Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz has quipped that the physicality of the Singapore Grand Prix is a walk in the park for him.
Singapore became the first-ever night race in Formula 1 history when it was introduced in 2008, with the inaugural grand prix being won, somewhat controversially, by Fernando Alonso.
Sir Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Nico Rosberg have since been crowned winners at the Marina Bay Street Circuit, in races that often stretch to two hours.
Lap times in the race go all the way to the 1 minute 40s, and this is because the average speed of the track is relatively low compared with other venues.
The race distance is not determined by how long it takes to finish the lap, but rather how long the track is.
A distance of 300 kilometres is covered over a full grand prix, and the unique track in Singapore is around five kilometres in length, which is not too distinct from many other F1 racetracks.
61 laps are therefore held in Singapore, which is why the race tends to take so much longer to complete than many other races on the calendar.
A time limit of two hours, including race suspensions, was implemented after the chaotic 2011 Canadian Grand Prix, and three races in Singapore have ended before the 61-lap mark.
During those two hours, the drivers are subjected to sweltering heat and extreme discomfort as they attempt to wrestle the cars around the circuit.
Now that the cars are heavier and stiffer, this task will become even more difficult this weekend.
With so many tricky corners, so many times over, for so long, it is also difficult for the racers to focus, so naturally, when they start training in the off season, Singapore is the race they are looking at.
If they can be fit for this race, they can complete just about any event on the calendar, so Sainz has been sure to come into round 17 fully prepared.
“Yeah it’s easy for me, doesn’t bother me,” he said in the press conference.
“Look at his physique…” joked Pierre Gasly, who was seated next to the Spaniard.
“But seriously, when I train in pre-season, I’m training for Singapore. Mentally it’s very challenging,” elaborated Sainz.
The 27-year-old, as well as George Russell, is on the verge of being mathematically eliminated from the title battle this weekend as Max Verstappen soars towards his second success in a row.