Lotus preview the Singapore GP

Date published: September 15 2014

Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado are hoping the nature of the Marina Bay circuit will allow Lotus to fight for a top ten result…

Romain Grosjean: “The track is really impressive with some technical parts and some classic street circuit ’90 degree’ turns. There are a few decent straights but it is mainly busy, busy, busy for us, with corner after corner. Going over landmarks like the (Anderson) Bridge and down the Raffles Boulevard make for a fantastic sight from both the cockpit and also for the TV viewers. This year will be interesting with the new cars. As we saw at Monaco, I am sure that the drivers will be working very hard in the cockpit, especially getting the power down out of the tight turns. And if it is wet at any stage then it will be particularly interesting.

“I really love racing at this track and in fact I love the country as a whole. The Singapore people are very friendly and it is nice to see so many coming downtown to the race. It has a completely unique vibe for the Grand Prix weekend and it takes on an ambience like nowhere else we go to.

“Last weekend was a difficult one for us because the nature of the Monza track was like a penalty. Singapore offers less in terms of compromising the downforce for straight-line speed, so we should be able to fight higher up the grid. We managed to get some points at Monaco, so I am hoping we can achieve something similar on this street circuit too.”

Pastor Maldonado: “The traction will be fundamental at Singapore, a really big factor. This is because the corners are generally slow and tight, so it means the way we exit them will be critical to ensure a good lap time. The 2014 spec cars will make it very interesting out there and I expect it to be very tricky, especially the first and third sectors. This is where a lot of time can be won or lost. It will be tough to regulate the torque and the traction out of the slow-speed corners. It will be a good challenge but a tough one lap after lap. It should look good for the spectators and TV viewers though. Marina Bay is a test, but this is the reason we love to be F1 drivers. There is something new and challenging every year for us to get to grips with, literally in this case!

“It should be better at Singapore for us and a step forward from Monza. At this stage of the season it is not going to be a massive step, but we expect better things for sure. We will do our very best to make sure that we find a good balance for Singapore because it is a very particular track with lots of different challenges. Of course the one big challenge is the race and most of the other running happens later in the day.

“Overall it is a very demanding track where you get no rest at all really. You are constantly turning or braking and there are only two short straights, not enough to really have a proper rest. But I like it this way because you get a rhythm going quickly. Physically it is tough because the humidity is so high and the race so long, much longer than Monza for instance.”