Everything you need to know about the Singapore Grand Prix

Published on
29 Sep 2022
Est. reading time
5 Min

Your ultimate guide to the Marina Bay Street Circuit

Formula One will race on the streets of Singapore for the first time since 2019 as Williams Racing head to the home of F1 night racing for the 2022 Singapore Grand Prix.
You may need a refresher on the Marina Bay Street Circuit as it's been a while since our last visit, so here's everything you need to know.

Track Facts

After appearing on the calendar for the first time in 2008, the Marina Bay Street Circuit soon became an annual challenge in humidity endurance for the drivers tackling the 23-corner 5.063km road course.
Although there are now several Grands Prix that race under the night sky, Singapore started this trend thanks to the success of the inaugural Singapore Grand Prix, illuminated by around 1,500 custom-made lights.
The track has undergone several tweaks since its debut in response to driver feedback that has made the circuit safer and quicker. These alterations have reduced the lap time as the years passed, despite the circuit length remaining roughly the same.
The skyscraper backdrop to the Marina Bay Street Circuit is remarkable, but one structure remains unique in F1 – the grandstand between Turns 17 and 18. Sitting here is the only place in the season where fans can see cars pass underneath their seats.
As you may expect from a city circuit, Safety Cars are a regular occurrence at the Singapore Grand Prix, and there has been at least one Safety Car period in every race held at the track so far.

What are the drivers saying?

Out of our driver duo, Alex Albon is the only one with Singapore experience with his 2019 drive, where he finished in P6.
Alex Albon is preparing to get back behind the wheel on Friday as he continues his recovery from respiratory failure after appendicitis forced him to sit out the Italian Grand Prix.
Our No23 expressed his gratitude to everyone for their recent support and is now relishing the opportunity to get back behind the wheel:
“Firstly, I’d just like to thank everyone for all their messages and support over the Italian Grand Prix weekend.
“My preparation for Singapore has been a little different than normal but I’m feeling good and I’ve done everything possible to get ready for one of the most physical races on the calendar.
"I am not underestimating how big of a challenge this is going to be, but I am looking forward to hitting the track on Friday and getting back driving.
“It’s a great street circuit and the closest race to home for me in Thailand, so I’m really excited to be here and to see the fans that have turned out.”

Check out our Singapore pop-up

Having never raced at the Singapore Grand Prix, Nicholas Latifi is eagerly anticipating his first Formula One drive around a venue like no other:
“Singapore has been one of the Grands Prix on the calendar I’ve been most looking forward to.
“It’s one of the only two I haven’t raced at including Japan. It’s my first time visiting Singapore and I’ve heard so many great things about this race.
“The track itself is a night street race which I’m a fan of. It’s a physically demanding circuit with the heat and very technical with so many corners.
“I’m excited to see what the weekend brings as it could be quite wet which could make it interesting and present something we can take advantage of.”

Watch Alex and Nicky preview Singapore

From the Pit Wall

After a multi-year break from visiting the city-state of Singapore, our Head of Vehicle Performance Dave Robson will be hoping we can get back into the swing of things quickly at what is a uniquely challenging track:
“In sharp contrast to Monza, the Marina Bay circuit in Singapore is a slow, twisty track with 23 corners for the drivers to negotiate.
“It has been a few years since we last raced in Singapore and although the layout will be largely unchanged, the track surface is likely to be quite different and is likely to evolve rapidly during the weekend.
“Whilst the late timing of the sessions helps to reduce the rain risk, it adds to the varying conditions as the track changes from the afternoon to the evening. All of this adds to the challenge of preparing for the Singapore Grand Prix and helps make it a unique and special event.”
Dave also recognised that while the Marina Bay Street Circuit is notoriously challenging, street circuits can also present opportunities for the team, continuing:
“As a team we have enjoyed the end to the European season, with the FW44 performing well in Spa and Monza, and Nyck de Vries proving to be a very capable late replacement for Alex.
“As we now refocus on Singapore, we expect a more challenging weekend, but we also know that a street circuit like Singapore can present opportunity to do well and we will be looking to maximise these chances.
“Pirelli are providing their softest compounds for this event, which is a combination we last used in Canada.
“The layout of the circuit means that traction is the biggest demand placed on the tyres and how well each compound deals with this will depend heavily on the track conditions on the day.
“We will need to assess all three compounds on Friday before deciding on the likely race strategy.”
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Did you know?

The bright lights illuminating the streets that F1 races on are 30x more powerful than the regular street lights around Singapore. The lights produce 3000 lux, compared to the 100 lux that Singapore's standard lights output. For comparison, a football stadium sees around 800 lux.
Many remember the controversy surrounding Fernando Alonso's victory in the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix. However, that race also featured a Williams podium finish, with Nico Rosberg securing P2 in what would be his highest finish with the team.
With a relatively slow lap time for the circuit length and Safety Car periods being a common sight, the race has often run to the two-hour Grand Prix time limit. The last time this happened was in 2017 when the chequered flag flew on Lap 58 of 61.
That 2017 race also represents the only time in F1 history when a night race had wet weather. A downpour hit the city just hours before the race, and the race beginning with a standing start, was every bit as dramatic as you'd expect.
With Singapore's proximity to the Equator (around 89 miles), the heat and humidity are always a factor in the Grand Prix, and in extreme cases, the drivers lose up to 3kg of body weight through sweat.
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