The Marina Bay Street Circuit is a street circuit, and it is the current venue for the Singapore Grand Prix. It wraps partway around Marina Bay, similar to Circuit de Monaco and the former Valencia Street Circuit. The circuit is notable for staging the race entirely after sunset, becoming the first circuit to host nighttime races in Formula One history.
The circuit also has an unusual record of having at least one safety car appearance in every race to date.
Circuit History[edit | edit source]
A Formula Libre Singapore Grand Prix was held in the sixties and early seventies on a road circuit, in a wooded area on the northern part of the island. The race was discontinued for a variety of reasons, but more than 30 years later interests in Singapore had noticed the global appeal of modern Formula One, and communicated their interest in hosting a race.
The circuit was created for hosting a Grand Prix as a promotional event for Singapore. Hermann Tilke submitted an initial design for the circuit, but the contractor KBR made minor changes to the final configuration. Construction on the pit complex and other portions of the track was started in mid 2007, and after a resurfacing project the following spring, an inspection certified the track for racing.
Circuit Layouts[edit | edit source]
Previous Layouts[edit | edit source]
2008[edit | edit source]
The pit complex was constructed along the west shore of the Geylang River, just north from where it forks from the Singapore River, on undeveloped parkland. This section is partly under a bridge over the Geylang, known as the Benjamin Sheares Flyover. The track is actually a hybrid, with about 25% of the circuit having been custom built for the race, and the other 75% on city streets.
Along the 1⁄2 km straight are grandstands between the track and river, and a large pit/media building to the inland side. At the end of the pit straight, the cars hit a three corner complex. Turn 1 was moderately tight left hander, followed immediately by Turn 2, a sweeping right. Turn 2 ends at the beginning Turn 3, a sharp, 135° left hand hairpin. At this point the circuit has entered onto city streets, heading south on Republic Blvd., which roughly parallels the pit straight. After a short, gently bending straight (the bend is called Turn 4), the cars make a sweeping 90° right (Turn 5), onto Raffles Blvd. This is regarded as the longest straight on the circuit, almost a full kilometer, even though there is a sweeping right hander about halfway along, known as Turn 6. This straight actually passes under a structure that includes a pedestrian bridge and a pair of tennis courts, directly over the roadway.
Turn 7 is a moderate 90° left, taking the cars onto Nicoll Highway. They follow that road for only a block (going past War Memorial Park), before encountering Turn 8, a tight 90° right onto Stamford Road. This takes the cars on the short block between the memorial park and the Singapore Recreation Club, before Turn 9 makes another sharp left to run down St. Andrew's Road, between the club and the National Gallery and Singapore government buildings. At the end of a moderate straight, Turn 10 could have been a quick, sweeping left onto Connaught Drive, but the organizers inserted a very slow, left-right-left chicane instead. Turns 11 and 12 are the right and left components of a gentle pair of bends through an intersection, leaving the cars headed in the same general direction, but now on Fullerton Road. This takes the cars over the Anderson Bridge to a very brief visit to the south side of the Singapore River. They quickly encounter Turn 13, a sharp, 135° left hairpin, putting the cars on Esplanade Drive and crossing the much longer Jubilee Bridge. Esplanade is actually the same road as the previously mentioned Nicoll Highway, and a half-kilometer straight takes the cars back to Turn 14, at the same intersection as Turn 8. But since the cars are making sharp right turns from the right hand side of a wide road at each corner, there is no danger of head-on collisions.
The cars are now headed back toward the pits on Raffles Avenue, not to be confused with Raffles Blvd, a block to the north. A gentle left sweeper known as Turn 15 would be taken flat out, if it were not the braking point for the Float at Marina Bay complex. The complex is comprised of a 30,000 seat grandstand, between Raffles and the river and facing towards the water, and a floating platform, large enough to hold soccer/football matches but often used for concert stages and standing room for spectators. Turns 16 and 17 are tight 90° corners, going right and left to put the cars briefly in view of the grandstand along the water's edge. Almost to the eastern end of the grandstand, Turn 18 turns the cars sharply left again, and beneath the grandstand. As soon as they have passed beneath, Turn 19 is a 90° right back onto Raffles Avenue.
But not for long. About 100 meters further, the cars make another 90° right (Turn 20), this time onto the racing-only surface that leads past the pits. After Turn 21, a sweeping 90° lefthander, the cars pass under the flyover again, then quickly past a small outdoor stage theater. Then they are setting up for Turns 22 and 23, the final two corners. The two together add up to about a 110° lefthander, but they both have low radii, and there is a short straight between them. 22 had a greater arc than 23, making them a challenge to get the maximum speed for the pit straight.
Inside the 22-23 complex, out of sight to drivers but otherwise dominating the premises, is the Singapore Flyer, an observation-style Farris Wheel. Reaching a maximum height of 165 meters/541 feet, it was for several years the tallest structure of it's type in the world. Viewers can look down upon the pits and paddock, or at the apex see as far as Malaysia, 32 km/20 miles to the north.
The track initially measured 5.067 km/3.149 miles.
2009-2012[edit | edit source]
After the initial race in 2008, some changes were necessary to the circuit. A collision at the start of the race at Turn 3 almost became a chain-reaction, so Turn 1 was tightened, to space the cars out somewhat before Turn 3. Some complaints about the pit lane were addressed, by moving the entrance from after Turn 23 to before Turn 22. The pit exit was also moved, from just before Turn 1 to the outside of Turn 2. And Raffles Blvd. was singled out as being particularly bumpy, so a major resurfacing was carried out before the 2009 race. And finally the organizers decided to rename some of the corners. So Turn 1 became Sheares Corner, Turn 7 was now Memorial Corner, and finally, the Turn 10 chicane became the Singapore Sling. Since the chicane was not popular with the drivers, several alternate suggestions were floating around the paddock.
After the changes, the track now measured 5.073 km/3.152 miles.
2013-2014[edit | edit source]
The Singapore Sling chicane had been a bone of contention with the drivers since the inital race, and no amount of adjusting of curbs, lighting, barriers or runoff room was making them happy. So in 2013, the organizers gave in, and removed the chicane. They replaced it with a very tight righthander, but the sense of relief across the paddock was palpable. The corner did retain the name, however.
The track now measured 5.065 km/3.137 miles.
Current[edit | edit source]
For 2015, a minor change was made. Turn 11 was shifted beyond a roundabout, and Turn 12 was moved slightly. The overall effect was to make them two distinct corners, and lowering the speed into Turn 13 a bit. But the lap distance was unchanged at 5.065 km/3.147 miles.
Event history[edit | edit source]
The following is a list of Formula One World Championship events held at the Marina Bay Street circuit:
Multiple winners (drivers)[edit | edit source]
Drivers in bold are competing in the Formula One championship in the current season.
A pink background indicates an event which was not part of the Formula One World Championship.
|# of wins||Driver||Years won|
|5||Sebastian Vettel||2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2019|
|4||Lewis Hamilton||2009, 2014, 2017, 2018|
|2||Fernando Alonso||2008, 2010|
Multiple winners (constructors)[edit | edit source]
Teams in bold are competing in the Formula One championship in the current season.
|# of wins||Constructor||Years won|
|4||Mercedes||2014, 2016, 2017, 2018|
|3||Ferrari||2010, 2015, 2019|
|Red Bull||2011, 2012, 2013|
Notes[edit | edit source]
|V T E||Singapore Grand Prix|
|Circuits||Marina Bay Street Circuit (2008–present)|
|Races||2008 • 2009 • 2010 • 2011 • 2012 • 2013 • 2014 • 2015 • 2016 • 2017 • 2018 • 2019|
|v·d·e||Nominate this page for Featured Article|