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DATE News (chronologically)
09/25/08
f1
Singapore track preview
New Singapore street circuit
Formula One enters a brave new world at Singapore's street circuit this weekend, the first time an F1 event has been held under lights. The prospect of a brand new circuit combined with the uncertainty of the night-time conditions could make for some interesting results.

This is F1 racing for the 21st century. It is made for TV, with the added touch of digital flags around the track, replacing the 50-year tradition of race marshals. While some of the teams have tested here, it's unknown what effect the night-time conditions will have on things like tire pressure, engine performance and of course driver visibility.

The track is located in the Marina Bay area and is very much in the same vein as the new Valencia track which hosted the 2008 European Grand Prix. The concept is like a bigger, safer version of Monaco.

Hermann Tilke originally drew up the plans for this track but it was construction and design company KBR which finished it off. There is plenty of ambition in the 5.067km circuit, especially the part where the track runs underneath the public grandstand.

It is a typical street circuit, with a lot of straights and a lot of tight winding corners. The anti-clockwise lap starts on a short-straight into left and right hand bends and then into the tricky Turn 3, a hairpin left bend. The drivers bend back right through Turn 5 and into the fastest part of the track. Turn Six is a slight right kink which then brings an end to the first sector.

Turns seven, eight and nine zigzag at right angles, making for some spectacular harborside racing. After a short straight, it's a tight fit through turn 10 before some high speed cornering on 11 and 12. Turn 13 is a very sharp left-hander then it's to the end of sector two and into the Esplanade section.

The track then snakes between the water and the stands, right through 14, right through 16, left through 17 and 18, right through 19 and 20, then left through 21. After that busy stretch, it's a little easier, with the high-speed 22nd and 23rd turns finishing off the lap into the home straight. By Luke Buttigieg

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