Paddy Lowe says the Marina Bay Street Circuit is unlike any other venue on the calendar, with Formula 1 returning to its now traditional night race this weekend in Singapore.
The chief technical officer of the Williams Martini Racing team says the race is amongst the toughest on the calendar due to his heat and humidity and requires a lot of mental strength and concentration as the drivers race at high speed on the Armco-lined circuit.
It is also hard on the engineers and mechanics as well as the cars, but Lowe expects it to be a great event this season, especially with the fastest Formula 1 cars to date.
“We head to the Marina Bay street circuit this week to start the final international leg of the season,” said Lowe. “The circuit is famous for hosting the first ever Formula One night race, and the unique atmosphere created under the floodlights make it unlike anywhere else we go.
“The circuit requires high downforce and good mechanical grip, and is tough on the cars, team members and drivers. Mentally it is one of the toughest races for the drivers as well, with very little opportunity to relax over the course of a lap, combined with the heat and humidity they must contend with, even once the sun has set.
“The race almost always goes to the full two-hour mark because it has a characteristic speed similar to Monaco, but goes to the full 305 km distance, unlike Monaco which has the exception of only needing to reach a distance of 260 km. The engineers and mechanics are also tested in the hot conditions and cars can be pushed to breaking point.
“All of this combined can deliver some exciting on-track action moments, especially towards the end. This effect will be greater than ever with the 2018 cars being the fastest F1 cars to date.”
Lowe says Williams will arrive in Singapore with some extra motivation after securing points for only the second time in 2018 last time out in Italy, with Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin both being classified inside the top ten after Romain Grosjean was disqualified post-race for a technical infringement.
“From a Williams perspective, the team head to Singapore motivated, after what transpired to be a double-points finish for the team in Italy,” said Lowe.
“And whilst it would have been great to have secured the result on track, both drivers deserved those points, and it was great for Sergey to achieve his first of what we hope are many Formula One championship points.”