The only night race on the Formula One calendar takes place in one of the busiest metropolis cities in Asia, as the roar of V8 engines will again echo around the streets of Singapore under the impressively numerous and bright street lights. The circuit itself is another test for the drivers and their high-revving machines, with brakes and gearboxes taking most of the strain over 21 turns.
The changes in the asphalt along with the high humidity and bumpy nature of the track push the driver to the limit, as Singapore is a track that is unforgiving to all. The only major change to the track itself is the Turn 10 chicane, the “Singapore Sling,” has been reconfigured into a flowing left hander from this season onwards, with Turns 1, 2 and 3 being re-profiled in 2009 to help overtaking. This will see a quicker time of around 1 second per lap per car roaring around the streets. Momentum is also a key part of getting a quick lap around the track, with braking forces around five times the force of gravity at some points on track.
An interesting fact is that the Singapore Grand Prix was first held in the mid 1960s, after Singapore achieved national independence, the race was known as the Malaysian Grand Prix, before a spate of fatal accidents in both the 1972 and 1973 races were only just a part of the reasons that forced its eventual discontinuation.
The event was a sell-out success in its first year, with many more fans flocking from around the world to see a racing event that provides spectacle and drama, which is set to continue until the end of its current agreement with FOM until 2017. The visors will be clear, as the cameras show how much the 22 drivers will be focusing deep into the night, as this track like Monaco, will take no prisoners for the slightest mistake that is made…
Track Length: 5.065km
Race first appearance: 1966
Most wins: Graeme Lawrence (1969, 1970 and 1971)
2012 Pole Position: Lewis Hamilton (1:46.362)
2012 Race Winner: Sebastian Vettel
2012 Fastest Lap: Nico Hulkenberg (1:51.033)
Flying Lap of the Marina Bay Street Circuit (Lewis Hamilton, 2012)
Images courtesy of Richland F1 (c)