With the team back in the points in Monza, attention switches to the tight and twisty Marina Bay Street Circuit for the fifteenth race of the season. Chassis Technical Director Nick Chester aims to have more things to shout about with seven races to run in 2018.
What are the main characteristics of the Marina Bay Street Circuit?
It’s a relatively slow circuit with a lot of corners, which is good for us. It’s quite a tricky track for set-up where you try to setup the car to be stable on entry into corners but without too much understeer in the low-speed turns. It’s a technical track, but one which is much less power-sensitive than ones we’ve been to recently.
Our car is good in low-speed corners, so it should suit the package quite well. It’s a unique street circuit, comparable to something in between Monaco and Abu Dhabi.
What’s key to success in Singapore?
You need good mechanical grip and high-downforce, which helps for the twisty bits. Drag isn’t as important as we’ve seen at recent races, so you need good grip and strong traction to be competitive there.
How much of a factor is the weather?
It can be a big factor. When it’s hot and humid then cooling can be tricky. When it’s wet, it’s a different challenge even though our car goes quite well in the damp conditions. It’s a lot of hard work for the drivers when it’s humid. There are a lot of gear changes through the corners with the barriers to watch. Concentration has to be high.
What’s the post-Monza feeling?
It wasn’t a bad Grand Prix in the end. We improved the car over the weekend. We thought we would struggle with it being the biggest power-sensitive track of the year, but, actually, the car performed well. The car balance was good and we had a few new bits on the car, which worked as desired. We didn’t quite have the pace to get ahead of our rivals on track, but we were closer than expected and that bodes well when we travel to tracks which are twisty. In terms of upgrades, we have some new bargeboard and sidepod vane updates, which should be useful in Singapore.