Here is something a bit different – Ferrari F1 driver and world championship leader Fernando Alonso drove a flying lap of the Singapore Grand Prix circuit today on the Shell Performance Simulator, which was set up in a hotel downtown.
The Spaniard, who has won the Singapore Grand Prix twice, drove a hot lap in 1m 48 seconds, which is only three seconds slower than he managed in qualifying here last year, whilst at the same time describing it in English, complete with corners speeds and some insights and details. It’s a pretty impressive performance; particularly because he did not have any laps in this simulator prior to the event, whereas generally the Ferrari drivers tend to do 10 warm up laps prior to such a demonstration.
Alonso said that with the restrictions in testing these days in F1, simulators have become increasingly important, “We need to practice in the simulator, not only for driving practice but also for set up and developments on the car. So it’s an important tool these days.”
Speaking of this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix he said that he believes he will have the car to “attack” and go for pole position and the win, rather than go into the weekend with a defensive mindset.
“I think there are two or three Grands Prix now where we will have the possibility to attack, the car will be in good shape and we will be competitive. If we are competitive we have to take the opportunities; here, Japan and Korea. In these three races our aim is to win Grands Prix and to increase the lead. We need another 75 points in the table.”
“I think if I had finished in Spa the championship gap would keep increasing all the time” he said. “That’s why it is decreasing. McLaren is in good form, but it is up to us. I feel confident and not under pressure. We have five or six contenders for the championship and seven races to go so it will be tight to the last race. But I’m the only one who can afford a retirement, the others cannot.”
Alonso also spoke about the possibility of the team replacing Felipe Massa for next season, arguing that he didn’t see anyone better who was on the list of possible candidates.
“I have worked with Felipe for two or three years, we have a good relationship,” Alonso said. “If the team decides to change Felipe, someone who arrives would have to be better than Felipe.
“In my opinion we need a driver that respects Ferrari, the tradition of the team.”