Since Singapore first hosted its first Formula One race back in 2008, the race has gained almost an iconic status amongst the F1 calendar. It’s a night race in a stunning downtown location in a major world city. It requires a significant step-up for drivers with two hours racing with high heat and humidity. It’s Liam Lawson’s third Grand Prix with AlphaTauri, filling in for an injured Daniel Ricciardo. It is his third test as a rookie driver with each GP so far having its own set of challenges. Singapore is no different.
“I know this is a very tough race physically, and when you get thrown into F1 in this situation, even with all the training in the world, it’s still such a tough adjustment,” commented Lawson.
“It’s going to be extremely difficult, but we’ve been training for it and doing everything we can to prepare for that. Last year, I experienced the night-time routine. It’s cool, to be honest, to go through a weekend like that. It’s a bit different to normal.
“Obviously, the biggest adjustment will be getting used to the track, as I’ve only driven it on the sim, and street circuits are probably the hardest to replicate. They take confidence, and when you’re new to the track, or even my situation being new to Formula 1, having that confidence early in the weekend is pretty tricky.
“I’ll be aiming to build up as many laps as we can, a bit like Monza, to be honest. That was the target there, and it will be a similar sort of thing. Generally, I like street circuits, for example, I absolutely love Monaco, so I’m expecting to enjoy Singapore too.”
LAwson made his F1 debut at the Dutch Grand Prix in Zandvoort before tackling the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.
“I definitely felt more comfortable in Monza than in Zandvoort, even if there’s still a lot to learn. When you get more comfortable in these kinds of cars, it can make quite a big difference.
“Having done two races now, I’m also getting a better understanding of the difference between the tyre compounds, which is so important.
“I’d say Monza was pretty successful, even if it was disappointing to finish so close to the points. I think if I had had a better start, perhaps things could have been different, but it’s something that I will learn from, and I’m just excited moving forward.
Lawson understands what is ahead of him this weekend in Singapore.
“I was in Singapore last year as a reserve driver. When I was a kid, it was my favourite circuit. I think because it was a night race and just looked really cool. I used to play it on the Formula 1 games all the time.
“My dad actually used to promise me every year that he would take me to the Singapore Grand Prix, and in the end, we never went, but he’s going to be coming to the Grand Prix this weekend, so actually I’m taking him!