McLaren-Honda F1 Team driver Jenson Button is looking forward to racing in Singapore, at a track he considers to be a unique test of a driver’s ability.
“The Marina Bay circuit is a challenge unlike any other that we face during the season – even when you compare it to the other street races on the calendar.”
Despite the challenging layout of the Marina Bay circuit, it is a track that should suit the MP4-31, which has one of the better aero packages on the grid. The lack of long straights and less power hungry nature of the venue should really play to the strengths of the McLaren-Honda set-up.
“It’s twisty, extremely fast, the barriers are high and close, and the bumpy surface is unforgiving, which sometimes means losing grip is something you can’t get away with, without seeing flying debris all over the track and the possibility of a Safety Car.
“That’s part of what makes racing in Singapore so special, and its characteristics pose a tough test for even the strongest chassis and power unit.”
Although he is one of the older drivers on the grid, Button is also one of the fittest, which should help him no end, as he tackles the unforgiving circuit in hot temperatures.
“It’s gruelling for car and driver, but that’s what makes it all the more rewarding to drive. You have to be at your absolute peak physical fitness to not find it a struggle, especially in the heat. It’s an incredible venue and there’s a really special feeling all weekend.”
One aspect of racing in Singapore that makes it unique compared to any other on the calendar, is that despite being across in Asia, the F1 paddock choose to remain on European time. This means they are living to a completely different schedule to the Singapore locals, and that can make things seem a little surreal for the drivers.
“Knowing you’re working on European time while the rest of Singapore is running on local time makes it really unique – like racing in a parallel universe!”
Button is looking forward to racing at night, an experience he says he never tires of, and the Brit is hoping for a more incident free grand prix, than the one he experienced during the last round in Italy.
“Racing under floodlights never gets boring, and I hope I can have a weekend with less drama than at Monza.”