The Singapore Grand Prix was host to the first night race in Formula 1 history and the Marina Bay Circuit has been a popular destination since it became a regular fixture on the F1 calendar back in 2008. With just days remaining before the start of the 2014 Singapore Grand Prix, here are ten facts you need to know about the venue as Formula 1 returns to Asia…
- The Marina Bay Street Circuit has 23 corners – the most of any circuit on the calendar. In terms of average lap time, only one lap of Spa-Francorchamps takes longer to complete than the Marina Bay circuit. As a result, the cars tend to be heavier and carry more fuel for the night race.
- In 2013, changes were made to the Marina Bay Circuit at the turn 10 chicane. Then known as the ‘Singapore Sling’, the chicane was replaced with a single-apex left hand turn, thus increasing the speed to 40kmh faster.
- The safety car has been deployed at every Singapore Grand Prix since its return to the calendar in 2008. It remains the only circuit on the calendar to hold such a title.
- The Singapore Grand Prix has been won from pole position on three occasions – 2009, 2010 and 2011. Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel were the victors from pole position.
- For the first and only time in his long career, Fernando Alonso secured a clean sweep of successes – a pole position, win, fastest lap and leading every lap – at the 2010 Singapore Grand Prix for Ferrari. The Spaniard last one a Grand Prix in Germany back in 2012.
- Speaking of the two time champion, Alonso has finished in the top three at all but one of the last five Grands Prix at Marina Bay when he finished fourth in 2011. His Ferrari has struggled this year but a podium opportunity cannot be ruled out.
- Formula 1’s first night race, held in 2008, was heaped in controversy when Nelson Piquet Jr’s car was allegedly ordered to crash, gifting his team mate Alonso with the win under a safety car. Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds received their punishments however the latter is now Chief Technical Officer at Williams F1.
- No nationalised Singaporean has started a world championship Grand Prix since the inception of the world championship back in 1950. Lee Han Seng and Rodney Seow each won a non-championship round in 1966 and 1967 respectively.
- Lotus F1 junior Marlon Stockinger is the most likely candidate, and could well share reserve drive duties with Marco Sorensen next year, but the 23-year-old currently sits eighth in the Formula Renault 3.5 championship.
- According to Mind Performance Coach Simon Fitchett, who has worked with the likes of David Coulthard and Sergio Perez, drivers can lose up to 3-4 kilos during the race as a direct result of the humidity. They do not lose body fat, he says, they lose body fluids to rehydrating post-race is key to their health.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia.