A Look Back at the History of the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix

Singapore Grand Prix

The Singapore Grand Prix is considered to be a real pearl of the Formula one calendar alongside the Belgium and Monaco Grand Prix. Singapore circuit race takes place on the city streets at night when both the track and city state are illuminated by bright lights making it one of the most memorable events in the globe. Singapore circuit has a length of 5.065 kilometers (191.897 miles). Drivers take 61 laps to complete the race length which is 308.828 kilometers.

The event which has so far been held for 14 times first took place in 1966. However the first race was organized in 1961 but was then called Orient Year Grand-Prix. It was then renamed Malaysian Grand Prix in 1962.  In 1965, Singapore got its independence and changed Thomson Rd circuit to Singapore Grand Prix.

This race was held up to 1973 but was discontinued.   Various explanations are credited for this decision including inconvenience of having the circuit close to roads, increased traffic and risk posed by unsuitability of track for races. It is also said that the organizers decision was a reaction to serious accidents in 1972 and 1973 races.

Current Grand Prix

The current formula one began after Singapore Tourism Board, Singapore GP PTE Limited and also Bernie Ecclestone signed a 5 year deal. In November 2007, it SingTel Communications was announced as the Singapore Grand Prix sponsor . They also televised the race on Channel 5.

About 110,000 tickets went on sale for the first Singapore Formula 1 race. Hospitality packages and suites were put on sale   on November 2007. This was followed by the sale of 3 day passes for public in February 2008. Sale of One-day passes was held in March 2008. All tickets for this edition of Singapore Grand Prix were sold out.

The race of 2008 FIA FI World Championship which was 15th round went down at Marina Bay Street Circuit. It was the first time a Formula 1 race took place at night. The t timing for this race made it possible to televise live at a time convenient with TV audiences in Europe. The track was illuminated by multiple projectors with output that was designed to match the circuit’s shape.

Controversial win

Fernardo Alonso driving a Renault won this Singapore Grand Prix race which was later tarnished by controversy after a confession. After getting a sack by Renault team, driver Nelson Piquet Jnr handed a statement to FIA revealing the he was told to crash deliberately so that a safety car would be deployed. This in turn helped Alonso whose car had an unusual light fuel load to win the race.

During the resulting hearing that was dubbed “Crashgate” it was decided that Renault should be get suspended for 2 years. Alonso and Piquet Jnr thus escaped prosecution. Flavio Briatore, the team boss and Pat Symonds, the technical director, took brunt of FIA punishment. Briatore was slapped with a ban from motorsport for life while Symonds got a ban of five years. The 2008 race also hosted the famed Amber Lounge after party. Singapore went on to become the second Formula One location to host Amber Lounge Fashion Show in 2010.

Circuit modification

In 2009 Singapore Grand Prix circuit was slightly re-profiled. This included modifying the turn 1, 2 and 3 in order to ease overtaking and at 10 the point at which high kerbs were blamed for many accidents of 2008. Briton Lewis Hamilton won the 2009 race without stirring controversy. However, observers raised eyebrows when Renault driver Romain Grosjean crashed his car in practice at the exact point where Piquet Jnr had crashed deliberately in 2008.

The race has since taken place without controversies. In September 2012, Associated Press reported that Singapore Grand Prix and Bernie Ecclestone reached an agreement for the event to remain on F1 calendar up to 2017. So far Graeme Lawrence and Sebastian Vettel hold the record for most wins. Each of them has won Singapore Grand Prix for 3 times. Red bull holds the record for most wins by constructor after winning 3 times. The coming race at Marina Bay Steer circuit is named 2014 FORMULA 1 SINGAPORE AIRLINES SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX. The change of name was made so as to accommodate that of the new sponsors.

As for who will drive away with the championship this year, is there any doubt that it will be the red-hot Lews Hamilton of Mercedes? I beg to agree and after just confirming the latest lines courtesy of UK-based bookmaker bet365, he seems like a lock to triumph in Singapore this year.

For other odds comparisons surrounding this weekend’s race, I’ve found that http://bookmaker-info.com/en/ tends to be a cut above the rest with their selections.

Get your engines revved up because the iconic night race in Sing Sing is on the horizon!