When: Friday 21 to Sunday 23 September, 2012
Where: Marina Bay Circuit, Singapore
Round: 14 of 20
Mark Gillan, Chief Operations Engineer: The night race through the streets of Singapore is a special event and one that the team looks forward to. It’s a long and physically demanding race for both driver and car. As overtaking is difficult qualifying position becomes even more important. With the longest pitlane of the season, which is taken at 60kph, as opposed to the normal 100kph, one tends to perform the least pitstops possible. Pirelli are bringing the soft and super-soft tyres to this race, a combination that was last used in both Monaco and Canada. The circuit is extremely severe on brakes and due to the hot ambient temperatures we will be required to open the bodywork for engine cooling. Aero wise we run near the maximum down-force level and from a set-up perspective you have to be mindful of the harsh kerbs. Finally the weather is difficult to track in Singapore and heavy rain is always a possibility.
Pastor Maldonado: This is my second time at Singapore which is a great city with a great atmosphere. The race is unique because it takes place at night and you have to adapt to the temperature change and of course the time difference because we stay on European time all week. The track requires high downforce which is good for us and it’s similar to Barcelona in terms of aerodynamics so this should be a track where we can show the potential of our car.
Bruno Senna: Singapore should suit our car because it’s a high downforce and load circuit and that’s where the car feels at home the most. Of course it’s hard to judge where we will be as others teams are improving all the time, but if we can score points in Monza then we should be looking to get further into the top ten in Singapore. I had a good performance there last year as well so that always gives you a boost before a race.
Rémi Taffin, Head of Renault Sport F1 Track Operations: The Marina Bay circuit has a low average speed of just 170kph due to the high amount of corners so the emphasis is on giving the drivers driveability through the lower rev ranges (between 8,000rpm and 13,000rpm) and a responsive engine on the short links between the right angled turns. Engine maps need to give good traction, so this is a race we’ll work particularly closely with the chassis engineers to get a neutral set up.
Paul Hembery, Pirelli Motorsport Director: We’re bringing the P Zero Yellow soft and P Zero Red supersoft to Singapore: the same combination we took last year, which is well suited to the characteristics of a street circuit. Singapore is quite unusual for a street race though because it’s hot and humid with high speeds, heavy braking areas, and lots of corners: all of which test the tyres in terms of traction and braking. Because it’s a long race the cars carry a very heavy fuel load. That puts a lot of energy through the tyres at the start of the race, so it’s vital to manage the first stint well. Tyre strategy will as always be a key ingredient – the race was won with a three-stopper last year – but it’s interesting to note that there’s been a safety car period at every Singapore Grand Prix held so far, and that is sure to have a big effect on the race plan for every team.