Caterham drivers prepared for Singapore heat

1 Comment

Caterham drivers Giedo van der Garde and Charles Pic have both spoken about their preparation for the upcoming Singapore Grand Prix, which will take place next weekend.

The race, held at Marina Bay, is the only event on the F1 calendar that starts and finishes in darkness, making it a unique grand prix for fans of the sport and also the drivers, teams and all personnel involved in the sport. Being a night race, they are required to remain on European time throughout the weekend and judge their sleeping patterns to negate jet lag. However, the heat is one of the biggest problems, but Charles Pic is confident of acclimatizing quickly.

“We start preparing for races like Singapore way back in winter with the hours put in training, and then fine tuning the physical and mental preparation in the week leading up to the race,” Pic said in the team’s GP preview. “I’ll arrive earlier than I would for a European race so I can start acclimatizing to the heat, and my fluid intake over the week will increase each day to the point where I’ll take on up to five or six litres of liquid before the race starts.

“That’s one of the keys to performing to the maximum – being properly hydrated means you can focus 100% in the car, and that’s vital around a circuit as technical as Singapore.”

Giedo van der Garde is confident that the team can continue its impressive run of form in Singapore, with the circuit suiting the CT-03 car.

“I think this could be one of the circuits that suits us, a bit like Monaco,” the Dutchman said. “You need to have the confidence to be able to push around what are usually normal city streets, and I think we showed in Monaco that that sort of challenge is exactly what we like!”

The drivers will also be present for the launch of Caterham’s new ultra-high performance roadcar on Friday in Singapore.

F1 2017 driver review: Esteban Ocon

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Esteban Ocon

Team: Sahara Force India
Car No.: 31
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Best Finish: P5 (Spain, Mexico)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 87
Championship Position: 8th

A shining star in Mercedes’ junior programme, Esteban Ocon vaulted fellow youngster Pascal Wehrlein in the pecking order to secure a seat at Force India for 2017 – and boy, did he live up to the hype.

Ocon arrived at Force India with half a season of racing under his belt after his outings with Manor late in 2016, but wasted little time in settling in, scoring points on debut in Australia after winning a thrilling three-way fight with Nico Hulkenberg and Fernando Alonso.

The Frenchman spent much of the year close to teammate Sergio Perez – even if things did get a little too close in Canada, Baku and, finally, Spa, prompting the team to introduce team orders – and impressed the entire paddock with his displays.

While no podium was forthcoming, Ocon was often leading the midfield fight, enjoying three straight finishes ahead of Perez from Japan to Mexico. Given how well Perez is rated on-track in the paddock, to have convincingly beaten him in such fashion did a lot for Ocon’s reputation.

The term ‘Oconsistency’ also came into F1’s dictionary as he set a new record for consecutive finishes from his first race, with his retirement in Brazil ending the streak at 27 grands prix. It was also his first retirement in a single-seater race since the 2014 Macau Grand Prix.

The highlight moment arguably came at Monza, though, when Ocon stuck his Force India third on the grid through torrential rain in qualifying. While he would drop to P6 at the checkered flag, the display nevertheless cemented his place as one of F1’s rising stars.

Mercedes rates Ocon very highly, and with Valtteri Bottas’ future beyond 2018 already being questioned by the paddock, a good season could see the youngster move on up to the top table of F1 for 2019. His progression in the next 12 months will be fascinating to keep track of.

Season High: Lining up P3 on the grid at Monza after a rainy qualifying.

Season Low: Clashing with Perez in Baku, costing Force India a possible podium.