Panasonic Toyota Racing drove into the night when practice for the Singapore Grand Prix began on the Marina Bay Street Circuit today. Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock got their first taste of the track in 2009 configuration in daylight at the start of...
Panasonic Toyota Racing drove into the night when practice for the Singapore Grand Prix began on the Marina Bay Street Circuit today. Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock got their first taste of the track in 2009 configuration in daylight at the start of first practice but the sun set during the session, which ended in darkness. A 12-minute delay due to a red flag slightly disrupted a programme of set-up analysis and aerodynamic comparisons during a session where humidity reached 71% and air temperatures hit 31 o.C. Marina Bay is used for racing only once a year so track conditions improved significantly throughout the two sessions as a clean line was established and tyre rubber put down. After using only the soft compound Bridgestone Potenza tyres in the opening session, second practice gave the drivers a chance to compare those with the super soft rubber; the same combination as used already on the streets of Monaco and Valencia. Another red flag eliminated 10 minutes from second practice but the team nevertheless completed all its planned work without trouble.
"It was a standard Friday session for me where I worked to evaluate the tyres and set-up. We still have to improve the handling and the set-up because the car didn't feel perfect for me. There was very little grip from the track, especially in the first session when the surface was extremely dusty. That made it hard to get good traction and I had some oversteering. But the conditions will improve as the weekend goes on and we have to make changes to get the most out of our car here. We will study all the information and try to make the right adjustments."
"I am pretty pleased with how things have turned out today. The first practice session was a bit difficult to really analyse the car and I don't think the track conditions helped. The car didn't feel bad but the lap time just didn't seem to be there. But in second practice it was much better overall. The car felt more together, the track conditions improved a lot and we ran through our whole programme. I am quite happy with the car at the moment but obviously we want to get more performance out of it before qualifying and the race. We have to analyse some set-up changes to understand which direction to take then we will see how things go tomorrow."
Dieter Gass, Chief Engineer Race and Test:
"Overall it was a positive day for us. As usual on a street circuit, and as was the case here last year, the track conditions evolved a lot during the two sessions and this will continue over the rest of the weekend. Everything went well with our new update package which is always good, especially when you consider there is no track testing possible. We put the updates on the car for the first time today and it all worked fine which is a credit to everyone who has worked hard on this. Obviously with a new package you have even more data to study and you have to look really carefully at it to decide on the next steps before qualifying, so we still have plenty of work to do but I am optimistic for the weekend."