. In the days leading up to the race I train in the toughest conditions I can to get used to it. The race is also the longest of the year in terms of time in the cockpit, so fitness is important. The best preparation is to sleep well and keep hydrated. The weird schedule makes it a bit strange, especially at the beginning of the week, but after a couple of days in Singapore it’s not a problem anymore.
“The Marina Bay Circuit is one of my favourites because I have scored points every time I’ve raced there. That’s seven times from seven races and I’m looking forward to making it eight out of eight. I love driving street circuits because you have to be aggressive and accurate, and Marina Bay is the type of track where you can make a difference as a driver.
“Being so close to the walls is always challenging but it’s fun as well. With the wide cars it’s tougher to overtake, but is not as tight as Monaco and there is enough space to make some overtaking moves.
“We're bringing an upgrade to the race, so I expect us to be competitive. Last year I finished fifth and after the breakthrough we had at Spa and Monza, I definitely expect to be fighting for a good amount of points this time as well.”
Esteban: “In the two races after the summer break we have shown good pace and scored a lot of points, so we go to Singapore aiming to continue this run of great races.
“Singapore is the toughest race of the year from a physical point of view. It’s hot and it’s humid, but I have been preparing for it with lots of cardio training. It’s important to eat the right things and drink a lot even before we travel to Singapore. Other than training in the heat, my routine doesn’t change much because we have to be very fit for all the other races already.
“This Singapore weekend has a unique schedule but I have a little trick for it. I always keep two different time zones on my watch – local and European. I keep to European timings and still manage to go to bed every night at 9pm, Paris time!
“The Singapore race is a fantastic event. Night races are always different and there is the added challenge of a street circuit. I admit I am not the biggest fan of the track layout, but it is a very challenging one. There are so many corners and lots of places where you can gain time or make a mistake, so it’s difficult to put together a perfect lap. My favourite part is the final sector where you have to get really close to the walls.
“We are bringing an upgrade to this race and we look forward to testing it on Friday. If we can get everything working properly then hopefully we can keep our position at the front of the midfield.”