Singapore GP: Virgin preview

"UP ALL NIGHT" Round 15 of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship takes the Virgin Racing team back to the Far East this weekend for the Singapore Grand Prix - F1's one and only night race. Since the inaugural event here in 2008, this race has ...

"UP ALL NIGHT"

Round 15 of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship takes the Virgin Racing team back to the Far East this weekend for the Singapore Grand Prix - F1's one and only night race. Since the inaugural event here in 2008, this race has established itself as one of the most dramatic and atmospheric Grands Prix on the calendar.

The Singapore Street Circuit is made up entirely of public roads; it has 25 corners and is one of only five circuits on this year's calendar to run in an anti-clockwise direction. The abundance of first and second-gear bends will result in an average lap speed of just 175kph (108mph), which is similar to Monaco, and will result in the cars running with maximum levels of aerodynamic downforce.

As the race takes place at night time, there is also the prospect of the track temperature being cooler than the air temperature. This could potentially create slippery conditions for the drivers and, much like Monaco, the circuit's unforgiving barriers are just inches away - characteristics that always ensure the Singapore Grand Prix is an enthralling and exciting contest.

Timo Glock, Race Driver #24

"I am very much looking forward to this weekend as this is a unique race that is always very special. I finished the inaugural Singapore in the points and last year achieved a podium finish, so the place has good memories for me. We come here after a good race in Italy two weeks ago when the car performed well and I felt that I had a positive weekend all round. Here a car needs to be very good over the bumps, so mechanically it has to be strong. We have a new upgrade for this race that should help us here and in the remaining races. The first time we raced here it was tough to acclimatise to the time zone and the race weekend schedule because we actually stay on UK time. This means staying awake all night and sleeping practically all day before the engineering and running programme begins at 1700. After two races here though I am now pretty on top of how best to work the weekend. We have been doing very well in terms of our reliability versus our competition and I think with our new developments we can look forward to another positive weekend."

Lucas di Grassi, Race Driver #25

"This will be the first time I have driven the Singapore Street Circuit. I have done a lot of work in the simulator with our new developments and now I just look forward to laying my first night race experience on top of that. Obviously I will lose some track time as I am not participating in the FP1 session, so I will have a lot of work to do to get up to speed from FP2 in terms of getting used to the track and also with set-up work. We have an upgrade for this and the remaining races and the package looks pretty positive, so we'll be pushing hard to get the most from the weekend and keep our immediate competitors behind us."

John Booth, Team Principal

"Everyone at Virgin Racing is looking forward to our first Singapore Grand Prix and therefore our first night race. Timo obviously has two years' experience under his belt so the insights he has provided us with have been invaluable, as have the perspectives of some of our team members who have been racing here previously. We are very excited about the challenge ahead. The team will have to ignore their body clocks and learn to cope with starting work at 14.00 and going to sleep at 05.00, but they are a tough bunch who have not been averse to working unusual hours in our debut season! For the next two races we will have what will probably be the final significant update for the VR-01. We will of course tailor the package to suit the individual characteristics of the four other remaining circuits, but equally it is now full steam ahead back at our technical base as we focus on our 2011 challenger. We hope the update will be sufficient to maintain the current trend of closing the gap to the midfield teams and maintain our very narrow advantage over our great rivals Lotus. Our battle with them has been very tough from the very first race and I hope it has added an extra dimension to the racing for the fans. We've certainly enjoyed it."

-source: virigin

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Timo Glock , Lucas di Grassi , John Booth
Teams Virgin Racing