Lance Stroll: “Singapore is probably the most demanding race on the calendar”

by Paul Hensby

Lance Stroll says this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix is the most demanding race on the 2019 Formula 1 schedule, and it is a test of both physical and mental agility.

The Racing Point F1 Team driver admits concentration is key around the Marina Bay Street Circuit as mistakes will be punished, especially with the walls so close to the racing line.  However, it is also a physical test on the body, and as a result, the Canadian has been doing heat and endurance training to prefer for the challenge ahead of him.

“Singapore is probably the most demanding race on the calendar – certainly in terms of the physical side of things,” said Stroll.  “To prepare for it, I do lots of training in the heat and endurance work.

“It’s a long race – lasting about two hours – so it’s a mental test of concentration as well. It’s narrow and, with the walls so close, there’s no room for mistakes. It’s a place where you put a wheel wrong and you’re in the wall.  It really tests you as a driver.”

Despite the demanding and technical aspects of the lap, Stroll says there is a ‘really nice’ flow to the circuit, providing the confidence in the car is there.  He also says the car will take a pounding throughout the event as it is important to attack all the kerbs and run as close to the wall as possible to be quick.

“There is a really nice flow to the lap,” said Stroll.  “It’s technical and very long, so hooking up the perfect lap is a challenge. You need confidence in the car and a balance that suits your driving style.

“To find the last few tenths, you really need the confidence to push. It’s quite a bumpy track and you have to be fully committed over the kerbs, so it’s a race where you’re really beating up the car. I remember having a pretty big headache after the race last year!

“The lights above the track are impressive. They are so bright and I still use a dark tinted visor. It’s a really spectacular sight when the track is all lit up. It’s one of the races that everybody wants to attend. To drive through those streets at night with all the lighting and the fireworks at the end feels really glamorous.”

With the Singapore event running at night, Formula 1 stays on European time for the weekend, which for Stroll makes for a very different routine that involves going to bed and waking up later than normal.

“It’s an odd one for your routine because we stay on European time, so you’re going to bed at three or four in the morning and waking up at midday,” added the Canadian.  “It’s different but luckily we have blackout shades at the hotel.

“As long as housekeeping don’t come knocking on your door at ten in the morning you’re usually all good.”

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