• Singapore Grand Prix

Webber enjoys Singapore 'challenge'

ESPNF1 Staff
September 22, 2011 « Alonso targets Singapore podium | »
Mark Webber says the temperature in the cockpit can exceed 50C during the race © Getty Images
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Mark Webber says that he "loves the challenge and endurance aspect" of the Singapore Grand Prix.

The race on the Marina Bay street circuit is one of the longest of the season, with safety car periods in each of the three races pushing the grand prix time close to the two hour time limit. Jenson Button recently voiced his concerns that the race was too demanding for the drivers and needed to be shortened, but Webber said the challenge was one he enjoys.

"This weekend's Singapore Grand Prix is one of the season's showcase events - and probably the toughest of all for drivers," Webber said in his BBC column. "So many things add up to make it that way and I love the challenge and endurance aspect of the race.

"The grand prix runs for two hours; it's a long lap on a very demanding course that is pretty repetitive, with lots of 90-degree corners and heavy braking. It's bumpy, which is uncomfortable in the cockpit and makes the demands on concentration very high, and, on top of all that, it is incredibly hot and humid, even though we're driving at night."

Webber highlighted the intense heat as one of the toughest features of the race.

"We are wearing three layers of fireproof clothing. There is no ventilation in the cockpit - even though it is open, the air is directed around the driver as much as possible. With a racing engine behind us, and radiators either side of us, temperatures in there exceed 50C. In a grand prix there is no respite - it's high intensity action for the entire duration of the race, with core body temperatures often higher than 40C and your heart rate above 170 beats a minute. It's a raw environment; there's no comfort, and you just have to get on with it.

"Finally, there's the fact that, by and large, we stay on European time, even though Singapore is six or seven hours ahead of that... It's pretty surreal but it's all worth it - it's a very rewarding grand prix and the tough environment helps makes it that way."