The Infiniti Red Bull Racing team arrive in Singapore on the back of a more competitive weekend in Monza than the team were anticipating, with Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel finishing fifth and sixth, beaten only by the two Mercedes cars and the two Williams cars.
Ricciardo once again got the better of his more experienced team-mate, and admits to loving driving around the streets in Singapore. He knows that patience is a virtual at Marina Bay, not just with the driving but also with the car set-up with the circuit evolving throughout the weekend.
“When you walk around on Thursday, the surface always looks pretty dirty,” said Ricciardo. “Modern street races like this tend to wash and scrub the track but even that doesn’t really change the fact that what you’re driving on is a public road with all the grit and grime and dirt that those have. It means you’re in for a slithery, bumpy weekend – which I love!
“The important thing in Singapore is to not get caught chasing the set-up on a Friday. The track is going to evolve; you’ve just got to be patient and let it happen without constantly tweaking your car, trying to hit a moving target. It’s one of those races where you’re never completely satisfied with the amount of preparation that you do.”
Team-mate Vettel has won the past three Singapore Grand Prix, but will be hard pressed to make it four in a row this season. He feels the circuit is ‘fun’ to drive but at the same time is a challenge, especially to keep the car away from the walls.
“I love to come to this amazing and also very clean city,” said Vettel of Singapore. “The race track is a bumpy ride and you are being jogged around a lot in the driver’s seat. The circuit is fun but at the same time very challenging. You have to get close to your limits and risk a lot, in order to get the greatest efficiency out of your car.
“The toughest challenges in Singapore are the heat and the amount of turns. The chicanes are very difficult to drive and you barely get to catch your breath. Very important for a fast lap is the last turn before heading to the start finish line. There is an extremely high curb, which you should not hit otherwise the car lifts up.
“My greatest memories are the wins of 2011, 2012 and 2013; because I think it’s one of the toughest races of the year. It’s very long, there’s no space for mistakes and the race just seems to go on forever.”