F1 Power Rankings: Singapore Grand Prix

We’ve reached that point in the season where Sebastian Vettel has a ludicrous lead in the World Drivers’ Championship and we hope that something happens to make things a bit more interesting when I wake up early Sunday morning to watch the races. Vettel has a two race lead with seven races to go. Unfortunately for the field, we’re getting into a series of tracks that Vettel excels at. Well, it was a nice championship battle while we had it.

#1 Sebastian Vettel (Last Race #1)

#2 Fernando Alonso (LR #2)

#3 Lewis Hamilton (LR #3)
Old Louise Hamilton wants to remind you that just because this is a night race, it doesn’t mean that their schedule changes at all from what they use in Europe: “I have always really enjoyed the Singapore Grand Prix weekend and the unique ‘night’ timetable that we have to follow there. It certainly makes a change from the usual race weekend and it’s actually very easy to do if you plan your sleeping and eating patterns well.”

#4 Mark Webber (LR #5)

f1-kimi-raikkonen-helmet-2013#5 Kimi Raikkonen (LR #4)
The Iceman loves dealing with the media. On the subject of the recent announcement that he’s moving to Ferrari, Kimi had this to say: “Hopefully it means I won’t be asked so much where I’m driving next year, but maybe it means more questions. For my racing this season it doesn’t make any difference. I’ll keep pushing at every race to get the best result I can.”

#6 Felipe Massa (LR #8)
Well, if Fernando decided to leave Ferrari because he doesn’t want to team with Kimi, I don’t think they’ll keep Felipe after he had this to say about helping Alonso with the WDC chase: “I will not race for Alonso from now on. Right from Friday I’ll be working for myself. I will attack all the time, every lap. It’s come the time to look after myself.”

#7 Nico Rosberg (LR #6)
Oh, woe is Keke’s kid. It’s such a long race: ” For the drivers, it is one of the toughest races from a physical perspective as there are so many corners and no long straights where you can relax. It’s also a very long race which runs close to the two-hour time limit.”

f1-romain-grosjean-helmet-2013#8 Romain Grosjean (LR #7)
Grosjean thinks the track will play to the team’s strengths: “It’s a very high downforce track and that seems to suit us best as we saw in Budapest. In terms of the tyres I think we should be looking good too. Certainly, we should be able to perform stronger than at the last two races which haven’t always suited our car.”

f1-jenson-button-helmet-2013#9 Jenson Button (LR #9)
Jenson Button: Formula One driver and ticket salesman: “I remember the first time we raced at Singapore; it seemed incredible to think that we could hold a Formula 1 race at night. I must say, the thrill and novelty of racing through spotlit streets is just as intense for me today as it was when we first raced there – it’s a unique spectacle, and one that I think is brilliant for F1. In fact, the Singapore Grand Prix is one of the wonders of modern sport.”

#10 Daniel Ricciardo (LR #13)

#11 Adrian Sutil (LR #11)
Unlike ex-mate Hamilton, Sutil goes into a bit more detail about the odd schedule at Singapore: “In Singapore the night becomes your day and I’ve never had a problem coping with the schedule. Every year you learn more about the best technique for sleeping during the day. As for the track, you almost forget you are driving at night because the lights are so bright and clear. The visibility is perfect.”

f1-nico-hulkenberg-helmet-2013#12 Nico Hulkenberg (LR #14)
What is it about The Hulk’s PR quotes that make want to fall asleep every weekend? ” It’s the only total night race on the calendar and racing in a mega city like Singapore is unique. It’s a huge hub in many respects, financially and also with the airport being such a vital link between Asia and the rest of the world. To have a track like that is pretty spectacular. A mega event this large needs a lot of logistics, effort from the organisers and everybody involved to make this happen”

f1-sergio-perez-helmet-2013#13 Sergio Perez (LR #10)
Checo hinted that McLaren might be compromising its 2014 by still working on 2013 upgrades: “Obviously, the fight at the sharp end of the championship means that the top three or four teams are still pushing hard to develop their current cars, whereas some of the others are looking more towards 2014. That means that it’s getting slightly harder to score good points in the remaining races. However, we’ve still got developments coming through – most with an eye to next year – and I hope that we can maximise our package for one of the toughest races of the year”

#14 Jean-Eric Vergne (LR #15)

#15 Paul di Resta (LR #12)
Dario’s cousin thinks tyres and other team’s development is to blame for his recent poor form: “There’s no doubt that the tyre change had an impact on things. Plus, a lot of the teams have caught up with us for whatever reason, whether it’s updates or the nature of the tracks. All we can do is keep working away to try and find some more performance.”

f1-esteban-gutierrez-helmet-2013#16 Esteban Gutierrez (LR #16)
If Sauber can’t score a point with Steve, how can they dream of scoring with that Russian kid? ” Singapore is a tough circuit in terms of how it affects the driver physically. The humidity is very high, so there is less oxygen in the air, and that’s challenging. However, I’m quite used to racing in hot conditions, especially at the beginning of my career competing in Mexico at 45 degrees, but the difference in Singapore is the humidity. It impacts on concentration, so that means preparation is very important.”

#17 Pastor Maldonado (LR #17)
Pastor is worried about managing his car in this race. He won’t have to worry too much. He won’t be going fast enough to need much fuel or have to manage his brakes: “Singapore is quite unusual for a street race because it’s hot and humid with high speeds, heavy braking areas and lots of corners, all of which test the tyres in terms of traction and braking because it’s a long race and the cars carry a very heavy fuel load. That puts a lot of energy through the tyres at the start of the race, so it’s vital to manage the first stint well.”

#18 Valtteri Bottas (LR #18)
Val talks about prep work for a brand new track: “I’ve never driven at Singapore in a lower category and it was one of the tracks that I didn’t drive in Friday practice last year for Williams so this will be a new challenge that I’m really looking forward to. I will be doing a lot of simulator work ahead of the Grand Prix to get used to the layout because it has a lot of corners that come in quick succession. I’m normally quite fast at learning new tracks though and showed in Montreal this year that I can quickly get up to speed.”

#19 Charles Pic (LR #20)
Chuckie’s going to spend more time courting sponsors than driving this weekend: “One thing I know for sure is it’s going to be busy! Tony Fernandes is going to be in town and we have lots of sponsor and team partner activities taking place on and off track, so one of the challenges throughout the week is finding the time to step back from everything going on around us and focus on the main priority which is having as strong a weekend as we can on track.”

#20 Geido van der Garde (LR #19)
I don’t think Gary can win here but he has been showing potential lately: “I have really happy memories of Singapore as the last time I crossed the finish line there in 2012 I won the GP2 sprint race and finished Caterham Racing’s season on a real high. That was all part of my preparation for F1 and with that experience of the Singapore circuit under my belt I’m really excited about getting back out there in an F1 car!”

#21 Jules Bianchi (LR #21)
I assumed Caterham had passed Marussia for 10th in the WCC but apparently they’re still clinging onto the last money position for dear life: “The next part of the season is going to be quite a challenge for everyone, but the Team is pushing so hard to maintain 10th place in the Championship and I really hope that is going to be possible for us.”

f1-max-chilton-helmet-2013#22 Max Chilton (LR #22)
Max the Axe says the word of the weekend is momentum: “We’ve done a lot of work behind the scenes to try to optimise our current package and for my part I’m quite pleased with how my pace is really building, so my first objective for Singapore is to maintain that momentum.”

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