Ferrari press release
Fernando Alonso: "In Singapore, there's more adrenaline"
In what is now a familiar routine, based on the past three years, Fernando Alonso met the media at the Marina Bay circuit in the "F1 morning" which means late afternoon on the clock. The Spaniard explained that it was this unusual time-table that added to the appeal of the Singapore GP. I like all street circuits in general. I like Monaco and Singapore and I think this race is very unique race, not only because it's a night race with a different view from the cockpit. It also changes the routine. At other races, we practice 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock and Saturday 2 o'clock for qualifying then we do the meetings, the autograph sessions, the Paddock Club, the Parade lap. There is a routine you do every two weeks everywhere in the world, except Singapore where you change that routine: you go to sleep very late, you wake up at lunchtime and then you race at night. This changes a bit the approach, as in Singapore, there's more adrenaline, it's a wonderful race.
With the championship now almost mathematically out of reach, the Ferrari man explained his approach to this weekend and the remaining rounds. "It is the same in all sports; you cannot win every race or match you play," he said. Obviously, we are very competitive people, all drivers, all mechanics and teams in general. We all want to win. It is something we are not happy with Our performance this year is not something we are happy with, winning just one grand prix so far. Our approach is that we try to attack, we try to be aggressive, in strategies and at the starts and try to win races. We know we cannot fight for the General Classification, we cannot fight for the "Tour de France" but we want to win individual "stages," we want to win individual races.
It is the same in all sports; you cannot win every race or match you play
As for this weekend, the man from Oviedo reckoned it was possibly one of the best remaining opportunities for a good result for the Prancing Horse. "The characteristics of the circuit are quite similar to Monaco and we were quite competitive there. We have the soft and supersoft tyres and normally this is the combination that we like most, so it should be a good weekend for us, but the victory is never easy or is never close enough when we are fighting with Red Bull and McLaren. It's going to be tough, but hopefully closer than at some other places. The physical side is very demanding at this circuit. In Monaco we do 70 or 80 kilometres less than here where you do the full 300 kilometres."
The press pointed out to Fernando that if or when Vettel takes the title this year, he will replace the Spaniard as the youngest ever driver to win two world championship crowns. "He is driving fantastically at the moment," said Alonso of the German. "This year he makes no mistakes or very few mistakes, where last year we had a few more chances. In general, he has been the best driver with the best package and they deserve where they are."
Felipe Massa: "A lap here is like two in Monaco"
As dusk approached at the Marina Bay circuit, Felipe Massa met the media to start the weekend's activities in the run up to the Singapore Grand Prix, at a track that the Ferrari man feels is unique. "You could not have more of a contrast between the very fast Monza track where we were two weeks ago and this one here in Singapore, from every point of view; downforce levels, tyres, corners, everything," he began. "I hope our car is better suited to this track and will be more competitive. The Singapore circuit should be better adapted to the characteristics of our car, but we have to be careful, because there have been time this season that we have gone well at circuits that we did not expect to and vice versa. It's hard to say until we have actually been out on track for the first free practice sessions."
The Singapore circuit should be better adapted to the characteristics of our car
Felipe reckons this track is one of the most demanding on the calendar. "Although it reminds you of Monaco because it is a street circuit, a lap here is like doing two laps of Monaco as it is such a long lap. At the moment, the weather looks similar to last year, with some rain every day, although, ever since we have been coming to Singapore for the Grand Prix, it does not seem to rain in the evening. It's true that rain here would make life more tricky than at any other circuit except Monaco. Rain on a street circuit always makes life very complicated for everyone and has a big effect, making the race an incident packed lottery. As we have never really run in the rain at night, it's hard to say what effect a combination of rain and artificial light would have on visibility, but if it happens we will have to deal with it."
As to the fact that the two championship's, Drivers' and Constructors' are already all but won, Felipe explained this does not change his nor the team's approach to the remaining six Grands Prix. "The most important thing for a driver is to try and win races and try and win the title. But every race is an important thing and a driver has to race to win from start to finish. This year's championship is virtually decided, but it changes nothing in my approach or that of the team to every remaining race, where will be trying our hardest and particularly trying to improve our performance in qualifying." Mathematically, Sebastian Vettel can retain the Drivers' title for 2011 this weekend and Felipe was asked what he thought of the German's performance. "Vettel deserves it, because, even if he is in the most competitive car on the grid, what he has done is incredible and the title is well deserved. It's not nice when the championship is over as early as this, but he did the job in the best car and this is the result."