Scuderia Ferrari come to Singapore this weekend on the back of two consecutive race victories at Spa-Francorchamps and the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, but Team Principal Mattia Binotto is expecting a much tougher weekend at the Marina Bay Street Circuit than in Belgium or Italy.
Charles Leclerc won in both Belgium and Italy – his first two victories of his Formula 1 career, but the Singapore Grand Prix will present a much different challenge to the Monegasque driver and his German team-mate Sebastian Vettel, with the downforce levels at Marina Bay at the complete opposite end of the scale compared to the previous two events.
High downforce is a necessity this weekend, with the Singapore race not only one of the slowest on the calendar, but also one of the longest, made all the trickier by the heat and humidity despite the event taking place at night under floodlights.
Binotto says Ferrari are aware of the challenges that are likely to come this weekend, but they are bringing some updated aerodynamic components to Singapore in a bid to minimise their pace discrepancy against their main on-track rivals, Mercedes AMG Motorsport and Aston Martin Red Bull Racing.
“Coming from back to back victories is a good feeling for the team and for our tifosi, but in reality these victories are already behind us and we are well aware that Singapore will present new challenges and a layout in which our car is not as strong as at other circuits,” said Binotto.
“We are bringing a few new parts there as part of our effort to close the gap to the competition, at a track that features predominantly slow speed corners. This race also sees the return of the Hypersoft tyre compound, which has not been used since the Canadian GP.
“All of this, together with the traditionally eventful close racing in between the barriers, on the city streets – conditions that both Sebastian and Charles love very much – will certainly make for a tough but exciting race weekend.”