Brendon Hartley believes that Toro Rosso can enter the Singapore Grand Prix weekend with high expectations, as he believes the team will perform well at the Marina Bay Circuit.
The Red Bull junior outfit has scored points at every Singapore race in the hybrid era, with a best finish of fourth coming last year at the hands of Carlos Sainz. Hartley says that the team's history at the track will be a boost, but knows that he is in for a physically tough weekend.
"Singapore will be a new track for me and one that I have very much been looking forward to. All the drivers I have spoken to tell me it's the most physical race on the calendar, partly because it's a busy lap, but also because of the heat and humidity.
"Of course, I have done a lot of night racing throughout my career, at events like Le Mans, but with the floodlights it won't be very noticeable, unless it rains. Historically, Toro Rosso has gone well here and while we knew the last two races would be tough, all of us at Toro Rosso see Singapore as a good opportunity to perform well."
Hartley is racing for his future in Formula 1, as Toro Rosso is evaluating who it will place in its cars next season. Pierre Gasly will be leaving for Red Bull, while Hartley's 2 points so far this year has not impressed Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko who said the Kiwi has to improve his results in order to keep his seat for 2019.
Hartley added that he had spent some time on the simulator in order to maximise his preparation for the weekend: "Last week, I drove the track on the simulator, which, as usual, is half for the benefit of the team and half for the driver. The track is accurately 3-D mapped so it was an opportunity to learn every bump and kerb.
"It allows me to get all my reference points and hit the ground running when practice starts on Friday. From a team point of view, it means we can do a lot of set-up changes before even getting to the track, trying them out to see if the driver gets a good feeling from them in the car. It's not quite 100% the same as actually driving the track itself, as it's not as hot and you don't have the same forces going through the body."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing