Sebastien Bourdais has declared himself stunned at the amazing track that is Singapore.
The small location is going to be hitting the headlines as it is the first ever F1 night race, something Bourdais has plenty of experience of from ChampCar World Series.
“It is daylight,” Bourdais told Autosport as preparations continued at the Marina Bay circuit on Wednesday.
“The most unbelievable job they have done is with the lighting. It is quite impressive. You have all these structures built around the place, all overhead. It’s quite impressive – I have never seen anything like it.”
After allaying fears about the lighting of the circuit, which has led many leading drivers to doubt the viability of the race, he admitted concerns about the tight hairpin at turn 10 and some about the pitlane entry.
“I’m quite impressed. It is obviously a huge undertaking when you have to build from scratch, but I think they did really well.
“The only thing I am a bit bewildered by is the chicane (at Turn 10) that they have put together. I can see why they have done it because there is no run off there, and it would be a fast and open corner if you did not do something, but even so!
“We had a similar problem in Champ Car when they were trying to prevent cars from short cutting chicanes at Monterrey, and the things were half the size of what they are right now – and we were smashing the tubs there left and right.
“Since you don’t go and buy a Lola or whatever it is these days in F1, you cannot really afford to damage cars. I haven’t seen Charlie (Whiting, F1 race director) yet, but I am a bit surprised. There are fixes for this though.
“The pit entry also seems to be a bit dodgy. You will be running quite a bit quicker than the guy who is going to pit, and you are all going to get to the same point because the entry is just hard left.
“So these are my only two concerns – otherwise the rest of the track is really nicely done. It is a nice track.”
Franck Montagny, the former F1 driver and tester who was in the shoot-out for a seat with Force India for the forthomcing season looks to be committing his future to the US Series ChampCar.
The French driver, who was a tester for Renault, Super Aguri and Toyota raced in 7 F1 GP’s for the Super Aguri team when Yuji Ide had his super licence revoked because he was not a good enough driver.
Montagny was on top of the timesheets during 2 days of ChampCar testing, and with any hopes of an F1 seat diminishing by the day, he wants to commit to a future in the series, in which other former F1 driver Justin Wilson competes.
Montagny has been racing with the Forsythe team.
He said: “Considering it was my first time in the car, I’m quite happy. We did everything we wanted to do, I just hope I’ll stay in the car for the championship now.”
“Everybody is very motivated,”
“I was at the factory with the engineers and mechanics and everything was good. You never know until you get in the car but obviously things are going well there too.”