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Renault duo look ahead to Singapore

NEWS STORY
07/09/2018

Nico Hulkenberg is in a buoyant mood as he gears up for his 150th start in his Formula 1 career, at the physical Marina Bay Street Circuit, where he aims for a bright weekend under the lights.

What's so special about the Singapore Grand Prix?
Nico Hulkenberg: It's a unique Grand Prix in more ways than one, and it's the only real night race we have on the calendar. Racing under artificial lighting does take a little getting used to, but Singapore has been on the calendar for so long now, it feels pretty normal. We don't see too much daylight there as we're working on European time. We sleep until lunchtime and then the work begins. The facilities at Singapore are really good, and it's a very enjoyable venue for a Grand Prix.

How physically testing is the Marina Bay Street Circuit?
NH: The circuit itself is very physical and puts a lot of strain on the body. It's up there as one of the toughest circuits of the season. It's a long lap with corners coming thick and fast, with not many straights to have a break. The humidity makes it hard combined with all the action we're doing at the wheel with non-stop corner combinations and frequent gear changes.

This will be your 150th race start in Formula 1, what's there to say about this milestone?
NH: It's a significant milestone to have been racing in Formula 1 for so long with that many races under my belt. But it's just a number at this stage and we have a challenge on our hands in the midfield battle, so I'll be drawing on my experience and targeting a positive weekend in Singapore.

What can be drawn from Italy?
NH: We did all we could from the back of the grid, and I'm pleased with how the weekend progressed. It's good that the team are back in the points especially at a power-sensitive circuit like Monza. The penalties are hopefully out of the way and we head to Singapore in confident mood aiming to have both cars in the points.

A points-finish in Monza means Carlos Sainz is full of confidence as he heads to Singapore for his 75th start in Formula 1, at a circuit which last season delivered the Spaniard's best finish to date.

What makes Singapore so challenging?
Carlos Sainz: Singapore is probably the toughest race on the calendar, both for the heat and humidity as well as the physical demands of the circuit itself. It gets so hot in the cockpit and we're very busy with the frequent changes of direction and on-going gear shifts; all while making sure not to hit the barriers. It's a really big challenge come race day. It's a long lap in terms of time, and very tight and twisty. There aren't many straights to have a rest like in Baku, for example, so that makes it even trickier from a physical perspective.

Why is it a unique Grand Prix weekend?
CS: Singapore is a strange weekend in a way as we remain on European time. Waking up at 2pm every day and leaving the track at 3am is strange, but that's what makes it a unique Grand Prix. We don't see too much daylight there and there's little time to explore.

How are you feeling ahead of your 75th Formula 1 race start?
CS: It's a cool coincidence that both myself and Nico celebrate milestones on the same weekend. 75 races sounds like a lot, especially since I'm still quite young. It would be extra special if we can celebrate it with a double-points finish or match or better my result from last year!

Talk us through an eventful race at Marina Bay for you last year...
CS: It's probably my best-ever race in my Formula 1 career. Everything clicked on the day and we ended up in fourth place. It was a very difficult race starting on the Intermediate tyre and then picking the right time to go onto the Supersofts, which took a bit of getting used to in the early running. But, it was an incredible day, an amazing race and one which I'll never forget. That said, every time I'm in the car, I'm gunning to better it.

How's the mood after the last round?
CS: Overall, I was very happy with the Italian weekend. We want to build on this now at a string of circuits which should suit our package well. I'm feeling positive and I want to convert that into a strong weekend in Singapore.

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