Nico Hulkenberg has described the next round of the season in Singapore as “something quite special”, but he admits that racing in the heat and humidity of the city-state makes it one of the toughest races of the season.
Hulkenberg heads to Singapore off the back of a stunning drive for Sauber at the Italian Grand Prix, springing a surprise in qualifying to start third on the grid for Sunday’s race. He dropped back to fifth at the start but managed to hold off the challenge from Nico Rosberg to maintain his position by the chequered flag.
Turning his attention to the next round of the season, the German said: “The Singapore Grand Prix is one of the toughest races of the year, with the high temperatures, humidity and the race almost always reaching the two-hour mark. It’s a challenging circuit with a lot of corners. I particularly like sector one and the first bit of sector two.
He added: “Because it’s a night race, we stay on European time for the whole weekend, so it’s important to get into the right rhythm with your sleep from the beginning. Being in the paddock when it’s dark is something quite special. It’s the only total night race on the calendar and racing in a mega city like Singapore is unique.”
Team-mate Esteban Gutierrez is eager to get his first Formula 1 night race under his belt. However, he isn’t a rookie to the track after tackling the challenging street circuit in GP2 12 months ago.
Speaking about the race ahead he said: “The Singapore Grand Prix is a unique event. The atmosphere and excitement is special, because it’s a night race, it’s right in the middle of the city and the crowd is great. Singapore is a tough circuit in terms of how it affects the driver physically.”
Discussing the circuit characteristics he added: “I like the track, it has a lot of corners and it’s quite long, which makes it fun. My favourite part used to be the Singapore Sling, a left-right-left combination, but that has been changed to a long medium-speed corner for this year.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic