Madrid - With the European part of the season completed the Formula 1 World Championship heads east for a swing of five Asian races that begins with the Singapore Grand Prix on the weekend of the 21st to the 23rd of September.
This event stands out because of its singularity as it is the only nocturnal Grand Prix on the calendar and the European time zone is respected meaning that teams work at night and rest throughout the day.
After a special weekend in Italy, the objective of HRT Formula 1 Team is to maintain the reliability that led both cars to cross the finish line in Monza and progress with the upgrades which will be introduced to the car in Singapore.
After a positive debut at the Italian Grand Prix, Ma Qing Hua will step into the F112 once again for the first free practice session, replacing Narain Karthikeyan and joining Pedro de la Rosa.
The Marina Bay Street Circuit has hosted the Singapore Grand Prix since 2008. It’s a slow, bumpy and narrow anti-clockwise track and is also a very physically demanding test for the drivers given the high temperatures and humidity. Pirelli has elected its supersoft and soft tyres for this Grand Prix.
Pedro de la Rosa: "I’ve never raced at Singapore but I know the circuit because of my simulator work as a test driver for McLaren. It’s a spectacular track and probably the toughest circuit on the brakes in the entire Championship besides being a very physically demanding race because of the heat and humidity.
We should have a good performance as there are many slow corners and it is quite similar to Monaco. Besides, we’ve got an aero upgrade which should help us to cut down the gap to our rivals. I have to make the most of the practice session to adapt to the circuit but I’m up for the challenge”.
Narain Karthikeyan: "Singapore has a spectacular atmosphere as the race takes place under artificial lighting. The Marina Bay Street Circuit is bumpy and very complicated. You can’t make any mistakes as it is a street circuit. Besides, it’s also very demanding physically because of the high temperatures and humidity.
I arrive here extremely motivated and in good form after a good weekend in Italy and we’ve also brought upgrades which we hope will help us improve our race pace a little bit more”.
Ma Qing Hua: ""I'm very happy to drive the F112 for a second time in a row and I really appreciate the opportunity HRT is giving me. It will be very exciting to drive a F1 around the streets of Singapore. It's a very demanding track for all of us, but it will be even more of a challenge for me as this is only the second time I will be driving the car at a race weekend.
But I am looking forward to it and the laps that I added to my tally at the last Grand Prix in Monza have given me plenty of confidence. I have prepared myself in the simulator as well as doing some specific exercises to be used to driving at night.
This is yet again another step in my career and I look forward to getting more experience at the wheel of a Formula 1 car as well as doing my best to help the team to prepare for the race".
Luis Pérez-Sala, Team Principal: "I don’t personally know the Marina Bay Street Circuit but I’m really looking forward to getting to know it since everyone says it’s one of the most beautiful races in the Championship. But also because in Singapore we’re incorporating the second major upgrade to the car of the season which we hope will help us take another step forward.
Ma will step into the car once more for the first free practice session and the objective is for him to continue learning and improving as he did in Monza, where we were very happy with his work and performance. Pedro and Narain come on the back of a good race in Italy and we hope that with the upgrades they can get even closer to our rivals”.
Source: HRT - Formula 1 Team