After competing in the quickest race in terms of duration, we’re now heading to the series’ longest race – the Singapore Grand Prix on 17 September at the 5.065-kilometre (3.147-mile) Marina Bay Street Circuit.
When Singapore came upon the Formula One scene, it was more than just a new venue in a stunning location. It was Formula One’s first night race and the first street circuit in Asia. The Singapore Grand Prix has grown in stature since, with drivers eagerly anticipating the 23-turn layout despite its challenging nature.
Powerful lighting illuminates the track in such luster that drivers say it’s clearer than in daytime, as there is no glare. And with those lights shimmering off the cars’ sinewy shapes as they shoot down the straights at 320 kph (200 mph) while sparks flare from their underbodies, fans are treated to a sensory assault that can only be found at the Marina Bay Street Circuit.
The circuit’s walls are unforgiving, but in order for a driver to wring every ounce of speed from his racecar, he must dance with those walls while navigating the numerous bumps of the track’s surface.
If that’s not enough, Singapore in September is hot. Really hot. And for added measure, really humid. As much as the Singapore Grand Prix is run at night for aesthetic purposes, night time is the coolest time for drivers and spectators alike. Nonetheless, temperatures inside the racecar can reach 60 degrees Celsius (140 degrees Fahrenheit).
Despite the tough track and equally tough environs, the Singapore Grand Prix is embraced by drivers. The electric atmosphere of the city and the beauty of Formula One at night, where exhaust flames and glowing brake discs provide a technicolour display that goes unnoticed in daylight hours, are appreciated by the drivers. It’s a modern-day Monaco.