We’re back on the flyaways after completing the 2018 European tour of the Formula 1 calendar with the season entering its final third. We’re not sure how we’ve done fourteen races already, as we could have sworn it was only last week that we were testing at a snow-filled Barcelona. Strange that.
We’re now jetting off to Asia for the Singapore Grand Prix…an equally strange but enjoyable race weekend. Emphasis on strange.
It’s strange in the sense where everything, quite simply, goes out of the window. Body clock, what body clock? We work on European time for this one, which is interesting. Breakfast at 3pm, dinner at 2am, it’s just like being on holiday with your mates (back in the day) in a [enter budget party holiday resort here], where nothing really matters. Who knows what time of day it is, and who really cares anyway!?
We become nocturnal beasts and work long into the night. Bed time is 6am, when it’s light. Bribing the hotel staff not to hoover at silly o’clock (also known as a normally respectable 9am), is a must for the Singapore survival kit. Covering the hotel windows with towels, is also essential. Blacked-out curtains are not that common unfortunately.
It’s a known fact that Singapore is hot and very, very humid. Suitcases are packed to the brim, as everything is doubled. If we take four race shirts for a standard weekend, then it’s eight for Singapore. Five pairs of socks, becomes ten. Two cans of deodorant becomes four. Three centilitres of gin in a Singapore Sling, becomes six centilitres. Simple, but crucial maths.
It’s a physically tough weekend. It’s also pretty hard work for the drivers apparently. They have a hard time at the wheel with the climate, and the frequent corner combinations and gear changes. You’ll see them wearing their ice-pack vests throughout the weekend, which reminds us, where can we get hold of one?
At Renault HQ, we’ve decided to trial a new mode of transport in Singapore… fold-up kick scooters. You’ll see us whizzing around the place like little kids, so please give us a wave if you do. Just don’t expect a wave back, or else you’ll have to pick us up off the floor after we’ve somersaulted head-over-heel trying to please.
The Marina Bay Street Circuit is a good Grand Prix track, and has been finely tuned and tweaked over the years. Last season’s race produced the best drama since the Red Wedding in Game of Thrones: two red cars getting all too cosy with a flying Dutchman at turn one in the wet conditions. Drama everywhere.
The 2018 edition is a special one for our two drivers. Carlos returns to the place of his best-ever Formula 1 finish, fourth last year, for his 75th Grand Prix start. And Nico is about to surpass the 150-mark for race starts in Formula 1. That can only mean one thing, now that we’ve mentioned it in this blog: cake all round! It would be rude not to really.
Singapore is a stunning place with an abundance of things to do and see. The skyscrapers can’t really be missed, especially in the evening when everything bursts into life and the place lights up. The Gardens by the Bay is like being in a scene from Avatar, and, if you are indeed a film fan, then Universal Studios has a park there to visit. If you enjoy heights, the Singapore Flyer is the thing for you and stands 165 metres in the air, making it the world’s largest observation wheel. The alternative is the Marina Bay Sands rooftop bar, 57 storeys up. We’ll raise a glass to that.
Whatever you get to do and see in Singapore, remember our Singapore survival guide. Double everything, pack extra deodorant and take the batteries out of the body clock. There’s no real need for it.