Marina Bay Street Circuit: Home of the Singapore Grand Prix:
While the Marina Bay Street Circuit passes famous landmarks in a manner similar to the Monaco course — including St. Andrew’s Cathedral, City Hall, the Supreme Court and the Esplanade Bridge — it does not have anything like the interesting changes in elevation of its European counterpart. It does have one thing that distinguishes it from all other Formula 1 tracks, however: It was designed to run exclusively as a night race.
With more than 1,500 light projectors — each with 2,000-watt, white-metal halide lamps — the overall luminosity of the circuit is four times that of an average sports stadium.
With 61 laps around a track of 3 miles, the course has 23 corners, two of which will be taken at more than 100 miles per hour. It is also one of the rare races to be run counterclockwise, and the only Formula 1 circuit that incorporates two bridges and even goes under a grandstand.
Since the first race on the circuit in 2008, the drivers have had little problem with the lighting. But the circuit is tricky, made slippery by low temperatures, a bumpy surface and dust.
“It is not easy, that’s for sure,” Lewis Hamilton said after winning in 2009 in his McLaren Mercedes. “It is not just the temperatures, but also it is corner after corner after corner. There is never a real break and it is very bumpy. The focus you probably need here is as much as you can possibly get. But the track is fantastic.”
The cars must be well balanced so that drivers can confidently push hard in the wide cross-section of corners.
Fernando Alonso, the Ferrari driver who won the race in 2008 in a Renault and finished third last year, also in a Renault, said it was the kind of track that a driver either likes or does not like.
“There’s no halfway,” he said. “The people who don’t like it never find the right way, they lack confidence in some corners, it’s difficult to attack in qualifying — and we know how important qualifying is on a street circuit where it’s difficult to overtake.”