The Sin­ga­pore, Malaysian and Ja­panese GPS

F1 Racing (UK) - - CONTENTS -

THE MAIN EVENT

Ma­rina Bay as­ton­ished ev­ery­one who turned up to its de­but race in 2008 when they saw the cir­cuit lit up like the prover­bial Christ­mas tree. It was be­yond spec­tac­u­lar – and had an at­mos­phere that sub­se­quent im­i­ta­tor night races have more-or-less com­pletely failed to repli­cate.

Nine years on, it re­mains the most in­tense driver chal­lenge on the F1 cal­en­dar. The sap­ping heat and hu­mid­ity are prob­lem­atic; so too are the 23 cor­ners of vi­cious kerbs, low grip and un­help­fully sit­u­ated bumps, all keen to throw the un­wary or plain un­lucky into the om­nipresent walls. Th­ese they have to sur­vive for the full two hours. Last year’s Sin­ga­pore Grand Prix was the quick­est ever, at a sprightly 1hr 55m 48.950s. The race has twice been stopped on the clock in the last five sea­sons.

Kick­ing off the fi­nal tranche of fly­aways, this is a great venue for the be­gin­ning of the end. In a tense sea­son, drama is mag­ni­fied and ev­ery de­ci­sion scru­ti­nised as it all grows more real un­der the glare of the flood­lights.

CLAS­SIC RACE: 2008

The phrase ‘in­stant clas­sic’ is grossly overused, but the first race on the Ma­rina Bay Street Cir­cuit fits the bill and in­stantly made the Sin­ga­pore Grand Prix a key­stone of the F1 cal­en­dar. Fer­nando Alonso took an un­der­dog vic­tory, Re­nault’s first in nearly two years, which was later tainted by the ‘Crash­gate’ race-fix­ing con­tro­versy.

Race leader Felipe Massa had blown his chance to take the ti­tle lead, leav­ing his box with the fuel hose still at­tached in a cat­a­strophic case of pre­ma­ture evac­u­a­tion. The race pro­duced spec­ta­cle, drama and con­tro­versy – all con­ducted against a daz­zling back­drop, the likes of which F1 had never seen be­fore.

RACE DATA

Cir­cuit name Ma­rina Bay Street Cir­cuit First GP 2008 Num­ber of laps 61 Cir­cuit length 3.147 miles Race dis­tance 191.897 miles Lap record 1m 47.187s Daniel Ric­cia­rdo (2016) F1 races held 9 Win­ners from pole 7 Tyres Ul­tra­soft, su­per­soft, soft

TV TIMETABLE (UK TIME)

Fri­day 15 Septem­ber Prac­tice 1 11:00-12:30 Prac­tice 2 14:30-16:00 Satur­day 16 Septem­ber Prac­tice 3 11:00-12:00 Qual­i­fy­ing 14:00-15:00 Sun­day 17 Septem­ber Race 13:00 Live coverage Channel 4 & Sky Sports F1

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