Formula 1

Kevin Magnussen Looking Forward To One Of The “best street circuits there is”

3 Mins read
Credit: LAT Photo

We head into Round Seventeen of the 2022 FIA Formula 1 World Championship this weekend, as we see the sport return to one of the most physically demanding circuits on the calendar, the Singapore Grand Prix.

Formula 1 hasn’t raced at the Marina Bay Circuit for two years, and with the slowest average lap speed on the calendar it frequently becomes the longest race of the year. The race tests the drivers’ patience and concentration while track position and tyre preservation are also crucial with it being notoriously difficult to pass around the circuit.

Kevin Magnussen has previously raced six times in Singapore and set the fastest lap in both the 2018 and 2019 races, but he is aiming to score points this year with the Haas F1 Team battling for seventh in the Constructors’ Championship.

Magnussen is excited about the return to Singapore despite how physically demanding the race can be.

“I really like Singapore. In general, I really enjoy street tracks and I would say Singapore is one of the best street circuits there is. It’s a very physical race, so it’s always the one that you’re thinking of when you’re struggling in the gym and that gives you motivation to keep pushing on your fitness.

“I got the fastest lap twice – in 2018 and 2019 – with new tires on at the end of the race. In those two races we didn’t score points I don’t think so it’s not something that I’m that proud of, as it didn’t come with points. I’d be way more proud to score points and hope to do so this year.” 

Singapore is one of the toughest races for the drivers with humid weather coupled together with an extremely bumpy street surface and twenty-three corners, Magnussen has been working hard over the last three weeks as he looks to gain as much fitness ahead of the race weekend.

“It’s one of the toughest races because of the weather and also just because the track layout is how it is with corner, after corner, after corner without any rest. On most tracks you get a couple of straights around the lap where you can get a breather but in Singapore, even on the so-called ‘straight’, it’s still kind of turning. It’s also very bumpy so you can’t really relax. 

“There’s no specific way to prepare, at least for me. I train as hard as I can, and as I said, Singapore is the race that I think of when I need some motivation to keep pushing in the gym. You can always remind yourself that you’re going to Singapore and that’s going to be a super tough one.” 

Adding to the tough conditions, the race schedule is four hours later in Singapore due it being a night race and that can see drivers struggling to maintain full concentration.

“Often, you try to stay on European time for the weekend. It can be difficult because you have to stay up very late into the night but it’s ok, it actually helps as you don’t need to adjust to the time zone when you get there, you just continue.

“Of course, we go straight to Japan afterwards, so we will probably move our time zone but not too much as the race is late in the evening on Sunday, so we’ll start adjusting on Monday.”

Mick Schumacher looks forward to racing at “a special venue like Singapore.”

Credit: LAT Photo

This weekend will see Mick Schumacher experience his first race weekend at Singapore, and he will be hoping to add to his points in his quest to retain his seat ahead of the 2023 season. The options for Schumacher in 2023 are starting to dwindle with Zhou Guaynu extending his deal with Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN and Pierre Gasly heavily rumoured to move to BWT Alpine F1 Team. The German now has six races to make his mark and either retain his current seat or move to another team for 2023.

Schumacher is looking forward to racing at Singapore for the first time and hopes he can cope with the challenges of the circuit.

“Singapore is definitely a special race track and I’m looking forward to it. Up until now I’ve been once… and that was at the airport for a stopover, but even there it looked great! I’m very excited about getting to experience the track for myself. A lot of people say it’s a tough one because of humidity but also just the features of the track – so we’ll see what we can do.

“It’s hard for me to judge as I haven’t been there to know what the best preparation is for me but at the end of the day, usually the preparation between events doesn’t really shift, even if it’s a special venue like Singapore.”

Schumacher is on the hunt for more points, and performing well in the Saturday qualifying session is a key factor in doing that.

“We have our pre-event meetings which are key factors for examples such as safety cars. It does flow into race strategy and preparation but on the other hand I go there with a fresh mind so I just have to get in as many laps as I can and hopefully get a good feel for it so we can perform well in qualifying and then have a clean start so we are in points contention.”

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