In his latest column, Felipe Massa reflects on a difficult Singapore Grand Prix, one of the most feared events for his Williams team.

There are plenty of reasons that the Singapore Grand Prix is a very special weekend. The most obvious is of course that it is a night race in the middle of a city, with a great atmosphere for the public at the track and the spectators at home.

But there are also so many other very specific aspects to the event. All of us working there live on the European time zone, which means leaving the track around 3am and then going to bed at 5am.

We set the alarm clock for 2pm, and arrive in the paddock for our working day that actually starts at dusk! After a few days you get used to it, but at the beginning it is always a bit strange.

Added to the quirk of the event were the expectations Williams Martini Racing had before we got there. We knew it could be an uphill struggle for us, but in practice things worked and in qualifying we were in the running to get through to Q3.

We missed the target by a whisker, but because of the penalty imposed on Sergio Perez for not following the yellow flag rules, Valtteri and I still started from 10th and 11th on the grid, which was positive.

The early stages of the race were good, thanks to a start that allowed me to get up to ninth spot. I thought there was a real possibility of being able to finish the race in the points, which would have been a great success considering that it is a track that doesn't particularly suit our car.

Unfortunately, two factors worked against us: the strategy and the pitstop. At the start, we focused on a race with three stops on the softer compounds, knowing that we should try to recover positions to get ourselves in to the points.

But after a good start, with the benefit of hindsight, it would have been better to have switched to a two-stop with a very long stint on the 'soft', because the initial necessity to attack had in fact become a situation where we needed to defend a position we had already got.

We stayed on the original three stop strategy though, and unfortunately this choice meant that every time I got back out on track I was forced to makes up position through traffic. That is something that isn't particularly easy on the Marina Bay circuit.

In addition, and this is the first time that it has happened this season, the pitstops were also not the best. I think we have got used to doing such a good job with our pitstops, and I think it was almost news that in the race we were not the fastest overall!

At the final stop I lost a few seconds, and that resulted in me getting stuck behind slower cars at the end of the race, which cost me the chance of some points.

But at least now we can put behind us one of the tracks we feared the most. The next few circuits should suit our car well, and definitely better than Singapore.

The battle with the Force India will be hard, because its development work during the season has been very good. But I think we will fight until the last race for fourth place in the constructors' championship.

At Monza, we gained five points on them, while in Singapore they have recovered four. But I think in the next races we will play on equal terms.


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