After securing their fifth podium finish of the 2014 Formula 1 Season last time out in Monza, the Williams Martini Racing team will be aiming to take another good haul of points away from the Singapore Grand Prix. The team are hoping of maintaining their third place in the championship they took away from Ferrari in Italy, with both Felipe Massa and Valterri Bottas showing good pace at the Italian track.
Massa took his first podium finish of the season in Italy, and is hoping to carry the momentum from Monza into Singapore and the remaining races of the season. The Brazilian knows the track at Marina Bay is one of the most challenging of the season.
“The Singapore race is fantastic, but also exceptionally difficult,” said Massa. “The temperatures are so high and the humidity really affects the drivers physically. The track is similar to Monaco but almost twice the length, which adds to the challenge.
“Staying on European time helps with it being a night race, but it’s still a bit strange going to bed at 3am. I really enjoy the race and hope to carry the success we had in Monza into the remaining races of the season.”
Team-mate Bottas had to fight through the order to finish fourth after a bad start in Italy, but knows any mistake mad in Singapore will be punished. The Finn hopes to be challenging the Ferrari and Red Bull’s at Marina Bay, with the belief that the Mercedes team will once again be the ones to beat.
“I’m looking forward to Singapore, it’s a very special race – the setting there is really cool, the track is very challenging and there’s no room for mistakes,” said Bottas. “It’s a night race but the lights are very bright so it doesn’t make a big difference to drive, everything just looks awesome which is great for the fans and builds the atmosphere.
“The race is long. Normally it goes up to two hours, so it’s a challenge for the cars with tyre degradation, and for the drivers physically it will be probably the toughest race of the season due to the heat and humidity. Singapore could be a little more difficult for us compared to Monza, but we have some aero upgrades, which should give us more downforce. We go there hoping to fight with Ferrari and Red Bull but we know Mercedes will be very strong.”
Head of Performance Engineering Rob Smedley goes into Singapore hoping the team can consolidate their third place in the Constructors’ Championship that they reclaimed from the Ferrari team at Monza, but believes the track in Singapore will pose more of a problem to the team than the track in Italy did.
“Singapore is a night race and even though that brings certain challenges for those who work there, it offers a great spectacle for Formula 1,” insists Smedley. “The track has a few issues that we have to work around, such as the lack of grip that on a normal track would improve, but here doesn’t. This results in a lot of wheel spin and oversteer which affects the balance of the car.
“The main focus for the team is the Constructors’ Championship now and we have to establish ourselves in third position, which we regained from Ferrari in Monza.”