McLaren technical director Tim Goss has revealed "a quirky little technical problem" which affects cars during the Singapore Grand Prix.
The race takes place at night on the Marina Bay circuit around the streets of Singapore, with the whole track floodlit. Looking ahead to the race weekend, Goss says there is one unusual problem which only occurs in Singapore but can damage the cars if the right precautions are not put in place.
“Singapore has a quirky little technical problem that’s specific to the Marina Bay Street Circuit," Goss said. "Near the Anderson Bridge the cars pass over something underground – we’ve never ascertained what it is – that creates electrical interference on the cars. Sensors start showing some strange readings and the actuators that control the throttle position and the clutch start moving and are no longer under the control of the driver.
“It lasts for a very short period of time, but the worrying thing is that if we get that little burst of electrical interference just as the car is making a gear change, it can upset the delicate timing of the throttle, the clutch and the gear change barrel. It can actually upset the shift and cause a gear to break.
“The first time we went to Singapore it was quite a serious problem because we’d never experienced it before, but we now know what countermeasures to take, such as electrical shielding on the car and a few other software changes.”