McLaren preview the Singapore GP

Date published: September 12 2016

McLaren pair Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button have their say on the upcoming Singapore Grand Prix.

Jenson Button: "The Marina Bay circuit is a challenge unlike any other that we face during the season – even when you compare it to the other street races on the calendar. It’s twisty, extremely fast, the barriers are high and close, and the bumpy surface is unforgiving, which sometimes means losing grip is something you can’t get away with, without seeing flying debris all over the track and the possibility of a safety car. That’s part of what makes racing in Singapore so special, and its characteristics pose a tough test for even the strongest chassis and power unit. It’s gruelling for car and driver, but that’s what makes it all the more rewarding to drive. Singapore is a tough race, so you have to be at your absolute peak physical fitness to not find it a struggle, especially in the heat. It’s an incredible venue and there’s a really special feeling all weekend. Knowing you’re working on European time while the rest of Singapore is running on local time makes it really unique – like racing in a parallel universe! Racing under floodlights never gets boring, and I hope I can have a weekend with less drama than at Monza.”

Fernando Alonso: "We knew Spa and Monza would be among the two most difficult races on the calendar for us. Now we move to the end-of-season flyaways and we’re optimistic that we can continue pushing for more points and more positive results. Singapore is a really fun track, very bumpy and challenging, but it’s a quirky layout with a lot of stop-start sections and really fast straights, so you need a car that works well in high downforce set-up and has good traction out of the slower corners. I’ve won there twice before, and the floodlights and energetic fans give it a really exciting atmosphere. Singapore is a great race – it’s always an enjoyable weekend and definitely one of the halo races on the calendar each year. It’s a really long race – usually almost two hours – so a lot can happen. It’s tough on the cars too, especially with the current that runs underneath the asphalt near the Anderson Bridge towards Turn 13, which can play tricks on the electronics systems. It’s definitely a race of attrition, so I hope we can have a smooth weekend with good reliability, and work our way towards the front. Over the past few races, we’ve shown good consistency in our performances, so I’m optimistic that we can continue this form in Singapore."