Bruno Senna says that this weekend's Singapore Grand Prix will be a 'real test' as he prepares for his third race with the Lotus Renault GP team.
The Brazilian heads into the event on the back of his maiden F1 points finish last time out at Monza, having earlier shown his potential at the wheel of the R31 with a strong qualifying performance at Spa.
Insisting that his main aim is to build on the progress made so far, Senna admitted that Singapore would provide him with a fresh challenge with it being vital to get as much mileage as possible during Friday practice.
“We are progressing nicely, and I'm gradually becoming more comfortable with the car and with the team,” he said. “There are a number of areas I still need to progress; I need to improve my technical knowledge of the R31 and there are some areas of my driving to brush up on – I'm certainly not 100% there yet. I'm sweeping up every piece of information I can each weekend and I hope that, as a team, we can continue scoring points and secure top ten qualifying positions in the meantime - we should be household names in Q3 every Saturday afternoon. Hopefully by the time I'm fully-acquainted with the car, I'll be securing more points for the team.
“Singapore will be a real test. It's a fairly recent addition to the calendar in F1 terms, and it will be quite a novelty for me. It will be quite demanding to extract everything I can from the car, but I am enthusiastic about what awaits, and I hope I can reward the team with some more points.
“I will approach the weekend in a similar vain to Monza by completing as many laps as possible in the practice sessions, which will hopefully help me reach Q3 in qualifying. Singapore is a trying track; there are so many corners and you have to be on the ball to avoid making mistakes; it really does bring out the best in a driver. Knowing how to set-up the car is not easy either. Physically, it's also difficult because it is very humid and the track requires you to be precise corner after corner. Driving at night, you notice the combination of light and shadow which takes some getting used to. As with the Malaysian GP, Singapore requires you to arrive at the track a little earlier to help acclimatise. Having said that, the team will also remain on their British Summer Time body clocks because of the weekend's timetable! I'm looking forward to a fun and different type of race weekend.”
Team-mate Vitaly Petrov meanwhile endured a difficult weekend at Monza, where he was taken out of the race at turn one, but said he was keen to look forwards to the night race and was targeting a return to the points.
“Throughout the weekend [in Monza] the team made a good step forward,” he said. “We improved on the set-up of the car, and of course our P7 and P10 qualifying positions were great news; there was a very buoyant team spirit after that! Then, for the race it was just a case of bad luck, but that's sport. I think Tonio understands where he went wrong and we've now drawn a line under it and taken a positive step forward from that weekend. There's no doubt the mood within the camp is high.
“I don't think you can easily prepare for this race. The conditions will be the same as we faced in Malaysia, and we can't simulate these weather conditions back in England! I like the fact that we will be working at night and sleeping during the day; I actually think that in adopting this pattern I will be able to sleep more! The best way to prepare is to arrive in Singapore as early as possible to acclimatise oneself. It will be the same for everyone so I don't fear this race, not at all.”