Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez discuss the upcoming Singapore Grand Prix.
Romain Grosjean: “It’s pretty cool. Everyone loves it, especially the VIPs, who then go partying after the race. It’s a special one, for sure. It’s a race everyone waits for. It’s a tricky track, and you’re racing at night downtown when it’s very hot and humid, so there are a lot of factors that make it exciting. “It’s actually easier at night because the lights never change. The luminosity is always the same. You stick with the same visor, and driving at those speeds in those conditions is absolutely fine. “There are a few corners where you can actually run wide and go over the kerbs. I think last year they removed some. So, yes, most of the time there are walls in close proximity – you pretty much have to hold your breath and hope for the best, especially when you’re pushing in qualifying, as you run so close to the walls – but there are a few occasions on the track when you can use a bit more of the width than was perhaps first designed. “Especially between Turns 3 and 4, and on the long straight, it’s very bumpy. You really want to find the right line there. When you make an overtaking move there, you’ve really got to be sure you’ve got the car with you as it’s very tricky. To be honest, every corner is tricky. “It can be very physical. All week we never see the sunlight, so that takes a bit of energy away. Then it’s humid, it’s hot and it’s always a long race. We usually reach the two-hour limit. It’s very, very demanding. I remember back in 2013, I lost four kilos (nine pounds) of water during the race, which is quite a lot. Mentally it’s very difficult, as much as it is physical. It’s clearly one of the races where you need to be at your fittest in the season. “We [drivers] love a challenge. That’s why we race in Formula One and that’s why we drive these cars and race at over 300 km/h (186 mph). We love it.”
Esteban Gutierrez: “I like very much the first section – Turns 1, 2, 3 and 4. You arrive very quick from the straight, so it’s a sequence of corners which makes it very interesting. I also like the last part where you have a lot of chicanes where you can use the kerbs. It’s a lot of corners in a very short period of time, so it’s very physical. The overtaking opportunities are on corner 1, corner 8, which is after the long straight, then after the hairpin, as well. There are two or three places which are pretty good for overtaking, even though it’s a street circuit and usually street circuits are a bit more difficult for that. The first time I came there was in GP2 and I went straight into practice without knowing much about it. There used to be a very special corner, a triple chicane, which now has been changed, so that part and that section will be new to me. I’m looking forward to getting to know it.”
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