Marina Bay Circuit: The Ultimate Track Guide

Marina Bay Circuit: The Ultimate Track Guide

The Marina Bay Circuit holds one of Formula One’s most spectacular weekends as the cars glisten under the streetlights in Singapore, the home of the sport’s original night race.


FIRST F1 RACE 2008
TRACK LENGTH 3.152 miles
NUMBER OF LAPS 61
NUMBER OF TURNS 23
MOST POLES Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton (4)
MOST WINS Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton (4)

TRACK MAP


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.

The Marina Bay 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 One was first in Singapore in 2008. 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. For 2015, there were also minor changes between Turns 11 and 13, which saw the drivers use the other side of the Anderson Bridge.

The Marina Bay Circuit holds a contract to hold the Singapore Grand Prix until 2021. The Singapore Tourism Board also remain open to the idea of completely relocating the track to elsewhere in the city in the future.


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.


FAST FACTS

  • 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 Celsius 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.

🇸🇬 WHY WE LOVE SINGAPORE

The Singapore weekend is one of the visual highlights of the Formula One season as the cars shimmer and dart their way around the city. With a very high Safety Car likelihood, you can generally expect something dramatic to happen during the Grand Prix.


POLESITTERS AT THE MARINA BAY CIRCUIT

Poles Driver
4 Sebastian Vettel
4 Lewis Hamilton
1 Felipe Massa
1 Fernando Alonso
1 Nico Rosberg

GRAND PRIX WINNERS AT THE MARINA BAY CIRCUIT

Year Winner Constructor
2008 Fernando Alonso Renault
2009 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes
2010 Fernando Alonso Ferrari
2011 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault
2012 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault
2013 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault
2014 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2015 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari
2016 Nico Rosberg Mercedes
2017 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2018 Lewis Hamilton  Mercedes