It’s that time of the year again: the heart of Singapore transforms into a brightly-lit racing circuit come nightfall, and echoes with the sounds of race cars competing for the top spot. And Lewis Hamilton, last year’s Grand Prix winner and 2014 world champion, is back in Singapore for what promises to be yet another truly entertaining race.
“With a night race, it’s always challenging; the heat is a real killer,” said the British racer during an exclusive meet-and-greet at a technology showcase presented by Epson and the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team at a press conference.
Hamilton, 30, won his second world title in 2014 and his victory in the Italian Grand Prix earlier this month brought him to 40 career wins in 160 starts, according to the Wall Street Journal. If he won again this year, it would have been his third victory on Singapore soil – he is the highest-paid driver in F1 history after signing a deal with his Mercedes team back in May worth over S$200 million, according to Channel News Asia.
At the showcase, executives from Epson and the team also shared insights on the partnership between Epson and the 2014 FIA Formula One World Champions.
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, said that “Epson’s use of innovative technology to deliver performance is perfectly aligned to what we strive to achieve in Formula One.”
Wolff went on to explain that over the past 8 months, they have started to move beyond this shared philosophy into the practicalities of the team integrating Epson technology into many areas of operation.
This entails the introduction of portable printers and scanners to assist team operations trackside, and there are projects underway involving both the Moverio smart glasses and the Runsense and Pulsense health sensors, all of which were on display at the showcase.
As I found out after a quick demo, the Moverio glasses were indeed very cool – I watched a short video that appeared like it was projected a few metres in front of my eyes. And while Runsense and Pulsense aren’t available in Singapore just yet, Epson is currently exploring launching them here. (They might, however, face stiff competition from established fitness gadget companies Fitbit and Jawbone…)
Afterwards, boyish and down-to-earth Hamilton shared his thoughts when asked about whether there was still a thrill about the Singapore Grand Prix after eight years.
“There always is, yeah. It’s one of the great circuits that we get to race on. Street circuits are always really exciting for the drivers,” replied Hamilton.
And he had favourable things to say about the racing experience in Singapore: “It’s racing under the night lights; you really get to see the city! It’s unusual because the circuit runs all the way across, and it’s really long. Also, you can see everything under the lights and see the flashes from people trying to take pictures. There always seems to be a good crowd when I come here – it’s a really beautiful thing to see.”
However, all he is focused on is fighting for the world championship, he said. “That’s my focus and I’m focusing on what I’ve set out to achieve and what I can achieve,” he said.
While the race might not have gone exactly as Hamilton might have hoped, he’s still in pole position.