Renault: 2008 Singapore Grand Prix preview 

Written by David on September 22nd, 2008 at 3:35 pmLast Update: September 22nd, 2008 at 3:35 pm

ING RenaultQ. Nelson, you had a great fight through the pack in Monza, but finished outside the points. What do you take from this race, which was difficult for all the drivers? Nelson Piquet: “I made good progress in the race and I had good pace, especially considering the fuel load that I started the race with, and so I’m happy about that. But I finished outside the points, which is disappointing especially when the battle for fourth place in the constructors’ championship is so close. Once again, my race was decided after qualifying and I’m determined to improve on that this weekend in Singapore.”

Q. It’s a new circuit, and we will see the first ever night race. Are you worried about that or looking forward to the challenge? Nelson Piquet: “I’m definitely looking forward to it. I have had to learn lots of circuits this year so it’s not something that worries me, and like Valencia the track in Singapore will be a new challenge for all the drivers and won’t be such a disadvantage for a rookie. I’m not worried about driving at night as I know that the organisers have made great efforts to ensure the level of visibility will be as good as if we were racing in the day. So I’m really eager to see what it’s like when we get there and see Singapore in race configuration.”

Q. Have you prepared for this race in a special way? Nelson Piquet: “I have done some planning with my physiotherapist to make sure that my body clock does not adjust to Singapore time. So I will have clearly defined hours of sleep, some techniques aimed at reducing the impact of daylight on my body, and a different meal regime with a large breakfast followed by several light meals. These are some of the things that I will be doing to be in the best shape possible.”

Q. What are your aims for this race? Nelson Piquet: “Considering that we haven’t driven the track, it’s difficult for me to say if it’s a track that is likely to suit me. So to say what I can aim for is difficult. However, I certainly want to have a better qualifying session because I know this is essential for having a successful Grand Prix, especially on a street circuit.”

Q. Fernando, in Monza you finished fourth once again and scored five important points for the team’s battle in the constructors’ championship. Were you happy with that? Fernando Alonso: “Yes, it was a great race in difficult conditions and we managed to pull off a surprise. It was far from expected because we knew that Monza would be the most difficult race of the year for us. We came away with five points and closed the gap on Toyota so it’s a positive result. It’s a little frustrating to just miss out on a podium once again, but we still have four races left to go.”

Q. Singapore is a new circuit and the first ever night race. Are you looking forward to it? Fernando Alonso: “Definitely, but I’m curious to see what it’s like when we get there; what the circuit layout is like; what the level of lighting will be and the visibility. It’s a very unusual weekend from a sporting perspective and also in terms of the management of the Grand Prix weekend and I’m really curious to see what it will be like.”

Q. How are you approaching this race? Fernando Alonso: “In terms of physical preparation, I have to admit that I have done nothing special for this race. I have prepared just as I would for any other race. On the other hand, I have worked with my physiotherapist and other members of the team to decide the best way to manage the race weekend, especially in terms of sleep. In the end I’ve decided not to adjust to the local time zone and to remain on a European schedule, which will be best for my energy levels. Getting this right is an important element for the race, both for the drivers and members of the team.”

Q. In the final two European races we saw the rain help make some exciting races. Do you think the fact that the Grand Prix will take place at night will also make the race more interesting? Fernando Alonso: “From the spectators’ point of view it certainly will and that is why we are having a night race. In terms of the drivers, we will have to see what the conditions are like when we get there. We have not been able to practice in these conditions and there will certainly be a lot of adapting to do. I’m not convinced that it will be the future of motor racing, but I am still curious to see what it’s like. From a technical standpoint, our programme will be very similar to that which we would normally run on a new circuit, but in many other ways the Singapore Grand Prix is a real unknown and an interesting challenge for all the teams.”

source: ING Renault

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