Esteban Ocon says he is bracing himself for a tough challenge around the streets of the Marina Bay Street Circuit, as Formula 1 heads east for the Singapore Grand Prix.
The night race around the streets of the city-state is returning to the F1 calendar for the first time since 2019, after Covid prevented its running in 2020 and 2021.
The Singapore event is regarded as one of the toughest physical challenges on the F1 circuit, often taking place in searing heat and humidity and regularly nudging the two-hour time limit.
The Marina Bay track also has the most corners of any circuit on the calendar, with 23, and Ocon said the bumpy nature of the temporary layout would not suit the 2022-era F1 cars, which are heavier than their predecessors and do not tend to ride kerbs or bumps well.
“Difficult,” Ocon said when asked by RacingNews365.comwhat sort of a weekend he was expecting in Singapore.
“It’s going to be very bumpy. A big challenge for us, very physical. I love Singapore, but the track itself is not my favorite, I have to say.
“[The cars] are [like] go-karts on kerbs, so it’s going to be a tricky one.
“I think Canada was pretty bad, but [Singapore] probably will be one of the worst [for the 2022 cars].
Ocon conscious of setup trade-off
Ocon added that the difficulty of the Singapore event would be exacerbated by teams having to compromise on their setups in order to cope with the various challenges the Marina Bay circuit provides.
“It’s not going to be fun, but we’re up for the challenge,” said Ocon.
“It’s going to be interesting to see who chooses what, in terms of setup, if you go for the car that rides well, or if you go for the car that needs grip. It’s a trade-off.”