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2013 F1

2013 Singapore GP preview quotes – Red Bull, McLaren, Lotus

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Sebastian-Vettel-2012-Singapore-GP-Qualifying-1Sebastian 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.”

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Marina BayJenson 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.”

Romain-Grosjean-2012-Singapore-GP-QualifyingKimi 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.”

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