CATEGORIES: Formula 1 | Sport DATE:
How F1® Teams Adapt To Racing Under Lights At The Original Formula 1® Night Race
The teams don’t adapt to local time during the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix™ weekend, staying on European time to be at their best during the night race. Red Bull Racing’s Team Manager Jonathan Wheatley explains how it works.
How difficult is it to keep everyone on European time for the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix™?
Jonathan Wheatley (JW): “The flights actually work out in our favour in that respect, because the flights come in in the evening, the guys get there and can have a big night if they like for their first night in Singapore and they don’t actually have to go to bed until 6 or 7 o’clock in the morning. I never thought as a Team Manager I would say to my guys to stay out until 6am, but they very quickly deal with it and personally, I don’t get any jet lag there at all. I also thought that the light would have a big effect on your body clock but as long as the curtains are dark enough in your hotel room you’ll be fine.”
Is it true that hotels alter their housekeeping routines to accommodate race teams?
JW: “They do. But the best thing is to put a “do not disturb” sign on the door, because someone will make a mistake at some point – even if it’s just returning laundry. The hotels are really great there though. They work with us, but it still helps to put the sign on your door.”
Does the pit stop routine differ in any way given it’s a night race?
JW: “We always supply the pit crew with dark, light and poor visibility visors anyway. Because of the event schedule, it is a hugely popular event and it is actually difficult to get the pit stop practices in at a normal time, due to the support races. We end up practicing in daytime when actually you would rather practice at night. But night is morning and morning is night, so it all gets a little bit confusing. It hasn’t affected the performance up until now, but we do have to turn down the lights that the driver sees in the pod, because otherwise he would be driving out, seeing red lights burning in the back of his eyes.”
What are your own hints and tips in regard to getting the weekend right?
JW: “The first thing to do is having a great first night in Singapore and have a really good sleep. I always find myself waking up earlier, which would probably be 4am in Europe, but I tend to go to the gym and then spend a little bit of time by the swimming pool, which is quite an unusual thing, so very refreshing compared to other races.”
The 2017 FORMULA 1 SINGAPORE AIRLINES SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX will be held from September 15-17. Packages including accommodation, tickets, Sportsnet’s Singapore Grand Prix Lunch featuring former F1® legends, and more are available here.
Written by: Stewart Bell