Kevin Magnussen Q&A: Singapore Grand PrixSeptember 16, 2019
Singapore is one of only three night races on the Formula One schedule, but it’s also the original night race. Do you like competing at night?
“I think it’s pretty cool racing at night. The light makes the cars look shinier, brighter. It looks cool on the television. From the cockpit though, it doesn’t seem that different. The track is actually more lit up than a day race because there’s no shadows.”
Singapore’s layout forces drivers to run close to the track’s walls for the majority of a lap. While the margin for error is always low in Formula One, is it even lower at Marina Bay Street Circuit?
“I think, generally, the margin for error is lower at any street circuit. I personally love street circuits. I’d welcome a lot more street circuits on the calendar. I think they’re more exciting and more challenging, as well, because the margin for error is smaller.”
There are 23 turns at Marina Bay Street Circuit, the most of any Formula One venue. Which ones are the most treacherous and why?
“There’s no one corner that could be described that way. I’d say turns 12 and 13 are difficult. You have to brake and turn at the same time for turn 12. You turn in and then you have to go on power, and you need to be really precise on the throttle on the exit of turn 13 to get as much traction as you can without hitting the wall.”
Between the bumpy track surface and the heat, how physically taxing is the Singapore Grand Prix and what do you do to prepare for it?
“It’s really a physical race for a few different reasons. One, it’s really hot. Two, you don’t ever really get any rest on the lap. You’re constantly working the steering wheel. There’s not a lot of straight line on the track. Three, because the average speed of a lap is so low, the race usually goes to the two-hour time limit. It’s the most physically demanding race of the year. As for preparation, I just do my normal thing with my fitness training.”
In addition to its physicality, is the Singapore Grand Prix mentally exhausting because of the close proximity of the walls, its multitude of turns and high safety-car frequency?
“It is mentally exhausting. You need to be fully focused the whole time – maybe even more than a normal race – because you’re constantly in a corner around the lap. Just with it being more physically demanding, it’s more mentally demanding. They go hand-in-hand. It’s a tough race, for sure.”