Preparing for the Singapore GP: An unusual challenge

SingaporeFormula One drivers are making slightly unusual preparations ahead of F1’s first ever night race this weekend in Singapore.

Qualifying for the race takes places at 10pm Sunday, whilst the race on Sunday will start at 8pm, much later than the afternoon starts the drivers are accustomed to. This means that drivers will basically remain on European time rather than getting used to Singapore’s local time.

“Singapore is going to be a unique challenge for every member of the team,” McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton explained to the Straits Times. “Our doctor has prepared a very precise schedule for the drivers to stick to because all the sessions are so later in the day.

“Essentially we must not acclimatise to the local time which is different to how we normally operate.

“Our training programmes ensure that over a race weekend we are at peak performance during the afternoons and, as a result, we are going to be staying in European time so this doesn’t get disrupted.”

So what exactly does this regime consist of? For Hamilton, he will be rising early-afternoon for breakfast, dinner will be at 1 in the morning, and bed-time will be around 3am. Team-mate Kovalainen added that the hotel room windows will be blacked out to allow the drivers to sleep late in the day without being disturbed too much by the sunlight.

Red Bull driver David Coulthard has a slightly different regime. “I am staying up late at night; I am going out to nightclubs; And I’m eating a lot of carrots because thy apparently help you to see in the dark!

“Inevitably, ensuring all the team personnel have the opportunity to get enough sleep will be the main challenge over the course of the weekend,” Coulthard continued, pointing out that it isn’t just the drivers that will have a challenging weekend. “For example the mechanics won’t be going to bed until 4 5am because e finish running late in the evening and there is a programme of work to complete prior to the next day.

“The reality is that it will be hard work for the mechanics, engineers, support crew, marketing operations and we will take measures to support this. But I don’t believe it will have a massive impact on the cars and the drivers.”