If Only for the Night - Q&A with Jolyon Palmer

After a highly frustrating early exit from the Italian Grand Prix Jolyon Palmer is hoping for a Singapore slingshot on the streets of Marina Bay.

What are your thoughts on Singapore?
I love Singapore and it’s a totally different challenge from Monza. It’s a street race with close walls taking place at night so it’s a unique event on the calendar. I’ve raced and won there in the GP2 Series and it was one of my best wins. In fact, I raced there two years running and both years were very good. It’s a better opportunity for a stronger result.

What’s special about driving at night?
It’s a cool feeling driving at night as you can see the circuit very clearly from the lights but your vision is channelled as the background is in darkness.

Where are the challenges of the Marina Bay circuit?
The final sector is a real challenge with the section under the grandstand. It’s tight over the bridge too so you need your wits about you. Stringing a perfect lap together is a real challenge! Over the bridge and the middle of the lap are pretty tough to get right as you’re braking as you turn so it’s easy to lock a wheel, and the last sector is very tight and twisty.

As a street course is it tough to overtake?
It certainly is a challenge but turn six at the end of the first sector / beginning of the second sector where the DRS comes in is the main overtaking opportunity and then braking into turn seven. The track is pretty tight in other places and it’s always pretty slippery when you do go offline.

Do you have a different approach to the weekend?
We see the circuit change a lot over the weekend as the surface rubbers in then the climatic conditions are reasonably different between FP1 and FP2, then FP3 and qualifying so getting a good handle on the balance of the car gives us plenty of work as generally it’s cooler later in the night. It’s not a conventional weekend!

What do you think of Singapore itself?
The great thing about the race is that it’s right in the centre of the city so you’re surrounded by everything you could want. You don’t have to go far for a good restaurant. It’s great to sample the local culture.

It’s a pretty relentless end to the season, how well are you prepared?
I’m really looking forward to it. The summer break allowed me to recharge my batteries completely and now I’m fully in the zone. Spa and Monza were not the easiest tracks for us but Singapore offers more of an opportunity I think. I’m driving better than ever and I’m exceptionally keen to have a strong result after the frustration of Monza.