F1

Singapore GP: McLaren preview

Jenson Button "The Singapore Grand Prix wil be a very interesting weekend because I think it'll give us a clearer idea of the destiny of the world championship. The last time we were at a low-speed, high-downforce track was in Hungary back at...

Jenson Button

"The Singapore Grand Prix wil be a very interesting weekend because I think it'll give us a clearer idea of the destiny of the world championship. The last time we were at a low-speed, high-downforce track was in Hungary back at the start of August; our car wasn't particularly competitive there, and maybe we haven't had a properly representative view of the top teams' relative pace because we've just visited two high-speed circuits.

"But, equally, a lot has changed since that race in Budapest -- not least, some quite hefty revisions to the rulebook regarding bodywork flexibility and, additionally, a lot of work by the engineers at the MTC to ensure our car is now better suited to slower circuits.

"Singapore will be interesting for all of us -- we'll not only get an idea of the speed of the Ferrari and Red Bull, but we'll get to see for the first time whether all our efforts over the past two months have helped put us back in the ballpark at high-downforce tracks.

"Personally, I think Singapore has quickly established itself as one of the best races on the calendar, and I'm already really looking forward to the race."

Lewis Hamilton

"Winning in Singapore last year was one of the most satisfying victories of my Formula 1 career. The whole team pushed for that result right from the start of the weekend, we overcame a number of problems, and we never gave up until it was in the bag. Crossing the line was a brilliant feeling.

"I've already drawn a line under Monza. I've learnt from the experience and, while it was extremely disappointing, those things are sometimes what you need to sharpen your mind and raise your game and motivation at an extremely crucial time in the season.

"It's difficult to say accurately how competitive we'll be in Singapore. If Monza most closely resembled a track like Canada, then Singapore is far closer to places like Monaco and Hungary, where we've struggled relative to the competition. But the engineers are positive that we've made some good progress, so I'm looking forward to getting out on track and sampling the changes for real.

"So I think we head into the weekend with renewed confidence following some positive tests and some developments in the windtunnel. The race should give us a clearer indication of exactly where we stand as the championship closes down over the next five races, but I definitely want to score as many points as possible in this grand prix."

Martin Whitmarsh
Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

"In just two years, the Singapore Grand Prix has become one of the highlights of the Formula 1 calendar. The broadcast footage of the cars racing around in the fading evening light, against the glittering backdrop of the city, has set new standards in televised sport.

"I believe this race has shown the sport how it needs to move forward, and I'm sure that any new venue that joins the grand prix calendar will be able to learn and benefit from the levels of excellence set by the Singapore organisers.

"It's the first race at a low-speed, high-downforce track since the Hungaroring back in August. It's also the first high-downforce track we've visited since the FIA tightened up its regulations on flexible bodywork, so it's likely to give us a much clearer idea of the respective pace of the leading teams after two less-representative events in Belgium and Italy.

"This is a race the whole team looks forward to enormously, and we travel to Singapore with a number of new ideas to try out on our cars, feeling positive that we'll once again be in a position to race at the front."

-source: mclaren

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