Lotus pair Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli say they are excited about the prospect of tackling the Singapore GP for the first time with the F1 newcomers this weekend.
Kovalainen is currently the best placed driver amongst the three new teams following the Monza event a fortnight ago, although he remains pointless as Lotus, Virgin and Hispania all struggle to make an impression on the top ten.
While the team won't take any major upgrades to Singapore as it switches focus to its 2011 car, Kovalainen said he was looking forward to the weekend as Lotus looks to maintain its vital tenth place in the constructors championship.
“It's always slightly different racing in Singapore, but it's something I look forward to,” he said. “The race organisers always do a great job in preparing the track, and it's pretty hardcore for the fans as the cars look cool and sound amazing around the city streets. The race itself is pretty tough on the cars and the drivers, but we make sure our body clocks stay on European time and as long as we sleep well and stick to our normal schedules, we cope with it fine.
“Before the race I'll be doing some intensive training to make sure I'm ready for the remaining flyaway races. It's important to make sure I have enough in reserve, not just for Singapore, but for what lies ahead in Japan, Korea, Brazil and Abu Dhabi.”
Team-mate Trulli said he was looking forward to the unique challenge of racing under lights in an event where the Malaysian-owned Lotus team is expected to be well-supported.
“I really like the challenge of racing in Singapore – as a driver it's good to push yourself and while the track itself isn't hugely different from a couple of others on the calendar, the fact that it's a night race makes it a unique event,” he said. “It'll be good to give the fans in Singapore, so close to Malaysia, their first chance to see the car on track, so we're all looking forward to it.
“In terms of preparation for the race, there isn't a huge amount you can do – we use a clear visor to maximise visibility in the twilight conditions, but apart from making sure your body stays on European time, it's pretty much the same as any other race – train hard for the heat and make sure you're ready.”