Marina Bay Street Circuit
|Time zone||SST (+08:00)|
|Major events||FIA Formula One
Singapore Grand Prix
|Singapore Sling chicane circuit (2008–2012)|
|Length||5.073 km (3.152 mi)|
|Lap record||1:45.599 ( Kimi Räikkönen, Ferrari, 2008)|
|Current circuit (2013–)|
|Length||5.065 km (3.147 mi)|
|Lap record||1:48.574 ( Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull-Renault, 2013)|
The Marina Bay Street Circuit (otherwise known as the Singapore GP Street Circuit) is a street circuit around Singapore's Marina Bay and is the venue for the Singapore Grand Prix. The track is 5.065 km (3.147 mi) long in a harbourside location similar in style to the Monaco Grand Prix and the Valencia Street Circuit in Valencia.
On the day of confirmation of the Singapore Grand Prix in the 2008 Formula One season, a routemap was published. The pit area of the circuit is located in an empty plot of land off Republic Boulevard and beside the Singapore Flyer. A temporary track leads from the pit area and under the Benjamin Sheares Bridge to Republic Boulevard and turns onto Raffles Boulevard. It then proceeds along Nicoll Highway, Stamford Road and Saint Andrew's Road around the Padang, past the City Hall.
The track then goes onto the Anderson Bridge, past the Fullerton Hotel and make a tight left turn to Esplanade Drive beside the Merlion Park. It joins Raffles Avenue and cut right after the Esplanade to the front of The Float at Marina Bay and return to the pit area via another temporary road around the Singapore Flyer. The track layout is unique in that in between turns 18 and 19, the cars race underneath a section of grandstand of the Floating Platform.
The track was widely criticised by F1 drivers to be excessively bumpy, particularly on Raffles Boulevard between turns 5 and 7, resulting in a very unforgiving circuit, especially given the hot and humid conditions of the Singapore climate. 2008 World Champion Lewis Hamilton commented that it was twice as hard to negotiate as the more famous Monaco street circuit, and unexpectedly physical – requiring double the amount of energy over a single lap as compared to the Monaco circuit.
Several drivers, including Sébastien Bourdais and Fernando Alonso, expressed their concern about the high and harsh kerbs at the chicane at turn 10 of the street circuit. Ferrari's Felipe Massa compared the kerbs akin to "little tortoises that would wreck the car if you get something wrong". The drivers were worried that hitting the bumps could cause suspension damage or even damage a tub. They also raised concerns that the bumps would pitch them into the wall on the outside of the corner. Whilst the FIA had been involved in the development of these kerbs, in response to the drivers' concerns FIA race director and safety delegate Charlie Whiting agreed to lower the kerbs at the turn 10 chicane ahead of Friday's free practice. The kerbs were further reduced in height for Saturday and Sunday's night race. The chicane at Turn 10 was reprofiled for the 2010 race in an attempt to make it safer and the turns more gradual by moving the kerbs, however Lewis Hamilton said in an interview this modification made the chicane more dangerous by making the entry to the corner smaller, calling the complex "the worst corner in F1". In 2013, ahead of the race, the chicane was removed and replaced with a left turn, resulting in faster lap times.
The entry of the pit lane, which begins at the penultimate corner of the 23-turn layout, was deemed to be "difficult and incredibly dangerous" by several drivers due to the fast nature of the corners where they were situated. The problem was deemed to be primarily due to the speed differential of those entering the pits and those continuing on another lap and their sharing of the same race line. The controversial pit entry at Singapore was then modified ahead of Saturday's official Qualifying round by extending the pit entry line away from the pits. This change compelled drivers to commit to the pit entry earlier, providing additional warning to those following behind. In March 2009, three of the circuit's corners were given names after a competition amongst local F1 fans to submit ideas. Turn 1 was named Sheares after Benjamin Henry Sheares, the second president of Singapore; Turn 7 was named Memorial due to its proximity to a Second World War civilian memorial; and Turn 10 was named Singapore Sling. The Singapore Sling was changed for the 2013 Grand Prix and Turn 10 is now a flowing left-hander.
In January 2010, it was reported that race organisers were considering changes to the circuit for the 2011 season. No major changes were made to the layout for the 2011 race, however Singapore Tourism Board has sought submissions on opportunities to reinvigorate the layout or completely relocate it in the future.
In 2013 season FIA approved track configuration changes. Turn 10 chicane, known as 'Singapore Sling' was removed and replaced with a single-apex left-hand bend. Corner entry speed is about 40 km/h faster. To compensate for the increase in speed, an extra layer of TecPro barriers lines the end of the Turn 10 run-off as an added safety measure.
Esplanade stretch of the circuit, one week before the 2008 race
- "Singapore confirms 2008 night race". formula1.com (Formula One Administration). 2007-05-11. Retrieved 2007-05-18.
- "Track changes ahead of Singapore Grand Prix". formula1.com (Formula One Administration). 2009-09-22. Retrieved 2010-09-25.
- "Circuit Guides: Singapore". Hilton Hotels & Resorts. Hilton Worldwide. Retrieved 2010-09-25.
- "Singapore to host F1 Grand Prix next year". Channel NewsAsia (MediaCorp). 2007-05-11. Retrieved 2007-05-18.
- Lim, Julian (2007-05-11). "It's on! Formula One race is coming to Singapore in 2008". AsiaOne (Singapore Press Holdings). Retrieved 2007-05-18.
- "Singapore F1 track too bumpy, drivers complain". AsiaOne (Singapore Press Holdings). 2008-09-27. Retrieved 2010-09-25.
- Collantine, Keith (2008-09-25). "F1 drivers largely happy with the Singapore track, apart from the tortoises". F1 Fanatic (Keith Collantine). Retrieved 2010-09-25.
- "Whiting orders kerb solution". UpdateF1 (GMM). 2008-09-26. Retrieved 2010-09-25.
- Holt, Sarah (2010-09-24). "Lewis Hamilton criticises Singapore chicane revisions". BBC Sport (Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore: BBC). Retrieved 2010-09-25.
- "Singapore pit-lane is 'incredibly dangerous'". crash.net (Crash Media Group). 2008-09-27. Retrieved 2010-09-25.
- "Singapore pit entry altered". UpdateF1 (GMM). 2008-09-27. Retrieved 2010-09-25.
- "New corner names for Singapore Grand Prix circuit". Formula1.com (Formula One Administration). 2009-03-20. Retrieved 2009-03-20.
- Strang, Simon (2010-01-28). "Singapore considering layout changes". Autosport.com (Haymarket Publications). Retrieved 2010-01-29.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Marina Bay Street Circuit.|
- Official F1 Singapore Grand Prix website
- Map and circuit history at RacingCircuits.info
- BBC's circuit guide
- Google Maps hybrid view of the circuit
- Circuit simulation preview with commentary by Mark Webber
- Marina Bay Street Circuit on Google Maps (Current Formula 1 Tracks)