Afternoon all, Spy here, departing the garage in Singapore and heading somewhere else for one that will appear functionally similar – just without the ever present sensation that one has inadvertently just stepped fully clothed out of a jacuzzi.
The Singapore Grand Prix is quite the tester. The idea that one simply stays on BST is a load of b…iscuits. It’s OK for Spy, who is a hard man of international motorsport and could comfortably sleep through an earthquake*but some of the crew with functioning circadian rhythms simply accept they’re going to get to bed at 7am, stare at the ceiling until 11am and then grumpily get up and wander the streets until it’s time to head back to work.
Happily, it all worked out well. Another Singapore Grand Prix, another trophy. That’s 13 in 12 races. Anyone would think we were good on street circuits. Pretty decent result, all told: both cars in the points, no mean feat on a circuit that packs in the full orange space hopper of lunacy. Honestly though, there’s a sense that we’ve had better races this year, and will have better ones before the season is done and dusted. A trophy is not to be sniffed at, but we’d like a bigger one.
But this is largely a higher-level problem. The first responsibility in the garage is to ensure that both cars are prepared to the required standard. At the third race in four weeks, and working until 6am in 75 per cent humidity, that isn’t necessarily straightforward. At this stage of the year, finger trouble is the enemy,** and no-one wants to be the guy who doesn’t tighten a fastener or fluffs a wheel change.
Okey Dokey, there we go, Singapore done and dusted and our end of season tour is on a roll. Where next after Singapore? Gotta be Japan hasn’t it? Given how knackering this part of the year is, we wouldn’t do anything as incredibly dumb as flying all the way back to Europe for another race and then heading out to the Far East, because that would be mental, wouldn’t it? Well, welcome to the globe-trotting adventure that is Formula One motor racing. It is, as Spy’s little spies would say, completely cray-cray.
Anyway, Sochi here we come. Six seasons back, Sochi was an eye-opener. Now it’s just another racing circuit; a good one actually. Nice garages, no spiders and a quirky pub that, against all force of reason serves a very nice pint of cider, which makes the tyre fitters very happy.*** The track’s a bit Mikhail mouse but looking at the weather forecast for the weekend, that might not be a problem this time around. Let the mayhem commence.
*and, according to eye witnesses, did, during the 2008 Japanese Grand Prix at Fuji.
** unlike Mercedes and Ferrari, who are just the opposition.
*** Italian tyres, West Country tyre fitters. It’s a very long story.