Haas F1 Team Boss Guenther Steiner says it is hard to determine whether the Marina Bay Street Circuit will be a track that suits the VF17, but the squad will be working hard to ensure they come out on top of the midfield pack at this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix.
“It’s not only about downforce levels; it’s also about how to use the tyre and which level of downforce we need to run.
“As always this year, it’s not only about how good we are, it’s how good our opponents are and how they can get their cars to work at the circuits. We always see where we end up with our other opponents in the midfield.”
Steiner expects the ultra-soft tyre, the softest compound available from Pirelli this weekend, will be the rubber of choice on race day, as it generally proves to be the fastest tyre on offer.
“I would say in qualifying that the softest tyre was always the fastest tyre – even if the drivers don’t feel a big difference. A harder tyre has never been faster.
“In the race, it’s more about race distance, what you can do, and how quick they drop off and the time you lose. Normally the softest tire for the race weekend is always the fastest tyre.
“I think this trend will continue in Singapore.”
The Italian is a big fan of racing at night, as he considers it to be “something different” from the day-to-day humdrum of racing during the day.
“I think a street race and a night race are just cool. I quite like it. It’s something different. Singapore is a great city. The nice thing about doing it at night is that it cools down a little bit, as during the day it’s really hot.
“I would say a night race is always exciting and I think if all the races were night races, it wouldn’t be as interesting. With NASCAR and Formula One night races, you have the whole day to build up to it. It’s just cool.”
One of the bonuses of racing in Singapore, unlike most other venues on the F1 calendar, is that the practice and qualifying sessions nearly all fall around the same time of day as the race, making it much easier for teams in terms of getting consistent data.
It also helps them maintain a good sleep pattern, something the Italian greatly appreciates.
“It’s also a good thing for the teams because they will sleep during the day and work at night, and not be jet lagged.”