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2013 F1

2013 Singapore preview quotes – Sauber, Caterham, Marussia

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Sergio Perez, Sauber, Marina Bay-2012-Singapore-GP-QualifyingNico 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.”

2012 Singapore Grand Prix - Friday Vitaly PetrovCharles 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.”

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.”

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