September 18th, 2012 (F1plus Team).- The Williams F1 team is looking forward to step into the Marina Bay circuit. The reason for that -other than having a pure racing heart- is that they believe the FW34 adapts very well to this circuit and it could reach its maximum potential.
The Singapore Grand Prix is definitely a unique experience, not only for those watching the illuminated track from their homes screens, but also for the ones that get into the cockpits of their cars and the Formula 1world that works and covers it at odd hours.
Drivers and the pit crew try to follow the European time zone during the week, an that is why interviews, media time and the sort is usually done at night.
Williams feels characteristics of this year car, pretty much match the challenges of the Marina Bay circuit. As Pastor Maldonado explains: “The track requires high downforce which is good for us and it’s similar to Barcelona in terms of aerodynamics so this should be a track where we can show the potential of our car”.
The Venezuelan has been the center of criticism because of his aggressiveness on the track and errors that has cost him and his team valuable points. Nevertheless, he jumped 11 spots in his last race at Monza with a flawless drive. He started from 22nd because of a 10-place grid penalty for a jump-star at Belgium.
The Brazilian will have to work harder this time in qualifying –his Achilles heel- since it is had hard to overtake making a good starting position paramount.
Bruno Senna agrees with Maldonado in regards the FW34 and adds: “Singapore should suit our car because it’s a high downforce and load circuit and that’s where the car feels at home the most”.
“If we can score points in Monza then we should be looking to get further into the top ten in Singapore. I had a good performance there last year as well so that always gives you a boost before a race”. An optimistic Senna added.
Mark Gillan, Chief Operations Engineer, summarizes the Marina Bay Circuit, the set-up and the strategy: “As overtaking is difficult qualifying position becomes even more important. With the longest pitlane of the season, which is taken at 60kph, as opposed to the normal 100kph, one tends to perform the least pitstops possible. Pirelli are bringing the soft and super-soft tyres to this race, a combination that was last used in both Monaco and Canada.
The circuit is extremely severe on brakes and due to the hot ambient temperatures we will be required to open the bodywork for engine cooling. Aero wise we run near the maximum down-force level and from a set-up perspective you have to be mindful of the harsh kerbs. Finally the weather is difficult to track in Singapore and heavy rain is always a possibility”.