Singapore 2019 - GP preview - Renault F1
Nico Hülkenberg matched his best result for Renault with fifth place in Monza, ending the European part of the season on a high. The race is on for fourth in the Constructors’ Championship and the German is determined to play his part in the battle.
What makes Singapore so special?
Singapore is the only real night race on the calendar, so that makes it really unique. It does take a bit of extra time to get used to racing under artificial lights but we’re quite adept to it now. We stay on European time there, so that means waking up at lunchtime and then we have the rest of the day and night ahead. We don’t see too much day light!
Why is the Marina Bay Circuit so draining?
It’s probably the most physical race of the season. A lap is very busy at the wheel, extremely physical and tiring. It’s a long circuit with corners coming thick and fast without many straights to have a rest. The humidity makes it very tricky and that, combined with all the gear shifts and changes of direction, makes it exhausting come the end of the race.
What’s the feeling after the Italy result?
The team left Italy on a real high. The whole weekend was a super effort from everyone, starting with a solid qualifying result and then a strong race to move up a position. We’ve made a big swing in the Constructors’ Championship and the race for fourth is on. We have to develop this now and aim to pick up these kinds of results more regularly. It’s certainly possible and we won’t be letting up.
Daniel Ricciardo enjoyed a superb Italian Grand Prix by taking a deserved fourth place and a much-needed 12 points for the team. Attention switches to the lights of Singapore, where the Australian is keen to build up some momentum.
How much do you enjoy the challenge of Singapore?
I do relish the physical and mental challenge in Singapore. It’s an intense race weekend and one you have to be ready for, more so than other races. I learnt a lot from my first race there in 2011 and realised the need for being ready for the challenge. You need to be sharp for Singapore. The heat and humidity there seems to stay within the walls and buildings. There isn’t much circulation too and if you lift your visor to get some fresh air, you don’t get any, and it makes it worse!
What’s the circuit like to drive?
The circuit is long and busy. You have to get close to the exit walls and sometimes you’re there holding your breath a bit. I have always enjoyed racing at street circuits. It’s a feeling of being absolutely on it, close to the edge and it’s an awesome feeling. Singapore was the first real night race in Formula 1, and there’s something I like about waking up later and then going to bed in the early hours. I’ve enjoyed some success there with some podiums in recent times. We need to back up the excellent result in Italy and put the heat on the race for fourth.
How pleasing was the last race?
We deserved the double top five finish in Italy. We clearly had the pace from the moment we hit the track on Friday and, from there, executed a really good weekend to come away with 22 points. It was nice to have my best result for the team. We know now there will be eyes on us to repeat that, but I can see no reason why we can’t string together more solid results and really chase down fourth place. The challenge excites me.
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