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Singapore revs up for return of Formula One Grand Prix

For just three nights every year, some of the world’s most revered Formula One racing drivers take to an elaborate street circuit in the heart of Singapore. Strapped into cars with turbocharged engines, they negotiate sharp turns at high speeds while battling it out for first place. The most dramatic race in the F1 calendar, this year’s Singapore Grand Prix takes place from September 20 to 22.

Andrea Lo
July 16, 2019

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In the years since 2008’s first race, the roaring weekend has become one of Asia’s most coveted sporting events. Each year, about 250,000 spectators cheer on the high-speed action from the stands at the Marina Bay Street Circuit. But the Grand Prix is not just about top-notch motorsport: many legendary performers and celebrity chefs display their talents during the Grand Prix weekend, and this year will be no different.

Race weekend at a glance

Click on the different gates to explore the major points of interest on the Singapore circuit

Gate 8
This is where you will get that postcard-perfect shot of Marina Bay Sands, an iconic part of the skyline.
Gate 5
Pass by historic The Fullerton Hotel – a 91-year-old architectural gem.
Padang Stage
A prime spot to look out for – the Padang Stage hosts all of the headline acts.
Gate 3A &3B
Just around the corner is the Raffles Hotel. The legendary property has been undergoing a facelift and will reopen this year.
The length of the street track measures 5.063km (3.14 miles).
Cars reach speeds of up to 325km/h (202 miles per hour) To put that in perspective, the normal speed limit on Singapore roads ranges from 50 to 80km/h.
With a race distance of 308.8 km, drivers must tackle 61 laps of the track.
The race is run in an anti-clockwise direction.

It is nicknamed “the jewel in Formula One’s crown” – and for good reason. The Singapore Grand Prix made history by becoming the only full night race in the series, and its first street race in Asia. The event also has achieved a number of major milestones over the years.

The city begins efforts to host an F1 Grand Prix, with then-F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone saying negotiations are underway.
The Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), the governing body for car racing events, approves the night race concept for Singapore and work on the F1 Pit Building breaks ground in the city.
The first Singapore F1 Grand Prix takes place at the Marina Bay Street Circuit. Twenty drivers, representing 10 teams, take part.
Changes are made to six turns on the track to improve overtaking, and road surfaces are enhanced.
Singapore announces plans to host the F1 for four more years – up to 2021.
1990 2007 2008 2009 2017

Throughout more than 10 years of Singapore F1 history, only four racing drivers have claimed victory. The winners have real pedigree: all of them have been crowned F1 world champions. Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel had already claimed the F1 World Championship title before winning the Singapore F1, while Nico Rosberg became world champion the year he won in Singapore.

Fernando Alonso
2008, 2010
“Magic Alonso” is regarded as one of the best racing drivers of all time.
Lewis Hamilton
2009, 2014, 2017, 2018
The racer holds the distinction of having the most wins at different circuits.
Sebastian Vettel
2011, 2012, 2013, 2015
At 23, he became the youngest driver to win the F1 World Championship in 2010.
Nico Rosberg
2016
Like father, like son: Rosberg was born to racing driver Keke, who won the 1982 F1 World Championship.

At last year’s Singapore F1, British racing driver Lewis Hamilton, under the 1,600 floodlights that lit up the Marina Bay Street Circuit, delivered one of the best laps of his life to take the pole position. The Mercedes driver’s extraordinary performance stunned the crowd and his Ferrari rival Sebastian Vettel, who was tipped to be the most likely winner as his car was thought to be well suited to the track’s 23 slow and medium speed corners.

How did Hamilton manage this game-changing manoeuver? Watch this video and see it from his vantage point.

The Singapore Grand Prix has one of the longest running times in F1 history because of the street circuit’s highly challenging twists and turns. The track features 23 turns – the highest number of any race in the F1 series. Here are some fun facts about the circuit, the stories behind some of the stretches and bends, and a shocking scandal that took place at turn 17

Over the past decade, the race hasn’t been without controversy. In 2008, the infamous “Crashgate” took place, where racing driver Nelson Piquet Jnr and his Renault team were accused of deliberately crashing in order to help teammate Fernando Alonso get ahead.

Piquet’s crash at turn 17 caused a safety car to be deployed, which meant other drivers had to be pitted – except Alonso.

The Renault F1 team was disqualified for two years, while then-boss Flavio Briatore has been banned from motorsport indefinitely.


What to expect in 2019

At the race weekend from September 20 to 22, expect to see lots of changes in equipment and rules involving drivers’ speed and safety. But it doesn’t mean the races will be any less thrilling.

Front wing: wider, higher and more powerful

Drivers racing those in front at high speed is par for the course. Changes to the front wing – making it wider and higher to enhance a car’s power – will allow competitors to race more closely and reduce the risk of stalling.

Rear wing: bumper to bumper

Look out for lots of fast, dramatic overtaking. The rear wing has been redesigned – making it higher, wider and simpler – so that, like the changes made to the front wing, drivers will be able to race more closely.

Life-saving gloves

This year, drivers will wear biometric gloves, which are designed with sensors that monitor pulse rates and oxygen levels in the blood. They could prove to be life-saving in emergencies: the data is transmitted to medical teams should a crash take place.

Stronger, safer helmets

Helmets are standard at the Singapore Grand Prix – but this year’s races will see stricter requirements surrounding them. New standards introduced by the FIA will see key changes to the helmets, including increased energy absorption, which will help to reduce the risks of impact from debris.

New weight requirements

Some drivers used to have to watch their waistlines to meet F1 car weight regulations. That will no longer be the case this year, since each driver’s weight will now be considered separately from the car. Meanwhile, the car’s minimum weight has gone up from 733kg (1,615 pounds) to 740kg, and the driver seat and equipment must contribute at least 80kg of that.


From performances by pop and rock stars to Michelin-starred posh bites, the Singapore Grand Prix promises something for everyone. Go all-out with a luxury hospitality package. See more below

Hospitality Entertainment

Hospitality

Fans looking to enhance their F1 experience can choose from plenty of hospitality options – think the Formula 1 Paddock Club, Sky Suite, Twenty3, The Green Room and [email protected] 3.

One of the highlights of this year’s hospitality offerings is the all-new Upper Deck. Positioned on the upper level of Boardwalk, an exclusive glass-encased facility within the Paddock Club – the Upper Deck boasts vantage points for the dramatic on-track racing action, while also offering a delectable line-up of haute cuisine in the comfort of the air-conditioned facility.

All Paddock Club guests can access bespoke specialty concept restaurants: one Michelin-starred Hind’s Head by chef Heston Blumenthal; globally renowned Japanese establishment NOBU; Rockpool by noted Australian chef Neil Perry; award-winning COMO Dempsey; desserts from Singapore’s Tarte by Cheryl Koh, and acclaimed bar, Stockton, by Maximal Concepts.

Guests can also indulge in specially curated activities such as a massage at the COMO Shambhala Spa, clairvoyant readings and exclusive entertainment at the Paddock Club stage.

Entertainment

Get ready for seven major acts, nine stages and over 100 hours of entertainment.

Top tip for music fans: for those hoping to catch every concert over the weekend and great views of the tracks, a ticket to The Cube is your answer. It grants access to an elevated viewing deck, which overlooks the Padang Stage where headline acts on each evening will perform.

Ticket holders can enjoy the race from viewing platforms through Zone 1 to 4 – plus free-flowing Taittinger Champagne, spirits, beer, soft drinks and canapes.

Swedish House Mafia

After a five-year hiatus, Swedish House Mafia announced their return as a group last year. Catch the much-loved house music trio play signature tracks such as Don’t You Worry Child.
Padang Stage, Zone 4, Friday, September 20

Muse

The iconic rockers have sold more than 20 million albums worldwide, and now is your chance to see them live.
Padang Stage, Saturday, September 21

Gwen Stefani

“The queen of confessional pop” made her name as the lead singer of No Doubt, later going solo and singing mega hits such as Hollaback Girl and The Sweet Escape.
Padang Stage, Saturday, September 21

Red Hot Chili Peppers

Alt-rock mainstay Red Hot Chili Peppers need no introduction. This is the Rock & Roll Hall of Famers’ first performance in Singapore since 2002 – and is not to be missed.
Padang Stage, Sunday, September 22

Fatboy Slim

The DJ extraordinaire hits the decks not once, but on two nights. Cue bass-heavy party anthems.
The Wharf Stage, Zone 1, Saturday, September 21; Padang Stage, Sunday, September 22

Hans Zimmer


If you’re a fan of the iconic soundtracks of The Lion King, Gladiator or Interstellar, you’ll love composer extraordinaire Hans Zimmer’s live orchestrated music sets.
The Wharf Stage, Zone 1, Sunday, September 22

Toots and the Maytals

Legendary Jamaican group Toots and the Maytals are widely known as one of the pioneers of reggae.
The Wharf Stage, Zone 1, Friday, September 20; Esplanade Outdoor Theatre, Zone 4, Saturday, September 21

For an unforgettable weekend of trackside action and spectacular entertainment, tickets starting from SGD 98 are available for sale at singaporegp.sg and through all authorised ticketing partners.

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