Di Grassi super confident, or delusional, on Singapore

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The Virgin Formula 1 team could land a 12th place or better finish at Singapore, driver Lucas di Grassi is saying — a finish that would leap the team ahead of Lotus for the 10th spot in the constructors race and the extra money that comes with it.

My thoughts? What exactly is the other Luca di smoking?

First off, Lucas sent out this Tweet, announcing that the latest Virgin updates could bring the car four-tenths of a second:

Lucas di Grassi (@LucasdiGrassi)
9/22/10 12:15 AM
Virgin Racing: temos alguns upgrades no carro, basicamente downforce, no total uns 4 decimos mais rapido por volta.

That’s a huge jump, whether you’re running seconds behind the front row or are right there, battling in Q3.

But then there’s more, courtesy Autosport:

“If one of the new teams gets a 12th, then they will move up into the 10th place. So it is a very important weekend for us,” he told AUTOSPORT.

“I was just discussing with the engineers today how much we have for here, and how big are the upgrades. We hope it is enough so we can fight with Lotus, and then I think the full approach is to stay ahead of the new teams – and if extraordinary conditions happen then I hope we can get the best place possible.

“Here is maybe the longest race of the year, because it is a 300km race and the average speed is very low – and it is very hot as well. So, I think reliability is an issue here. Race incidents and accidents are another point – and the weather can change as well.

“So it is one of the races where we have maybe the highest chance to finish in the top 12.”

OK, so I guess I’m with him that Singapore can throw perhaps the most curve balls of any circuit on the calendar. But I have got to think there would have to be a perfect storm of weather, crashes, engine failures and perhaps lights going dark for one of the new teams to creep their way that close to a points-paying finish.

I mean, think about it. To finish in 12th, Lucas or team mate Timo Glock would have to finish ahead of the four other new drivers (possible enough) plus some combination of both Saubers, both Williams, the two Toro Rossos, a Force India and one of the Renaults. (Figuring those are the likely targets.) Perhaps he’s hoping a Mercedes, McLaren or Ferrari will go out in a crash. But still… Virgin would have to pull ahead of a handful of these other, established teams.

Again, I guess it’s possible. But I’m not about to put money on it.


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