With a new, but familiar, driver on board and a significant aerodynamic update to the car, the team heads to the spectacular night race in Singapore. Kamui Kobayashi is especially looking forward to going to Asia, while Nick Heidfeld has been starved of racing recently so just wants to get back behind the wheel.
The race at the atmospheric Marina Bay Circuit, 24th to 26th of September, marks the starting gate for the last five races of the season for which Formula One leaves Europe for 2010.
Kamui Kobayashi: “I have never raced in Singapore, but I know the track from the simulator. The last two years I attended the Grand Prix as a reserve driver for Toyota, so I had a look around Singapore and the track. It is quite a long track for one in a city. The atmosphere at that race is just great. I’m sure for spectators this is one of the best events on the calendar. I have only driven in a night race once, and this was in Qatar in February 2009 in GP2. I finished fourth but what I remember most is a terrible sandstorm! I believe in terms of performance we should be able to do better in Singapore than in Monza. I must admit I would really like to have a good result in my pocket when we head to my home grand prix in Suzuka. It is exciting to get a new team mate during the season and I’m curious about working with Nick.”
Nick Heidfeld: “I can’t wait to get back in the race car. I’m not just very much looking forward to going racing again, as I regard it as a special bonus that my first race will be the Singapore Grand Prix. Two years ago this race immediately became one of my favourites. Even for a city circuit it is quite demanding. It will be interesting to see how the situation with the bumps has developed. In this regard, the track got worse from 2008 to 2009 and it was said this would be sorted out. The atmosphere at this night race is simply massive. Of course I can hardly imagine how the circuit will suit the car as I haven’t driven it yet, but according to everything I saw and from what I have heard, the performance should be better in Singapore compared to Monza. Another positive thing is we found out I probably can use my seat from last year. This does not only save a lot of work, but it also gives me a good feeling because it was a very good seat and normally you have to do a lot of fine tuning until it fits that well. I’m also very much looking forward to really getting to know James Key and my team mate, Kamui, and working with both of them.”
Technical Director James Key: “Singapore is the start of the last five races of the season, which are all flyaways. It’s a tricky, technical circuit, one that is traditionally quite bumpy, so mechanical grip and mechanical set-up are important. It’s probably the street circuit which is closest to Monaco in terms of the nature of the corners and the extreme high downforce levels. Of course, it’s a night race and unique in that respect. It’s a case of using the car the best way possible on Friday to get the right set-up for the circuit’s conditions, and trying to ensure we have a good understanding of the tyres. The other important thing is that it’s a track where it’s quite tricky to overtake, so we are going to have to concentrate specifically on the qualifying performance. For the car we have quite a large aerodynamic update with a new front wing, a new diffuser and various other parts around the car. We hope the new package works as planned and then we shall see how we go.”