Site logo

Singapore GP: Preview - Haas

NEWS STORY
26/09/2022

Haas F1 Team is returning to the Singapore Grand Prix for a dose of night fever around the floodlit streets of the city state.

The vibrant city of Singapore has been an important trading post on the tip of the Malay peninsula for several centuries, and has had an at times tumultuous history, but in recent decades the region has been transformed, emerging as a popular tourist destination and business hub. Formula 1's calendar expansion through the 2000s eventually brought the championship to Singapore in 2008, and for the first time in history a grand prix was held after sundown, with thousands of lights illuminating the course.

The bumpy 23-turn 5km-circuit, located in the Marina Bay district, takes Formula 1 drivers past some of Singapore's famous landmarks, including the National Gallery, the Esplanade Concert Hall, and Singapore Flyer. The floodlit architecture provides a stunning backdrop to one of Formula 1's most challenging events.

As the Marina Bay Street Circuit holds one of the slowest average lap speeds it frequently makes the grand prix itself the longest of the season. It has occasionally become a timed event under the two-hour regulation, most recently in 2017. Even the fastest Singapore round took 1 hour 51 minutes to complete, around half an hour longer than the average Monza race, making it a tough event physically and mentally for drivers and teams alike, a predicament accentuated by the heat and humidity in the city. Track position and tire preservation are also crucial at a race where passing can be difficult.

Kevin Magnussen has previously participated in six grands prix in Singapore - including on three occasions for Haas F1 Team - and set the race's fastest lap in both 2018 and 2019. For Mick Schumacher it will be his first experience of the Marina Bay Street Circuit.

Haas F1 Team enters the Singapore Grand Prix in seventh position in the Constructors' Championship, on 34 points.

While the triple-header after shutdown failed to yield points for the team, it did allow more assessment of the VF-22 upgrade package, first introduced in July. What's the team's understanding of that package now and how competitive does it look, and in what key areas, heading into the fly-away events?
Guenther Steiner: "We tested the upgrade in Hungary and then introduced it to both cars after the summer break. We have no comparison between cars anymore, but we can see the increased downforce, the data matching the wind tunnel data, so that's a success and that's what we were after. How much faster it makes the car is always difficult to understand because you have nothing to compare like-to-like anymore, but we are confident that the upgrade worked and in general it's just more downforce over the car. Now we have to find a good balance for the car, and hopefully we can get some more points out on the tracks that suit our car better than the high-speed tracks like Spa and Monza."

How do you juggle the role of the technical staff processing the information still coming from the VF-22 from races and the need to work in the design office on the planning, development and design of the VF-23? How close is the communication between those personnel taking each key learning and applying into next season's entry?
GS: "The race team and the design team are always in contact. The design team - from the car performance group - is always present in the control room on the weekends and they see exactly what areas we need to work on. Then there are meetings between the race team engineers and the team in Italy - Design and Aerodynamics - who are always discussing about what can be done to make the car quicker for next year.

"It's a very good process which hopefully again makes us a good car for next year, or an even better car for next year."
Our next double-header takes us back to Singapore and Japan - two races absent from the calendar during the past two Covid-affected seasons. Can you reflect on your experiences at both venues and what makes them standout for you and as welcome returnees to the F1 calendar?
GS: "They are two races which I think we missed in the covid seasons. Firstly, with Singapore coming up, it's a night race on a city circuit and it's a very cool place. Secondly Japan, which in my opinion is one of the best race tracks in the world. Two completely different reasons why I like them but two good reasons to have them back. I really look forward to going to these race tracks because we haven't been there the last two years and it's almost like going back to a new, old race track."

Finally, speaking of the F1 calendar - the 2023 schedule has been revealed. Can you please share your thoughts on the new season and in particular the growth in America to three events across Miami, Austin and now Las Vegas?
GS: "I think obviously 24 races is a lot of races but the demand is there, the fans want to see what we are doing which is the biggest compliment they can give us and we need to work hard to make them happy. Three races in America, I think it comes at the right time. The sport is already popular and it's getting even more so as we speak in America. More races are good and each of these races has got their own little thing that stands out, they're not a copycat of each other. I think it's very good and America is a very big country, and they will not get in the way of each other. Two of the races I already know are very good and I think Las Vegas will put a good show on."

For Round 17 of the 2022 FIA Formula 1 World Championship, the pinnacle of motorsport returns to Singapore for the first time since 2019. What are your memories of the circuit and how excited are you about returning to another standout race in the calendar?
Kevin Magnussen "I really like Singapore. In general, I really enjoy street tracks and I would say Singapore is one of the best street circuits there is. It's a very physical race, so it's always the one that you're thinking of when you're struggling in the gym and that gives you motivation to keep pushing on your fitness."

You proudly hold the lap record around the Marina Bay Circuit with a time 1:41.905 in 2018 and also achieved the fastest lap of the race in 2019. Do you think it's a record you'll retain after the race this weekend and are you the type of driver that keeps track of records and stats?
KM:
"I got the fastest lap twice - in 2018 and 2019 - with new tires on at the end of the race. In those two races we didn't score points I don't think so it's not something that I'm that proud of, as it didn't come with points. I'd be way more proud to score points and hope to do so this year."

It's arguably one of the toughest races for drivers with humid weather and bumpy street surfaces all while having to navigate 23 corners. How as drivers can you best prepare your body for those conditions and how do you feel straight after coming out of the car after racing in such heat?
KM: "It's one of the toughest races because of the weather and also just because the track layout is how it is with corner, after corner, after corner without any rest. On most tracks you get a couple of straights around the lap where you can get a breather but in Singapore, even on the so-called ‘straight', it's still kind of turning. It's also very bumpy so you can't really relax.

"There's no specific way to prepare, at least for me. I train as hard as I can, and as I said, Singapore is the race that I think of when I need some motivation to keep pushing in the gym. You can always remind yourself that you're going to Singapore and that's going to be a super tough one."

In addition to the on-track physicality, the race schedule is four hours later in Singapore as we race at night. How exactly does that change your own routine - e.g. when do you wake up and go to sleep - and by race day is your mind and body adjusted or do you continue to feel that you're eating meals at the wrong time and being allowed a lie-in?
KM: "Often, you try to stay on European time for the weekend. It can be difficult because you have to stay up very late into the night but it's ok, it actually helps as you don't need to adjust to the time zone when you get there, you just continue. Of course, we go straight to Japan afterwards, so we will probably move our time zone but not too much as the race is late in the evening on Sunday, so we'll start adjusting on Monday."

For Round 17 of the 2022 FIA Formula 1 World Championship, the pinnacle of motorsport returns to Singapore for the first time since 2019. It will be a new race for you - what do you know about the city, the circuit and are you excited about adding Singapore to your racing CV?
Mick Schumacher "Singapore is definitely a special race track and I'm looking forward to it. Up until now I've been once… and that was at the airport for a stopover, but even there it looked great! I'm very excited about getting to experience the track for myself. A lot of people say it's a tough one because of humidity but also just the features of the track - so we'll see what we can do."

Since its first running in 2008, the Singapore Grand Prix has featured at least one safety car every season. Knowing a statistic like that, do you do extra preparation with the team to understand previous examples and how best to stay out of trouble?
MS: "We have our pre-event meetings which are key factors for examples such as safety cars. It does flow into race strategy and preparation but on the other hand I go there with a fresh mind so I just have to get in as many laps as I can and hopefully get a good feel for it so we can perform well in qualifying and then have a clean start so we are in points contention."

It's arguably one of the toughest races for drivers with humid weather and bumpy street surfaces all while having to navigate 23 corners. How as drivers can you best prepare your body for those conditions and how do you feel straight after coming out of the car after racing in such heat?
MS: "It's hard for me to judge as I haven't been there to know what the best preparation is for me but at the end of the day, usually the preparation between events doesn't really shift, even if it's a special venue like Singapore."

In addition to the on-track physicality, the race schedule is four hours later in Singapore as we race at night. How exactly does that change your own routine - e.g. when do you wake up and go to sleep - and by race day is your mind and body adjusted or do you continue to feel that you're eating meals at the wrong time and being allowed a lie-in?
MS: "I think I can adjust to that pretty easily because I do that any way - I eat when I'm hungry, I don't have fixed times for things - I'm easy!"

LATEST NEWS

more news >

RELATED ARTICLES

LATEST IMAGES

galleries >

  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images

POST A COMMENT

or Register for a Pitpass ID to have your say

Please note that all posts are reactively moderated and must adhere to the site's posting rules and etiquette.

Post your comment

READERS COMMENTS

 

No comments posted as yet, would you like to be the first to have your say?

Share this page

X

Copyright © Pitpass 2002 - 2022. All rights reserved.

about us  |  advertise  |  contact  |  privacy & security  |  rss  |  terms