Hartley pulling out all the stops to be ready for Singapore

© XPB 

Brendon Hartley is sparing no effort to prepare for next weekend's Singapore Grand Prix, a circuit he's never raced at before.

It might be one of the last chances he will have to win over the Toro Rosso management for when they come to making their decision about the team's driver line-up for 2019.

With team mate Pierre Gasly promoted to the senior Red Bull squad next season, Hartley is battling to hold on to his own seat for a second full season. And Singapore might be where he can prove he's worth the shot.

"Historically, Toro Rosso has gone well here," he said. "While we knew the last two races would be tough, all of us at Toro Rosso see Singapore as a good opportunity to perform well.

"Last week I drove the track on the simulator," the Kiwi continued. "The track is accurately 3-D mapped so it was an opportunity to learn every bump and kerb.

"It allows me to get all my reference points and hit the ground running when practice starts on Friday," he said. "It's a perfect way to prepare as you get some visual markers and an idea of where you are going.

"From a team point of view, it means we can do a lot of set-up changes before even getting to the track, trying them out to see if the driver gets a good feeling from them in the car.

"It's not quite 100 per cent the same as actually driving the track itself," he admitted. "It's not as hot and you don't have the same forces going through the body.

"All the drivers I have spoken to tell me it's the most physical race on the calendar. Partly because it's a busy lap, but also because of the heat and humidity.

"Of course, I have done a lot of night racing throughout my career, at events like Le Mans. But with the floodlights it won't be very noticeable, unless it rains.

"Apart from that, I have also done some heat training by exercising with a few more layers on," he said. "I am feeling fit and healthy, which can give you an edge come Sunday night.

"I'm really looking forward to the weekend," he added.

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