Hello everyone, Spy here, preparing for a long, circuitous journey back to the sunlit uplands of Milton Keynes. No direct route for this secret agent. Like a driver jumping into the car without noticing the steering wheel’s already been fitted, I’m going to Bangkok.
Wow, that was a tough weekend! Let’s not beat about the bush, Spy’s a hard man of international motorsport who’s been boiled, frozen and drenched more times that Juan Pablo Montoya’s had hot dinners*. I’ve been there, won that and slightly self-consciously worn the T-shirt – but in Singapore you’d need to change that t-shirt at least every hour if you didn’t want to look like a used dishcloth. The heat and the humidity really are more vicious that a Fleet Street reporter with a grudge. The Nürburgring, it ain’t.
It does give you a slight admiration for the drivers though**. While Spy’s basically a 100litres of coherent sweat wearing trainers, they manage to waltz around in fireproof overalls looking as fresh as a daisy, drinking espresso. It’s not human.
We did have the energy to raise a bit of a smile during packdown, however, when Ferrari dolefully announced on their Twitter feed ‘boredom the winner in Singapore’. Spy doesn’t believe Max found it boring when Seb shot past him like a ferret down a trouser leg; and he’s certain Seb wasn’t gripped with ennui when Max returned the favour coming out of the pitlane.
On the upside, you always know the end of the season is in sight when the sour grapes are ready for harvest. Spy didn’t think it was that bad – but beneath the whining, they may have a point.
We’re sort-of accustomed to not much happening on street courses, having put up with decades between overtaking manoeuvres in Monaco. So much so, you more or less accepted not much was going to happen on a street circuit. But then, a few years ago Baku came on the calendar and we had to reappraise things. Baku has ridiculous amounts of overtaking. Admittedly, it does have the advantage of a fast final corner followed by a straight 19km long into a slow first corner – but Singapore is stuffed full of similarly enormous boulevards. Can’t we organise some sort of detour and go racing on one of those?
Our race was good by the standards of the season but a little underwhelming by the mental build-up we give to the Singapore Grand Prix. It’s one that should suit us, and things looked fairly good on Friday but we had to settle for second – and Max had to put in a helluva drive (after a helluva quali) to get that much. It’s our fifth consecutive second place in Singapore, which is exasperating – but it’s another trophy for the cabinet, and any race this season where we’re in front of one of the Mercedes and both of the Ferraris has to be a good one.
On the other hand, in the last couple of years we’ve come to Singapore hoping to win, left disappointed that we haven’t, and gone on to win a race where nobody gave us a sniff. Hopefully this also is a trend.
* and that’s just Albert Park
** though don’t tell them, they’re insufferable enough as it is.