The Marussia F1 Team will travel to Singapore in a buoyant mood with the Marina Bay circuit closely representing the Monaco street circuit, a track where Jules Bianchi scored the team’s first ever points earlier in 2014. The Frenchman and his team-mate Max Chilton are both in confident frames of mind heading into Formula 1’s night race.
Despite having a disappointing result at the circuit twelve months ago, Bianchi really enjoyed his experience, and is hoping for another strong outing for the team around Marina Bay.
“I really enjoyed my first night race experience here last year; it’s such an unusual and exciting event with a really great atmosphere,” insisted Bianchi. “It’s fun, doing things differently. Having to push yourself to adopt a new regime is an interesting challenge that requires real discipline.
“The track characteristics are quite a lot like Monaco, which is a race that is special for a couple of reasons, not least because I finished in the points there. With so many similarities, this is a circuit that also gives me a good feeling.
“Last year the race did not pan out so well for me, but we learned a great deal and I hope we can bring that experience together to achieve a good result this year. Our car should work well here with all the corners, and as it is often an eventful race, we will be fighting to take advantage of every opportunity.”
Team-mate Chilton has fond memories of Singapore, having taken a GP2 Series win on the circuit back in 2012, and hopes his Marussia car will enable the team to have a strong weekend at the Marina Bay circuit.
“It’s great to be heading back to Singapore,” said Chilton. “It’s a fantastic city and the atmosphere of the night race is totally electric. I have great memories of winning there in GP2 in 2012, so it’s always nice to come back and race here.
The track is not dissimilar to Monaco, another street circuit, and we know our car is well-suited to those track characteristics. I had quite a good race here last year and with only six races remaining, it’s important that we have a good showing at every round.”
Team Principal John Booth is happy to return to Singapore, a track that closely resembles the other major street circuit on the F1 calendar – Monaco – the place where the team scored their first ever F1 points earlier in the season. He knows mistakes at the circuit will be punished, but he hopes the package on the Marussia’s will suit the track much like it did back in May at Monte Carlo.
“Singapore is a fantastic destination at which to begin the final phase of the season,” said Booth. “The tempo of the races really steps up a notch from this point as, up and down the field, there is still so much to play for. So it is quite fitting that we get the fly-away races underway in such a vibrant city and one which does a fabulous job of hosting a Grand Prix.
“Over the past four years we have become well-versed in coping with the unique challenges that this event poses; racing under the lights, operating to a European schedule, eating breakfast in the afternoon, to name but a few. That familiarity has done little to diminish the whole experience and we are excited to get into the swing of the race weekend proper.
“Of course, the Marina Bay Street Circuit closely resembles Monaco, and within our Team we cannot think of Monaco without remembering it as the biggest milestone in our young history – our first points. One cannot take anything for granted though; just like Monaco this is a very unforgiving and demanding track that punishes even a small mistake.
“Nonetheless, we know our drivers enjoy the tough conditions this race presents and will make the most of the fact that this track, with it short straights and plentiful corners, is one that is ideally suited to our package.”