As the F1 community moves on from Singapore, we learn about one of the secret weapons keeping Mercedes one step ahead
Last weekend saw the Mercedes AMG-Petronas Motorsport team gain valuable points in both the drivers' and constructors' championships, with Lewis Hamilton setting a blistering qualifying lap to take pole position and a race win on Sunday.
The Singapore Grand Prix is one of the most iconic races in the F1 calendar - but the night schedule makes it especially challenging for the teams. Many of them opt to remain on a European time zone; which means eating, working and sleeping at odd hours of the day and night.
"The Singapore race is absolutely unique. It's six or seven hours removed from the European time zone, but we stay on a night schedule - which is theoretically similar to staying on European time - but it's really not that simple." It's Dr Luke Bennett's job to keep the Mercedes team switched on and alert during Singapore GP weekend, and one of the most important aspects of this is ensuring they all get quality sleep.
The Hintsa Medical & Sports Performance Director explains the reasoning behind his sleep and jet-lag plan: "Good sleep helps all of your metabolic, cognitive and physical processes. The negative impact of a poor sleep, even for one night, should never be underestimated."
So how does the team achieve quality sleep at strange hours of the day? "It's important to have a really dark hotel room wherever possible, and managing noise is really important," explains Dr Luke. But the Mercedes team also has a secret weapon: Bose noise-masking sleepbuds. These comfortable sleepbuds play soothing sounds to mask irritating noises.
"It doesn't matter where I am in the world; having a good routine ensures I get that good night's sleep, every night," says Valtteri Bottas' number one mechanic Stuart Green.
"If you can maximise everybody's sleep across a race weekend, that will translate into pit stop times, lap times and performance," Dr Luke details. "These small details combine to make a real difference at a time where championships are won or lost."
After the team's success in Singapore, it's clear that the combination of the team's plan and Bose's noise-masking sleepbuds helped the championship-winning Mercedes F1 team get the sleep they needed to achieve the win.