So far, so good. In fact, very good. Singapore’s success story continues with a brilliant qualifying before what looked like a packed house. And they saw a mesmeric performance from Felipe Massa, almost out of the blue.
Okay, six-tenths of a second suggests the Ferrari driver is running light but, even if he is, it was a brilliant lap, seemingly effortless compared to his rivals. To do all 23 corners with perfection (Massa’s words) is an achievement on a par with pole at Monaco (which, of course, Massa nicked from under everyone’s nose with another brilliant lap). You could argue that it’s actually more difficult here because this track is longer and faster with the barriers and walls just as close.
One thing sure is that the 61-lap race will have plenty of incidents. It will be all about maintaining concentration while dealing with the bumps which will throw you off line as quick as look at you. The pounding taken by the drivers’ bodies will be exacerbated by the heat and humidity, arguably making this one of the most physically demanding races of the season.
Preparation will be everything. It’s going to suddenly seem worthwhile following the European time regime while living within a community operating seven hours ahead of Europe. It meant, for instance, that Massa found himself walking the track at 3am last night with Rubens Barrichello before going to bed at 5am.
Difficult for journalists, too, finding a bar still open at 5am while trying not to drink too much. It’s a tough life y’know. No wonder we think Singapore is a welcome addition.