Category Archives: Grand Prixview

F1Weekly podcast # 636

Singapore GP

Clark and Nasir cover the Italian Grand Prix, we give you the Peter Brazier report and Tech Talk with Tim!

and here’s some great information about the Singapore Grand Prix—


Almost 1700 headlights fed by 2000W lamps placed on a 7-km-long aluminium truss which is supported by 247 steel pylons, a 214-km-long electric cables system, 475 switchboards, a 57-km-long optical fibers system, 47 closed-circuit cameras for race monitoring placed in the operations centre. More than 530 loudspeakers arranged in all the areas attended by the audience, 500 radios for the communication between race commissioners and race professionals, 160 days of hard work and hundreds of men engaged.” These are only some of the numbers which allow the whole world to attend the Singaporean GP, which is the F.1 World Championship’s 13th event, come to its 6th edition. The Marina Bay street circuit was inaugurated in 2008 and hosted the F.1 World Championship’s first night race. The circuit is getting ready to switch on its reflectors again on September 21-22.

Who makes all this possible it’s the Italian company DZ Engineering, which is headquartered in Forlì. The company has the honor and the duty of shedding some lights on the Singapore’s darkness “It takes a six-month-assembly and dismantling work to arrange a three-day-event. In fact, it’s a fully off-taking lighting system”, explains the Project Manager Mr. Roberto Grilli, “It takes 100 days to install it. At mid-May we start to setup all the infrastructures inside which the track lighting system, the close-circuit cameras for on-track operations and the loudspeakers for sound diffusion, will be placed. We need to have all systems installed by the end of August, as it takes 10 days for them to be tested. It’s an extremely accurate check; every single piece has to be tested and checked. The rest of the pre-race period is dedicated to headlights pointing and all the other systems’ fine tuning. The dismantling begins the same night of the race and it takes about one month to dismantle the whole system. All materials have to be scrupulously inventoried after they are stored in a government’ s property area” continues Mr. Grilli the engineer “ It has to be considered that we have to work in the heart of a very dynamic city and on streets which are open to daily traffic. The track is closed to traffic on the Wednesday night of the race week, only some streets are opened every morning to let traffic stream towards main streets. Furthermore, there are also some private areas to which access is allowed only in certain periods. So we have to follow a well-structured time schedule which makes our work very long.”

Descrizione: cid:image008.jpg@01CEAE3E.61EE84F0 The DZ Engineering’s name is also linked to the design and installation of all devices related to on-track safety, which is guaranteed through a close-circuit cameras system and a sound and communication system. Our trip in the Singaporean GP’s backstage begins through Roberto Grilli’s words “The Singapore’s project gather the company’s many skills. Even if track lighting is the activity which gives us more visibility from a media point of view, on the occasion of this race event, we are also in charge of designing and installing other technological systems which are integrated in the infrastructures, such as the TVCC, Audio

and Radio communication systems. All the system is fed by twelve stations which are deployed along the circuit. Each station is equipped with two 500 kVA power units working at the same time. In case of malfunction of one of the two units, the second one is able to support the whole electric load, which is equal to 30-35%. The track lighting system is made available through 1565 headlights powered by a 2000 W lamp, while the three tunnels are fed by 179 headlights powered by a 400 W lamp.”

Galleries and paddocks are lighted by respectively 98 and 80 headlights.” Since this year, the DZ Engineering is in charge of carrying out the lighting system of the advertising panels which are affixed on the side facades of the pedestrian bridges which cross the circuit “Considering that the track lighting system is installed only on one side of the circuit, it is necessary to increase the visibility of the advertising banners which are on the opposite side. Some special headlights will be installed on the truss, so that the beam of light can be shaped. Doing that, we act only on the area which has to be lighted up, avoiding dazzling drivers, cameras and audience.”

Descrizione: cid:image009.jpg@01CEAE3E.61EE84F0

Thanks also to the know-how gained by the company for what concerning the carrying out of the lighting system of some of the main artistic and historical places such as the Roman remains in Pompei and Paestum, the Temples’ Valley in Agrigento, the Singapore National Art Gallery, the Otranto’s Cathedral, the S.Vitale’s Benedictine historical complex in Ravenna (just to mention a few), since this year, the DZ Engineering is in charge of carrying out the lighting system of the pit stop area, whose façade will be lighted up for the first time “The Singapore’s government announced a tender for the lighting of ten sites of historical and artistic interest, whose value has to be increased during shooting.” The Government, through the Formula 1’s mass media exposure aims at promoting the State-City of Singapore to the whole world. “Doing that, the visibility of the city’s most important monuments and touristic attractions will be increased, creating an added value for the paying audience and television-viewers. So, starting from this year, the Pit Building’s façade will look different thanks to our cooperation with two other Italian companies: Namaste and Proietta. What is it? You only have to watch the GP to discover that”, ends Roberto Grilli.

Now we only have to wait for Vettel and Alonso to challenge each other in the Singaporean night, after the Red Bull’s successful race on the Monza’s fast straights. Ferrari will have to make a great effort and the Marina Bay Street Circuit could represent the last chance for the Italian team to be a candidate for the 2013 World title, before focusing on the 2014 season. It was the Red Bull’s German driver who won the Championship last season. The blond racer will be a contender for the win also in Singapore, ahead of Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso.




FARFUS WINS AT Oschersleben and is Rockenfeller’s final challenger—

Oschersleben. The battle for the DTM crown is only a two-way affair. At the etropolis Motorsport Arena Oschersleben, Brazilian Augusto Farfus (BMW) wins the 400th race in history of the DTM from points’ leader Mike Rockenfeller and Jamie Green (both Audi). After errors by the opposition, this means that 30-year old Farfus is the only challenger to keep Rockenfeller from winning the 2013 title. Reigning DTM champion Bruno Spengler (BMW), Christian Vietoris and Robert Wickens (both Mercedes-Benz) all finished the race without scoring points and thus are no longer in contention for the title in the two remaining rounds of the season. In total, 70,500 spectators came to watch the race weekend in the Magdeburger Börde region.

Prior to the next round at Zandvoort on September 29th, Rockenfeller is leading with 124 points, clearly ahead of Farfus, who has 91 points. Even in case of another victory for the BMW driver at the circuit in the Dutch dunes, a second place would be enough for ’Rocky’ to become DTM champion for the first time. 

Farfus scored his second victory of the season after his success in the season opener at Hockenheim. “My great start was the key to success. I overtook Jamie Green right away and I was in front. The stops were perfect, too. I am overjoyed. We still have a mathematical chance of winning the title and that is what we will be fighting for,” the Brazilian said.

Rockenfeller was also happy with second place. “Today, Augusto was in a class of his own,” he said. “Of course, I want to win the DTM title, preferably already at Zandvoort. But when that doesn’t work out, I will be more than happy to wait until Hockenheim as well.” About the collision between his pursuers Spengler and Wickens on lap 38, after which both Canadians had to park their cars, the points’ leader said: “Everyone knows that you have to finish the race in order to score points.” 

Jamie Green having lost in the duel with Farfus after the start, he only had to let Rockenfeller past as well. Third place is the Brit’s best result since his transfer to Audi prior to the start of this season. “I had to wait for this result for a long time and I am very happy,” Green said. The team result of the brand from Ingolstadt was impressive: in total, eight Audis finished in the top ten at Oschersleben.

Gary Paffett was the best-placed Mercedes-Benz driver. The Brit started his 100th DTM race from twelfth place on the grid and moved up to finish sixth. “Actually, I am not that unhappy with the race. The opposition was strong, but not unbeatable. One could say that I lost my race in qualifying already,” the 2005 DTM champion said. For his fellow-Mercedes-Benz driver Christian Vietoris, championship hopes were reduced to a minimum after qualifying on Saturday as well. Vietoris started the race from 20th place and was classified 18th.

Dieter Gass, head of DTM, Audi: “That was the close team performance that we had hoped for: eight Audi RS 5 DTM in the points, that has never happened before. Of course, we would have liked to win this race as well, but the fact that Mike Rockenfeller made another big step in the championship is even more important. Now, he has a margin of 33 points and only one challenger. But there are still 50 points at stake. We will continue to work in a concentrated way to wrap up the title.”

Jens Marquardt, BMW Motorsport Director: “That was an absolutely great race. Augusto hasn’t made any mistakes and the pit stops were faultless, too. Today, Audi was very, very strong and still beating Rockenfeller will be more than difficult. But we will try.”

Wolfgang Schattling, head of DTM management, Mercedes-Benz:“Congratulations to BMW. Claiming victory here against such a strong Audi phalanx really deserves respect. Our performance, on the other hand, was weak, except for Gary Paffett with his sixth place. Now, we have to analyse qualifying and then be better prepared coming to Zandvoort and Hockenheim.”

Formula Renault 3.5

Nico Muller


Nico Muller (International Draco Racing) mastered a wet track at the Hungaroring on Saturday afternoon to take victory in the weekend’s first Formula Renault 3.5 Series race from Kevin Magnussen (DAMS) and Sergey Sirotkin (ISR). After starting from row eight on the grid, the Dane increased his championship lead over Stoffel Vandoorne (Fortec Motorsports), who finished two places behind him in fourth.

The day began with Andre Negrao (International Draco Racing) grabbing his first Formula Renault 3.5 Series pole of the season. In a stop-start session that was interrupted four times the Brazilian qualified ahead of Nico Muller, Mikhail Aleshin (Tech 1 Racing), Antonio Felix da Costa (Arden Caterham) and Will Stevens (P1 by Strakka Racing).

In response to the rain, which was falling with increasing intensity, the safety car came out for the start of the race and led the cars round until lap five. Nico Muller made an early but unsuccessful attempt to dive past Andre Negrao, while Sergey Sirotkin (ISR) jumped up to third when Mikhail Aleshin and Antonio Felix da Costa came together.

In challenging conditions there was much chopping and changing in the pack. One of the men to profit was Nico Muller, who cashed in on a mistake by his team-mate on lap ten to take the lead. The Swiss driver then pulled away, eventually taking the chequered flag by fully 26 seconds from Kevin Magnussen (DAMS), who produced a brilliant recovery drive from 16th on the grid.

Sergey Sirotkin completed the top three, with Stoffel Vandoorne finishing one place behind him after starting 11th. Mikhail Aleshin came home fifth ahead of Nigel Melker (Tech 1 Racing) and Carlos Sainz (Zeta Corse), another driver to pick his way through the field from well down the grid. Will Stevens, Arthur Pic (AV Formula) and Matias Laine (P1 by Strakka Racing) were the other drivers to finish in the points.

What they said

Nico Muller: “We’ve had a lot of ups and downs this season, with the high point obviously being my win in Monaco. I really couldn’t wait to win again, and it’s been a long time for me. It’s good to come back like this and climb up a few places in the championship. The track was more slippery than ever but the car went incredibly well. The challenge was to stay on the tarmac and not make a mistake. I did that and managed to build my lead. I’d love to go and do it again tomorrow.”

Kevin Magnussen: “It’s a good result. Our aim was to be on the podium and get the points that come with it. We should be pleased with the result today. We’re trying to work even harder. Even though I’m leading the championship, my rivals will be giving nothing away.”

Sergey Sirotkin: “It was a good race after what was a pretty long break. We haven’t had much success this season, what with missing out on podiums and big points, but I managed to get some here today. I’m delighted. Like Kevin said, we now need to work hard and make sure we finish the season in style.”

Provisional Formula Renault 3.5 Series standings: 1. K. Magnussen 181 points; 2. S. Vandoorne 148; 3. N. Melker 108; 4. W. Stevens 105; 5. N. Muller 102


RALLY AUSTRALIA – 12-15/09/2013 – DAY 2—

2013030861Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen consolidated their second position throughout day two of the rally. After Kris Meeke and Chris Patterson went off the road, all hopes of a good result for the Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team rest with the Finnish pair.

The second leg took the crews to the south of Coffs Harbour, on stages held on the gravel roads of New South Wales. The competitors kicked off the day by tackling the 50 kilometre-long Nambucca, the rally’s longest stage!

The first splits reflected the intensity of the battle between Mikko Hirvonen and Sébastien Ogier, who swapped the best virtual time on several occasions. The overall leader ended up having the final say, Mikko having eased off as they approached the end of the stage. “I was pushing really hard, but I had a bit of a scary moment on a hairpin. I came out of the corner too wide and the rear of the car wasn’t really on the road anymore. I had a lucky escape and eased off a bit at the end of the stage,” reported the Finnish driver. “There is still a long way to go, but I don’t think we can close the gap in normal racing conditions. I am going to maintain a good rhythm, without taking any major risks.”

Kris Meeke also consolidated his fourth position in the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT’s other DS3 WRC: “As requested by the team, I’m not trying to battle with Thierry Neuville. My aim is above all to make it to the end of the rally. On these very fast stages, I’m especially cautious. I feel good in the car and hope to continue to rack up more experience this afternoon.”

Unfortunately, the Northern Irishman’s good intentions didn’t prevent him from going off the road on SS13. The no.3 DS3 WRC rolled seven times down a steep hillside, leaving the Brit no option but to retire from the leg. “It’s quite simple. I made a mistake by braking a little bit too late. The car turned into the corner, but we ran wide and slipped off the road and down a steep bank into a field. We rolled several times, very slowly,” explained Kris on his return to the service park. “I’m terribly disappointed, for myself but especially for the team who had put their trust in me. I’m just very sorry.”

Citroën Racing’s mechanics will do everything they can to repair the car in time for the crew to rejoin the race tomorrow under Rally2 rules.

This unfortunate incident meant Mikko Hirvonen had to be a little more cautious in holding onto his second position. Forty seconds off the pace, winning the rally seems beyond Mikko unless the leader runs into trouble. “There’s not much to say about this afternoon’s loop. The second runs were very hard on the tyres and so I tried to look after them,” explained Mikko. “My aim for tomorrow will be to hold onto second place. Another podium finish would enable us to score some important points.”

Continuing their disciplined race, Khalid Al-Qassimi and Scott Martin moved up to ninth position following Kris Meeke’s retirement. “When I don’t feel confident, I find it hard to push,” admitted the Emirati. “Starting in first position on the road didn’t make my job any easier, especially on the first stage where there was a lot of loose dirt. I tried different driving styles and we have worked on the set-up. We’ll continue with the same approach tomorrow.”
















1 Ogier / Ingrassia VW Polo R WRC



2 Hirvonen / Lehtinen Citroën DS3 WRC



3 Neuville / Gilsoul Ford Fiesta RS WRC



4 Latvala / Anttila VW Polo R WRC



5 Mikkelsen / Nagle VW Polo R WRC



6 Østberg / Andersson Ford Fiesta RS WRC



7 Novikov / Minor Ford Fiesta RS WRC



8 Quinn / MacNeall Mini JCW WRC



9 Al Qassimi / Martin Citroën DS3 WRC



10 Al-Kuwari / Duffy Ford Fiesta RRC


















Mikko Hirvonen

Jarmo Lehtinen


Kris Meeke

Chris Patterson


Khalid Al Qassimi

Scott Martin




Overall standings




Overall standings




Overall standings


SS11: Nambucca 1 (49.90km)

2nd +5.3


2nd +25.3


5th +19.2


4th +57.8




10th +7:05.0


SS12: Valla 1 (14.84km)

2nd +2.3


2nd +27.6


5th +9.8


4th +1:07.6


12th +41.9


10th +7:46.9


SS13: Nambucca 2 (49.90km)

2nd +7.1


2nd +34.7




9th +1:53.8


10th +9:40.7


SS14: Valla 2 (14.84km)

6th +7.5


2nd +42.2




10th +28.1


9th +10:08.8


SS15: Coffs 5 (1.60km)

4th +1.7


2nd +43.9




14th +9.6


9th +10:18.4


SS16: Coffs 6 (1.60km)

5th +2.0


2nd +45.9




10th +4.6


9th +10:23.0





Day 1 – SS1: Mikkelsen – SS2 to SS9: Ogier – SS10: Latvala.

Day 2 – SS11 to SS16: Ogier.


Ogier, 14 fastest times – Latvala and Mikkelsen, 1 each.


SS1: Mikkelsen – SS2 to SS16: Ogier.

Formula 1

2012 Singapore Grand Prix - Thursday


Kimi Räikkönen: “Singapore should suit us better and I have unfinished business there…”

After a second consecutive race with no points to show for his efforts – despite a storming drive through the
Monza field – Kimi Räikkönen heads to Singapore pumped and ready for the challenge ahead
It’s now been announced where you will drive next year; how does that affect the rest of your

Hopefully it means I won’t be asked so much where I’m driving next year, but maybe it means more
questions. For my racing this season it doesn’t make any difference. I’ll keep pushing at every race to get
the best result I can.

Are you looking forward to the Singapore Grand Prix?

I really like going to Singapore. It’s a great place to be, I love the local food, and I don’t mind the unusual
times we run in the car as it means I don’t have to get up so early. I have some unfinished business after
my three Grands Prix there so far, as I enjoy the circuit but have not yet had a podium. That doesn’t mean
I’m not quick there as I’ve been told I still hold the lap record from 2008. I crashed while fighting for fifth
place that year, finished down in tenth in 2009, and took sixth last season, so I want more this time.

What difference does it make racing at night?

In the first years of the race being held I was a little bit surprised by how people were talking so much about
the different timing. Obviously when they switched on the lights it was exactly the same as racing in the day
time. I think everybody in Formula 1 enjoys the night race. It’s worked out really well as Singapore is a
buzzing city and lots of people turn up. Apart from one or two dark spots in the run-off areas the circuit is
very well lit, so there is not a big difference to racing in the day.

Regardless of being at night, it’s a street race; what effect does this have?

Monaco was not that good for us but there is no reason why Singapore should be difficult. Like at every
street circuit it’s very difficult to pass other cars there, so starting the race as high as possible on the grid is
very an important factor in getting a good result on Sunday.
How do you think the circuit will suit the E21?

Everybody will bring updates to this race so we’ll have to see what difference that makes. It’s a case of
trying to get the maximum from our package and working on achieving the best balance. If we get
everything right we should do okay.

Any worries about the weather?

We saw rain last year in Singapore and it’s no secret that our car sometimes struggles in wet conditions.
It’s something we’ll deal with if it happens, and as always the weather is the same for everyone.

Is it good to be back to a higher downforce layout?

After these two weekends with zero points it’s nice to get back to a circuit we expect to be more suited to
our car. We seem to go better at high downforce circuits that’s for sure. The car actually worked
surprisingly well at Monza during the race so it was a shame we lost so much time at the start. After getting
the new nose, our race pace was not too bad.

What’s your target in Singapore?

Obviously, the podium is a target again. We’ve had two races without scoring any points so we need to
score as many as we can in the remaining races this season.

How are you feeling about your Championship charge?

You don’t win Championships by not scoring points. We’ve had two races where we haven’t scored which
is not ideal. We’re here to race and score as many points as we can. Of course, that’s what everyone is
trying to do so we just have to keep pushing and hope that we have some pretty good races for the rest of
the year, then we’ll see where we end up in the standings

Romain Grosjean: “I love street races”

After a solid if unspectacular end to the European season, our man Romain is relishing the challenge of the
Marina Bay Street Circuit as he aims to get right back in the podium mix…

What are your thoughts heading to Singapore?

Singapore is a pretty fantastic place and the race is always a challenge. I love street races; there’s
something about racing in the middle of a city. We race at night which means it looks amazing for the fans,
but in the car there’s not so much of a difference for us as drivers as the lights make it seem like it’s
daylight on track. Another thing I look forward to when visiting Singapore is the noodles!

What are the differences for you as a driver for this event?

The difference for us is our schedule over the weekend, as we stay on European time and try not to adjust
to the local time zone. To do this we arrive in Singapore a bit later than we would for other flyaway races,
where we would normally arrive early in order to get our bodies working on the local time and avoid jetlag.
This means we can get a good amount of sleep, including sleeping in late relative to the local time.
The race usually has the longest duration of the year; are there any particular preparations you

have to make for this?

Our regular fitness programme means that the race lasting longer than others should not be a problem, but
something you have to prepare for in Singapore is ensuring you always keep well hydrated as the heat and
humidity can easily dehydrate you.

How challenging is the circuit?

It’s a fun layout to drive, with the last section being my favourite part of the track. It’s certainlya physical 

race, with lots of kerbs, some bumps on the track and frequent use of the brakes. It’s certainly not a circuit 

with a long straight where you can take a rest! The layout and the fact it’s a street course don’t make it
easy for a driver or the engineers. It can be difficult to find the amount of grip you want so we have to work
hard to get the setup working well. There isn’t much margin for mistakes as the walls are very close, but
this does mean that there’s a great feeling when you get a good lap as it’s very special to be driving at the
limit around a street course.

Do you think this is a track that should suit both yourself and the car?

I think so, yes. It’s a very high downforce track and that seems to suit us best as we saw in Budapest. In
terms of the tyres I think we should be looking good too. Certainly, we should be able to perform stronger
than at the last two races which haven’t always suited our car.
There’s a lot of talk and movement in the driver market at the moment; how does this affect you?
I am keeping focused on this season by doing the best job I can for the team and showing my value on

Singapore marks the first of seven flyaway races to end the season; how do you want to end your

We have some fantastic races ahead and it’s going to be a busy couple of months. I’ll be pushing to do the
very best job I can and I know the race team and everyone at Enstone wants to finish this season with the
strongest results possible, so naturally we want to get back on the podium as much as possible.


Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi powering his Abu Dhabi Citroën Total DS3 on the qualifying stage in Rally Australia
Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi powering his Abu Dhabi Citroën Total DS3 on the qualifying stage in Rally Australia

UAE driver stays calm in Abu Dhabi Citroën as Meeke gets off to a flyer Down Under—

Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi battled his way through a dust storm to make a solid start in Rally Australia today as the driver he launched into this year’s World Rally Championship grabbed the early limelight. 

Partnered by British co-driver Scott Martin in his Abu Dhabi Citroën DS3, Al Qassimi recorded the ninth fastest time on the qualifying stage as the tenth round of this year’s WRC series ran into an immediate safety issue. 

With thick dust churned up by the cars hanging among the trees and creating a visibility problem, the organisers bowed to pressure from the major manufacturers teams and extended the running gap between cars from two to three minutes. 

The driver who appeared to be least troubled was Kris Meeke, who produced a stunning performance alongside Chris Patterson in his Citroën Total Abu Dhabi DS3 to win the qualifying stage from WRC leader Sebastien Ogier. 

Meek’s flying start was no great surprise for Al Qassimi, who had nominated  the Northern Irishman to take his seat when forced to miss Rally Finland, and helped ensure he was rewarded for an impressive drive with another WRC opportunity this weekend in Australia.

Producing the perfect response on the 5.54km qualifying stage, Meeke later opted to start 10th when the opening leg leaves the Coffs Harbour base tomorrow morning, hoping to take advantage of the best road conditions.

There is no such luxury for Al Qassimi, who starts second on the road and has the unenviable task in his Abu Dhabi Citroen of sweeping loose stones from the gravel tracks which have been left dry and dusty by a long spell without rain in New South Wales.

With an outside chance of rain over the next two days,  the UAE driver is already prepared for the consequences based on his experience in Rally Australia two years ago when his fifth place finish was the best of his WRC career to date. 

“If it rains again this weekend we could see a lot of drivers sliding off the road, which is exactly what happened in 2011,” said Al Qassimi.

Rally Australia was continuing with two evening runs of the super special spectator stage in Coffs Harbour, the coastal town located mid-way between Sydney and Brisbane