Q & A with Mercedes' Norbert Haug
Norbert Haug, Vice President of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, analyses the points score established by McLaren's Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen over the last few races, using numbers to demonstrate the team's championship push.
Haug also speaks of his anticipation regarding next week's Singaporean premiere, a new challenge to be held in a very different atmosphere.
After Monza, Lewis' advantage in the Drivers' Championship is only one point. Are you getting nervous now?
"We see no reason to be. In his 31 Grand Prix so far, Lewis scored 187 points, six on average per race. During this period, no other Formula 1 driver collected more points. In 26 of his 31 Grands Prix, Lewis finished in the points, 20 of those occasions finishing on the podium. We now want to pick up our good shape of the second third of the season, then we head into the right direction."
What went wrong in Monza?
"Following the tire choice in qualifying which unfortunately led to his 15th grid position, Lewis showed a great race and overtook impressively. With Heikki's second and Lewis' seventh places, the team still scored 10 points in Monza - more were possible. On the other side: In the previous six races Lewis alone scored as many points as both drivers of our toughest competitor. "
The Singapore Grand Prix, the first night race in Formula 1, will be the next event. What can we expect?
"The Singapore Grand Prix will be the fifth street race on the calendar after Melbourne, Monte Carlo, Montreal and Valencia and the first ever Grand Prix be held at night. Foremost, we look forward to the atmosphere of this first night race. About 1,500 extremely powerful light projectors have been installed four meters apart around the about five-kilometer long track, and they are said to illuminate the track brightly."
"In this unusual environment, the drivers have to focus on 23 corners per lap, six of them with speeds lower than 100 km/h. Once per lap, on the 700-metre full-throttle part along the Raffles Boulevard, the cars reach almost 300 km/h. This premiere will certainly be the most exciting in Formula 1 history - in the middle of the night, in the middle of the metropolis."