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DATE News (chronologically)
01/29/10
f1
Fewer turns, more speed for Singapore GP  UPDATE (GMM)  Some changes to the Singapore layout may be made ahead of the city-state's formula one night race next year.

At the Asian Sports Hub and Tourism Conference, Singapore tourism board executive director Justin Chew said no major changes will be evident when the circus rolls into town late this September.

"We are not going to make any significant changes to the track, but we will start looking at certain key changes to be implemented in 2011," he is quoted as saying by Channel NewsAsia.

"Of course, there is a new footprint coming around our circuit park, which is a new MRT station, the double helix bridge, the Marina Bay Sands etc and those would have impact as well," he added.

The Singapore newspaper Today said the existing lap could be sped up in 2011 by shortening the course, including by removing the corner where Nelson Piquet deliberately crashed in 2008.

There are also changes afoot at the Malaysian GP venue Sepang.

Track chief executive Razlan Razali told the local Star newspaper: "Works are in progress to repair and upgrade the pit area, the roof structure and to add more facilities for the benefit of spectators coming to watch the race."

Singapore GP Circuit
01/28/10
The Singapore Grand Prix is unique as the first night race on the Formula 1 calendar, making its debut at the 5.073km Marina Bay street circuit in 2008.  But in the last two years, it also was the slowest among all the circuits.

Today newspaper in Singapore rumors today that the organizers of the Singapore event have been looking into the possibility of tweaking the track layout to quicken lap times.

Any major changes, though, can only be made in 2011.

"We are always looking to see how we can improve the Singapore Grand Prix," said Justin Chew, STB's executive director, F1 project and hospitality.

"If it is for the good of the race and makes it more exciting for fans and drivers, we will consider it."

Two slow sections have come under the microscope.

One proposal is to close up the current entry from Raffles Boulevard into Turn 7 and rerun it towards the War Memorial. 

It will then turn left in front of Swissotel Stamford before rejoining the circuit at St Andrew's Road along the Padang.

Another section that could be shut is the tunnel underneath the Bay Grandstand, across the floating platform.

The route there will instead be realigned directly to Turn 21, but sources said the structures of the Benjamin Sheares Bridge along the way may pose technical difficulties.

The races held here have so far finished within two and four minutes, respectively, of the maximum two hours allowed by world motorsports governing body the FIA, along with all the Formula 1 teams.

Most circuits finish races with about 25 minutes to spare in dry weather.

The duration of the Singapore race has led drivers to complain to the FIA that it is too long and will certainly welcome a faster Marina Bay circuit.

"They have told us that the Singapore street circuit is too twisty and too slow," said an FIA official who did not want to be named.

"The lap times are just too high and it takes too long for them to complete the race."

Redrawing circuits is nothing new. Permanent tracks, like Spa, Monza and Nurburgring have evolved over time.

For this season, Bahrain has made changes to its track, increasing the length from 5.412km to 6.299km.

But unlike permanent circuits, modifying a street track is less costly and easier to implement. TodayOnline.com

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