SINGAPORE GP – QUALIFYING
MAX VERSTAPPEN, Position: 2nd, 1:39.814 (Practice 3 – Position: 1st, 1:41.829)
“All weekend has been a good build up, getting faster and faster and finding a smooth rhythm so to come away with second is a really good result. I took a little bit of risk to put down a good lap as we had predicted the others would improve from yesterday and this morning’s sessions. Perhaps there was a bit of time in the last sector to find but in general I am very pleased with how the car and I performed. That was the best balance in terms of set-up I have had with the car in Qualifying all year and that is a big positive. My quickest time was more or less the maximum I could do, Sebastian just had an even better lap. Race pace is good so we have a chance tomorrow but it looks like Ferrari have found quite a lot. The start will be important and maybe if there are a couple of safety cars that could impact the result too.”
DANIEL RICCIARDO, Position: 3rd, 1:39.840 (Practice 3 – Position 6th, 1:42.517)
“I really thought I could get on pole position today so I’m a bit disappointed to be honest. Seb’s last lap was strong and we couldn’t run with that. That pace was good for us in Q3 and it seems like he did most of his time in the first sector. I didn’t really know what else we could do. If we get the start right tomorrow then we can put some pressure on him through our strategy. I still believe we have a good chance to win this race. I do enjoy a street circuit and the challenges that come with it, brushing up against the walls and all that. I feel I can do this lap after lap for two hours tomorrow and still hold my concentration. I really want this one so hopefully that hunger prevails tomorrow.”
CHRISTIAN HORNER, Team Principal: “A very strong qualifying performance from both of our drivers. Max and Daniel have been showing great speed around the streets of Singapore all weekend, and indeed we’ve topped every session apart from the final one that counts in Q3, where Sebastian put in a great lap. Starting second and third on the grid gives us strategic options for tomorrow in what will be one of the hardest grands prix of the year. It’s great to have both cars right up there and we are looking forward to a hot and humid race tomorrow night.”
Luck of the Draw
Everyone likes to say there’s no such thing as luck in F1 and that outcomes are the result of deep research, intense analysis and careful strategising. As our new quiz reveals that’s a complete load of old rubbish. We present our team personnel with a set of 50 questions, the order of which shifts with each race, they choose 10 and have to answer them, no matter what. Tough, easy, personal and just plain weird, what they get is down to the luck of the draw. This race’s lucky dipper is the team physiotherapist, John Hammond.
1. What’s your favourite food?
I love food generally, but I think I like Thai food best – anything with a bit of spice but not too spicy on the lips. So here in Singapore is the perfect environment for me. There’s a big food court called Lau Pa Sat and we went there this time. I had a bit of everything. I can’t remember exactly what but it was all very local and all very good.
2. What’s the worst job you’ve ever done?
I’m a physiotherapist, which fundamentally I love, but in your early days of physio you work in hospitals, and you are serving your apprenticeship. Some of the situations I got myself in were pretty horrendous. Then again, before that, in the summer holidays, I used to work as a removals man – moving peoples furniture from house to house. I think all of my jobs have been pretty good really.
3. When were you happiest?
The birth of my two sons. They’re names are George and Henry and they’re five and seven. These long hauls are not ideal but work is work and you manage it.
4. What’s the thing that most annoys you about Formula One?
It’s a thing that is one of the foundations of how F1 works and that’s the monotony of the environment. Everything is the same. We travel around the world and that’s great, but you want to see variation. However, what you see in the paddock is pretty much exactly the same every time. It’s the absolute backbone of how this whole vehicle works, though, so the village behind the swipe gates has to be the same. It’s just that as the season goes on the appeal begins to wane.
5. What is the moment you felt most proud?
Professionally? There are certain professional qualifications you can achieve and one of those was my Masters degree, which was five years in the making. It was in 2005 and I studied at Brighton University. It was a few years of absolute hell. I was working at the same time and I think that’s where the pride came from – that I’d achieved that while working at something else as well.
6. If you could have any other job in the world, what would it be?
If I had my time again, I’d quite like to be a pilot. When I was doing my final exams in school I went through a whole thing of ‘do I go into the military’, because I come from a military family, and obviously one of the options was the Royal Air Force. I’m not really an engineering type but I understand those principles and flying fascinates me. I don’t think I’d like to take flying lessons now, but that’s only because I know the statistics for light aircraft crashing.
7. What three things couldn’t you do without on a race weekend?
My physio bench – that’s fundamental to the job. I couldn’t do without my mobile phone, for communication purposes within the paddock and I couldn’t do without my hands, because that’s what I works with and also especially for putting food in my mouth, which brings us back to the first question!
8. What sort of house do you live in?
I live on the south coast of the UK and currently we’re renovating our house, so we’re living in a static caravan in the front garden. We moved into the caravan on Valentine’s Day this year – which didn’t exactly go down very well with my family – and we were meant to be moving back into this week. That isn’t happening. We will be back into the house before Christmas, but it will be unfinished. It’s a bungalow, in Poole and Dorset, and we took the roof off and we’ve made it wider and gone up. It’s been fine but we are starting to get a bit of cabin fever.
9. Do you have any phobias?
Heights. It manifests itself as a compulsion to throw myself off. Well, take that with a pinch of salt, but if there’s a video on Facebook of someone doing something silly at a height, my hands will go sweaty. It’s particularly anything that’s exposed, where there is an edge.
10. What’s the best gift you have ever received?
I like to cook, and while this probably isn’t the best gift I’ve ever received, it is the most useful. It was the most amazing Le Creuset non-stick dish. I use it all the time. I always try to bring some cooking ideas from when we go away. This year, in Monaco, we went to a restaurant called Michelangelo’s, which is one of our drivers’ favourite restaurant and they do a thing there that you don’t even have to cook – a basket of tomatoes, salt, some Mozzarella, a bit of balsamic vinegar and some red onion. So simple, and it was wonderful. Then you go home and you realise it’s all about the ingredients from the region. You go to the supermarket at home and you buy a bag of tomatoes and some cheese and it’s… just not the same.