2011, September 16

Singapore Grand Prix Preview

After his first corner disappointment in Italy, Vitaly tells us he is ready for some nocturnal driving in Singapore

Lady luck seemed to desert you in Italy – what’s your take on the race?
Throughout the weekend the team made a good step forward. We improved on the set-up of the car, and of course our P7 and P10 qualifying positions were great news; there was a very buoyant team spirit after that! Then, for the race it was just a case of bad luck, but that’s sport. I think Vitantonio (Liuzzi) understands where he went wrong and we’ve now drawn a line under it and taken a positive step forward from that weekend. There’s no doubt the mood within the camp is high.

Next stop Singapore – is that a special race for you ?
Singapore is a little different because you are racing at night and sleeping during the day, so you need to change your schedule and be prepared to be a nocturnal racer! As a driver, you really need to spend more time outside, which is why I arrive on the Monday prior to the race weekend so I can adapt to the conditions.

Are you a fan of street circuits?
Yes, I am. I like tracks that require maximum concentration and where you cannot afford to make any mistakes. It goes without saying that it’s not an easy track ; the traction is very important, which is something that has plagued us in the past. However, we are confident of improving on this by ensuring a good set-up for qualifying. The track consists of 23 very demanding corners but I’m looking forward to returning there and trying to improve on my performance from last year.

What will be the key aspects for the car set-up?
First and foremost, we have to get to grips with the traction (excuse the pun!). The track is bumpy, the car jumps a lot and it is easy to lock the wheels, which we will need to try and avoid this year.

Have you gone through any special preparations to deal with the heat and humidity of this race ?
I don’t think you can easily prepare for this race. The conditions will be the same as we faced in Malaysia, and we can’t simulate these weather conditions back in England! I like the fact that we will be working at night and sleeping during the day ; I actually think that in adopting this pattern I will be able to sleep more! The best way to prepare is to arrive in Singapore as early as possible to acclimatise oneself. It will be the same for everyone so I don’t fear this race, not at all.