Marina Bay Street Circuit

Marina Bay Street Circuit

The Marina Bay Street Circuit (otherwise known as the Singapore Street Circuit) is a street-based circuit around the city state's Marina Bay and is the venue for the Singapore Grand Prix. The track is 5.1-kilometres (3.15-miles) long in a harbourside location similar in style to the Monaco Grand Prix and the new circuit in Valencia. It is the first night-time event in Formula One history. On January 31 the Singapore GP was given a night-time qualifying and second practice, although there are some safety reservations. But Formula One CEO Bernie Ecclestone has confirmed a night race by saying, "This will be the first fully lit street race in Formula One."

The circuit is designed by KBR, Inc., a modification of the original one first proposed by Hermann Tilke.

Characteristics

On the day of confirmation of the Singapore Grand Prix in the 2008 Formula One season, a routemap was published. The pit area of the circuit is located in an empty plot of land off Republic Boulevard and beside the Singapore Flyer. A temporary track leads from the pit area and under the Benjamin Sheares Bridge to Republic Boulevard and turns onto Raffles Boulevard. It then proceeds along Nicoll Highway, Stamford Road and Saint Andrew's Road around the Padang, past the City Hall.

The track then goes onto the Anderson Bridge, past the Fullerton Hotel and make a tight left turn to Esplanade Drive beside the Merlion Park. It joins Raffles Avenue and cut right after the Esplanade to the front of the Marina Bay Floating Stadium and return to the pit area via another temporary road around the Singapore Flyer. The track layout is unique in that in between turns 18 and 19, the cars race underneath a section of grandstand of the Floating Platform.

In 2008 race, Fernando Alonso won the first ever F1 night race here, with many F1 drivers commenting about the circuit's bumpy surface.

The track was widely criticised by F1 drivers to be excessively bumpy, resulting in a very unforgiving circuit, especially given the hot and humid conditions of the Singapore climate. World championship leader Lewis Hamilton commented that it was twice as hard to negotiate as the more famous Monaco street circuit, and unexpectedly physical - requiring double the amount of energy over a single lap as compared to the Monaco circuit.

Several drivers, including Sebastien Bourdais and Fernando Alonso, expressed their concern about the high and harsh kerbs at the turn 13 hairpin and the chicane at turn 10 of the street circuit. Ferrari's Felipe Massa compared the kerbs akin to "little tortises that would wreck the car if you get something wrong". The drivers were worried that hitting the bumps could cause suspension damage or even damage a tub. They also raised concerns that the bumps would pitch them into the wall on the outside of the corner. Responding to the drivers' feedback, FIA race director and safety delegate Charlie Whiting ordered the high kerbs at Singapore's turn 10 hairpin be modified ahead of Friday's free practice. The kerbs were further reduced in height for Saturday and Sunday's night race.

The entry of the pit lane, which begins at the penultimate corner of the 23-turn layout, was deemed to be "difficult and incredibly dangerous" by several drivers due to the fast nature of the corners where they were situated. The controversial pit entry at Singapore was then modified ahead of Saturday's official Qualifying round by extending the pit entry line away from the pits. This change compelled drivers to commit to the pit entry earlier, providing additional warning to those following behind.

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