It’s time for one of the most spectacular race weekends on the calendar as F1 heads into the night for the Singapore Grand Prix. Read all about Formula One’s premier night race in Lights Out’s Ultimate Track Guide.
|FIRST F1 RACE||2008|
|TRACK LENGTH||3.147 miles|
|NUMBER OF LAPS||61|
|NUMBER OF TURNS||23|
|GEAR CHANGES PER LAP||80|
|MOST WINS||Sebastian Vettel (4)|
A SHORT HISTORY OF THE MARINA BAY STREET CIRCUIT
Singapore was one of two new street tracks introduced as part of the 2008 Formula One season. Whereas Valencia was ditched from the calendar after the 2012 event, the Marina Bay Street Circuit in Singapore remains on the calendar and the challenge of competing here is much loved by drivers, teams and fans alike. The 23-turn track was originally designed by Herman Tilke before being modified by KBR Inc., an American engineering company. The area of land which the circuit occupies is 799,000 square metres, which is the equivalent of 80 football pitches.
One of the most compelling elements of the track was the ‘Singapore Sling’. In the early years of the Singapore Grand Prix, Turn 10 comprised a section of track which was fast, narrow and unforgiving. Kimi Raikkonen crashed during the inaugural race here at this part of the track. In 2009. the kerbing was reduced so the corner became less of a challenge, however Adrian Sutil and Kamui Kobayashi fell victim to the chicane in later years. In 2013 the section of track was re-profiled entirely and the Marina Bay Circuit lost one of the iconic sections of its layout.
DID YOU KNOW?
The 2015 Grand Prix was put under a Safety Car on Lap 37 due to a British spectator making their way on to the track. The man, who was 27, was later arrested.
The Marina Bay Street Circuit passes by many of Singapore’s landmarks such as the Fullerton Hotel, the Anderson Bridge and, of course, the striking Singapore Flyer which opened in the same year as the first Grand Prix here. The track has numerous unique features, including the fact that it is the only track which goes under a section of grandstand – between Turns 18 and 19. The corners are referred to by number here, though some do have names. Turn 1 is named ‘Sheares’ and Turn 7 is named ‘Memorial’. The names were given to the corners as part of a local competition in March 2009, but they are rarely used.
There have been minor changes to the track since Formula was first in Singapore in 2008. The biggest change was the removal of the chicane – known as the ‘Singapore Sling’ – ahead of the 2013 race. For 2015, there were also minor changes between Turns 11 and 13, which saw the drivers use the other side of the Anderson Bridge.
“It’s a really cool circuit and being a night race in Singapore, it makes Formula One look even more spectacular. The cars look super shiny under the lights – for television viewers as well as for the spectators in the grandstands it adds to the beauty of the race. The entire city lives and breathes F1 during that week and you can feel it in the atmosphere everywhere when you are downtown.“
KEVIN MAGNUSSEN ON THE MARINA BAY STREET CIRCUIT
The circuit holds a contract to hold a Grand Prix until the end of the 2017 season. The Singapore Tourism Board also remain open to the idea of completely relocating the track to elsewhere in the city in the future.
READ MORE: Singapore’s Memorable Moments
- Every single running of the Singapore Grand Prix has featured a Safety Car at some point in the race.
- After the first practice session here in 2008, the kerbs had to be reduced in size due to safety concerns. Felipe Massa likened them them to ‘small tortoises’.
- With 23 corners, the track has the most turns of any circuit on the current calendar. It is questionable, however, how many of these bends can be classed as real corners.
- The race often runs near to the two-hour time limit due to the length of the track, as well as the high likelihood of a Safety Car appearance.
- The 2008 Grand Prix here was one of the most controversial Formula One races ever held. A year after the event, Nelson Piquet Jnr. revealed that he was told to crash on purpose in order to help his team-mate, Fernando Alonso, take the win.
- 108,423 metres of power cables supply over three million watts of lighting.
- An electrical current runs underneath the section of track at the Anderson Bridge. This current sometimes has an effect on the cars. In 2015, both Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa were forced into retirement from the Grand Prix because of such issues.
- Members of the Formula One paddock stay on European time whilst they are in Singapore. They sleep through the day so their schedule is the same as it is for European races – just with a slightly different backdrop!
- 2,608 concrete barriers line the track along with 10,000 metres of catch fencing.
- The track runs anti-clockwise.
- 2015 was the longest race here, clocking in at two hours, one minute and twenty two seconds while the shortest was in 2009 at one hour, fifty six minutes and six seconds.
- As it is not a permanent race track, it is often difficult for the drivers to find grip here – especially on the first day of practice.
- Cockpit temperatures soar to 60 degrees celcius during the Grand Prix.
- The drivers lose three to four kilograms of weight in the race and around two to three litres in sweat, so it is the worst possible time for a drinks bottle failure during the Grand Prix. That didn’t stop Sebastian Vettel on his way to victory in 2015, though.
- The drivers will make, on average, 4,880 gear changes over the duration of the Grand Prix.
- Alex Wurz drove the medical car in the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix after the usual driver fell ill. As he and Gary Hartstein rushed to the scene of Piquet Jnr.’s accident, a second local doctor in the back seat couldn’t handle the speed of the car and threw up en-route.
DID YOU KNOW?
The Singapore Grand Prix has run over the two-hour time limit three times in its history – in 2012, 2014 and 2015.
GRAND PRIX WINNERS IN SINGAPORE
|2013||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault|
|2012||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault|
|2011||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault|