SEPTEMBER 17, 2011
Singapore spice - with added overtaking!
The Singapore night race with its unique atmosphere has already established itself as a classic event on the F1 calendar but this year it will also benefit from DRS.
Last year, a race-long battle between Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel was entertaining in its own right, but the advent of DRS promises to spice up the mix..
"At McLaren we're fortunate enough to have two drivers who are never satisfied to merely sit behind another car; but the addition of DRS means that we should expect some truly electrifying racing in Singapore," said team principal Martin Whitmarsh.
"The track is wide enough to support close and exciting wheel-to-wheel racing and I sincerely hope that's what we see. If circuits like Spa, Silverstone, Monza and Monaco represent the epitome of classic Formula 1, then a circuit such as Marina Bay has, I think, quickly established itself as one of the sport's modern wonders and greatest success stories."
Lewis Hamilton is always a threat on street circuits and Jenson Button says that Singapore is an event that means a lot to him.
"This is one of the races I'd most love to win," Button said, "and I'm hopeful that we'll be able to show the same sort of pace we showed at Monaco and Hungary, where I had two of my best drives of the year.
"It's strange to have concluded the European season and still have six more races remaining. Personally, I love this end-of-year series of flyaway races - the circuits we visit are really diverse and, from a drivers' perspective, they're some of the best tracks on the calendar.
"For Singapore, we'll revert to the slightly unusual European timetable to ensure that we're as fit, alert and focused for the night race as we would be for any other grand prix. Given our current form, I'm positive that Singapore will be another strong race for us."
"I love street circuits and I really enjoy this place," Hamilton added. "It's almost two tracks in one: there are quite a few fast corners, which require good set-up and a bit of commitment, but there are also lots of tighter 90-degree bends, which are slower and more technical. You've got to keep it precise through these and just be patient, waiting for the tyres to bite before getting on the throttle. If you're impatient, then you end up losing time because you over-stress the tyres and you over-drive the car.
"Still, I'll really be pushing. I think we had a car capable of winning in both Belgium and Italy, so I really want to make sure we arrive in Singapore with a good set-up, and that we're able to run with it through practice and qualifying."