Nico Hulkenberg relishes Marina Bay challenge


Singapore is one of Nico Hulkenberg's favourite venues, but for all his pleasure of racing around the demanding Marina Bay street circuit, the German has never finished better than ninth.

The Force India driver will be looking to improve therefore on his personal stats under the spotlights on Sunday as well as reduce the current 16-point gap which separates him from team mate Sergio Perez in the championship standings.

"Singapore has really become one of the highlights of the season, next to Monaco and perhaps Baku," admits Hulkenberg.

"It’s a street circuit; it’s a night race and it’s in a city which is one of the hubs of the world. The track is spectacular and you drive next to an amazing backdrop - definitely one of the best races you could have on the calendar."

In addition to the layout itself and the visual specifics linked with racing under the flood lights in Singapore, the hot and humid environment also provides drivers with important physical demands.

"The track is very challenging. It’s a very long lap, with many corners and that in itself is an added difficulty when you try to strike a balance for the set-up with the engineers: it’s never-ending!

"From a driving point of view, it makes it really hard to get all the sectors together and deliver the perfect lap. It’s also very hot and humid - you’re in the car for pretty much two hours in steaming hot conditions… it definitely tests you.

“There are some nice corners, such as the fast right-hand kink of Turn 6 and the approach to Turn 7. The first sector is my favourite part of the lap - there are bumps and big kerbs, so you need a car that can take them nicely, and you need good traction out of the low and medium-speed corners to get a quick lap."

Unfortunately, while the lively and vibrant city has much to offer to anyone passing by, the scheduling constraints and workload imposed on an F1 driver leaves little time for sight-seeing.

"I’ve never had a chance to explore Singapore, partly because of the schedule, but also because Marina Bay is quite far from the heart of the city.

"Once the race weekend kicks off, it’s difficult to move around the town because many roads are closed so we usually end up not seeing too much of the place.

"It seems a fun city, though - Asian but with a European vibe."

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