Singapore becomes F1’s longest lap

2009 Singapore Grand Prix facts and stats

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Nick Heidfeld was classified in every Grand Prix since Indianapolis 2007
Nick Heidfeld was classified in every Grand Prix since Indianapolis 2007

For years, Spa-Francorchamps was the circuit F1 drivers take longest to complete a lap of. But changes to Singapore means it now takes a second longer than Spa for the F1 cars to lap, despite being almost 2km shorter.

During this year’s race Adrian Sutil brought Nick Heidfeld’s record of consecutive finishes to a crashing halt. Read on for more facts and stats from the Singapore Grand Prix.

Hamilton on top

Lewis Hamilton won the 11th Grand Prix of his career. That gives him as many wins as Jacques Villeneuve, Felipe Massa and Rubens Barrichello – the latter scoring his 11th win in the preceding race.

He now has 16 pole positions, as many as Stirling Moss and Kimi Raikkonen. He needs two more to match the tally of the leading active driver, Fernando Alonso, who has 18.

It was also Hamilton’s 25th career podium finish and he has led more laps than any driver this year apart from Jenson Button.

Alonso notched up the 13th fastest lap of his career, giving him as many as Jacky Ickx, Alan Jones and Riccardo Patrese.

Singapore gets slower

The changes to the Singapore circuit means it now takes longer to complete a lap of the circuit than any track on the calendar. Alonso’s fastest lap of 1’48.240 was almost a second slower than Sebastian Vettel’s fastest lap of Spa. That’s despite Spa being 1.937km longer.

Alonso’s average speed around a lap of Singapore was 168.73kph (104.84mph), Vettel’s at Spa was 235.07kph (146.06mph). Turns one, ten and 14 were tightened, turn 13 was slightly eased, and the entry to turn 22 was narrowed. Alonso’s fastest lap was 2.6s slower than Raikkonen’s 1’45.599 last year.

Vettel has now scored exactly 100 points in his F1 career.

Timo Glock matched his career best result with second. He was second in the Hungarian Grand Prix last year.

Heidfeld’s finishing streak finally ends

Heidfeld’s incredible record of consecutive finishes finally came to an end thanks to Sutil. He was classified for 41 races running and finished 33 in a row.

However Nico Rosberg is going after his record – he has already been finished and classified in the last 26 races in a row.

Rosberg also matched his best ever starting position – he also started third in the 2006 Malaysian Grand Prix, the second race of his career.

Kazuki Nakajima finished ninth – just out of the points – for the second time this year. He is the only driver to have started every race this year without scoring.

Button increased his championship lead for the first time since the Hungarian Grand Prix. Only Barrichello and Vettel can beat him to the title now.

Mercedes-engined cars have now won ten races this year, matching their best ever tally from 2005. Eight have come with Brawn, two with McLaren.

Spotted any more interesting facts and stats from the Singapore Grand Prix? Share them with us in the comments.

Singapore Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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107 comments on “Singapore becomes F1’s longest lap”

  1. First time that I’ve seen two cars(Toro Rosso) retiring at the same time by pulling over into the pits.

    1. Terry Fabulous
      28th September 2009, 7:25

      This is exactly what I am talking about. It IS the first time I have seen a team retuire two cars in the pits at the same time. (Excluding 2005 Indianapolis where everyone did.)

      1. didnt the BARs do this in 2005? on the last lap to escape punishment for engine changes.

        1. Yeah, in Australia. Then in the following race both cars suffered engine failures within two laps.

          Oh, the irony.

    2. I remember from my 1998 season review video that both Arrows’ retired at the exact same time in Spain that year. I really shouldn’t know that, I sound like a right anorak…

      1. And we love you for it.

  2. Terry Fabulous
    28th September 2009, 7:23

    I love these posts. It never ceases to excite me what the F1Fanatics can come up with…

    I will make a bad first effort. Is this the first time since Ralf Schumacher in 2001 that someone has lost a podium because of white line fever??

    1. Oh I don’t know, Luca Badoer might have got a podium in Valencia without his white line mistake, don’t you think? ;)

  3. Probably the first time in years that we’ve had one of the shortest race (Monza, 1:16:21.706) followed by one of the longest( Singapore, 1:56:06.337).

  4. Second time that Hamilton has shaken hands with Alonso at singapore :P

    1. Maybe it’s the second time they’ve shaken hands. Oh, and maybe when they were introduced to each other.

  5. Our street circuit is 4 slow corners too long, it breaks up the flow of the race and only gives people with really expensive cameras opportunities to photograph the cars… (I tried to photograph them too, but gave up…)

    If I was planning the circuit, I would:

    1) shift turns 7 and 8 to the junction of Bras Basah road and Beach Road (turning it into a fast right left chicane,
    2) Get rid of the chicane at Turn 10, making it a sweeping left hander,
    3) Get rid of turns 16 to 19 (there’s a road behind that semi-permanent grandstand, only reason why the Bay Grandstand is there is because we use it for our National Day Parade and our National Stadium is under redevelopment)

    What do you guys think?

    1. I agree with all your suggestions. Hope Hermann Tilke reads your post. The prime minister of singapore needs to erect a memorial at turn 17 or at least rename that turn in honor of the great man

      1. Are you sure about turn 10?

        1. That chicane at turn 10 doesn’t need to be there. The cars just look clumsy going through there. There is a faster chicane right afterwards to slow the cars down before the narrow bridge anyway. Make it into a fast-ish sweeper.

          And with regards to the section between turns 16 and 19, yes it does seem a bit redundant, but I feel the main reason for it being there is that there seem to be a few thousand seating opportunities readily available that would be missed if the track went straight on behind them. They would be fairly silly not to utilise them.

          1. I guess the Turn 10 chicane is secretly there for safety reasons. If that was a high speed corner it would be hugely dangerous.

          2. the turn 10 chicane does need to be there, it’s a kind of traffic calming measure before the narrow Anderson bridge. they see it as too dangerous to have f1 cars running 2-a-breast there.

          3. There is a faster chicane right afterwards to slow the cars down before the narrow bridge anyway.

      2. Piquet corner? Or Flavio? :D

        1. Martin Brundle was already refering that as Piquet Corner yesterday!

    2. We should gather some Singaporeans and write to the organisers.

      1) Agreed. Moving the turn down will dramatically improve overtaking at turn 7.

      2) I think turn 10 is fine.

      3) I’m fine with turn 16 and 17 because I believe there are no plans to tear down the grandstand. They should get rid of turn 18-21 and make it a long straight followed by 2 left-handers leading to the start-finish straight. Going under the grandstand is a gimmick and is a pain to watch.

      1. Hmm… I’m a Singaporean AND a mechanical engineer… I’d better start writing…

        Turn 10 is an artificial construct, and doesn’t really work as it is possible to straight line the chicane. Either make it a sweeping corner or a double apex, IMHO…

        I’m not sure whether if the road can be extended from 18 to 21 as a straight or a slight kink, the whole Bay Grandstand complex does nothing to the race as a whole (I’d know, I was there during FP1 and FP2 and the only high point was Grosjean spinning at “Nelsinho” corner)…

        BTW, has anyone seen maps of the really old Singaporean Upper Thomson GP circuit from the 60s? That was a killer road then, and motorists are still advised to avoid it if possible…

          1. Katayama? He made an early start in motorsport then, didn’t he! He must have been… 3 at the time!

      2. I’m a singaporean too and i echo iceshiel comments totally. Turn 18 – 21 is definitely redundant.

        Its probably only there due to the construction of the double helix bridge after the run-off area for turn 18. They really should let the cars straight line there and avoid going under the stands.

    3. I would take out the barriers separating Turn 8 from Turn 14, thereby making the circuit a figure of 8.

      What? There clearly aren’t enough crashes in F1 at the moment.

      1. WRC style jumps, or a bridge like Suzuka?

        1. Jumps!! :P lol

    4. Get a better camera

  6. How About this, it’s the first Singapore GP that has not involved cheating….or am i too stuck in the past????

    1. Well, lets wait till next year when the sacked drivers start opening their mouths in retalliation …

  7. Must be (or close to) the youngest top 3 starters in history?

  8. Mercedes powered car on podium every single race this year!!

    1. Not at the German Grand Prix.

      1. What an irony :I

  9. Hope Hermann Tilke reads your post. The prime minister of singapore needs to erect a memorial at turn 17 or at least rename that turn in honor of the great man

    Piquet could be a marshall there ;)
    Has Trulli ever been as badly out qualified by Glock (or teammate) without car problems?
    Sssh Ronman don’t jinx it, but would Mark Webber’s move count as cheating? Not organised by team though. First Singpore that hasn’t involved race fixing?
    And how many podiums is it now for Toyota with the Glock-Trulli line up? 4 or 5 now isn’t it?

    1. Piquet could be a marshall there ;)

      I seriously agree with you Steph. This guy needs to know how the marshalls are risking their lives, for racing to go on smoothly. The are the unsung heroes of the races. Yesterday’s race was a good example, when a marshall was sent out on the track to retrive a piece of debris with only yellow flags engaged. The guy retrived it & ran for his life, I’m sure his 100 mt sprint would’ve been somewhere close to Usain Bolt’s time. Piquet needs to learn that F1 is much more than trying to please your bosses to cling on to your seat. Peoples lives are at risk & his utter disregard for human life is disturbing. The guy deserved a severe penalty, but alas max was there to shield him from cosmic rays. Totally pathetic

      1. Yup, I was at Turn 8 when that happened,
        friend of mine got a great series of shots as the guy ran to retrieve the piece.

  10. Alonso’s last pit stop was 5.5 secs
    have there been faster stops this year?

  11. Ferrari are yet to score a point at the Singapore GP circuit, even after 2 races.

    Singapore GP holds the record for maximum time spent on the track for the previous 2 years combined.

    Last year was some 1hr52 min, this year 1hr56 min.

    Over the years, I think Singapore should easily hold on to this record, unless they reduce the distance to be covered from 300 to 250 as is done with Monaco, I hope they don’t

  12. According to Jean-François Caubet (Renault F1 boss) Alonso is living Renault at the end of the saison.

    1. He’s got a camp bed set up in a quiet corner of the factory?

  13. I find that the Singapre race is the worst on the calendar. It’s all very well having a billion watts of light on the track but if the cars are racing between brightly lit walls there are no points of reference of where they are. It looks like a video game. Monaco works because of all the famous features alongside the track. Valencia doesn’t because of lack of interesting features, Singapore may or may not be as spectacular as Monaco or as dull as Valencia but one cannot tell since one cannot see any of it.

    1. It is actually quite nice in the daytime, especially with the Victorian-era buildings and a cricket field (the Padang) in the old district alongs turns 9 to 14.

    2. I agree with Simon B – bring back the getting up at weird hours and have racing in daylight – Oh, wait, Bernie wants twilight racing now; Maybe it’ll revert to racing in the natural light of day when somebody gets killed.

      1. You’d get much better photos if you had strobe lighting. Max would also be pleased, because it would definitely improve ‘the show’.

  14. the Championship battle between Sutil and Webber as the unluckiest drivers on the grid is really hotting up!.

    1. New record for Sutil making the stupidest return to the track evAR.

      He claimed he wanted to return to the track as soon as possible, and did not see Heidfeld coming round the corner. However on the TV it clearly shows Sutil didn’t even pause, after the shunt with Alguersaurus he immediately spun the car round and onto the racing line. A few minutes later Lee Mackenzie says Heidfeld ran across Sutil’s nose. How can Heidfeld be at fault? Is everyone jealous of his towering 41 Classified Finishes record?

      1. Yes the crash was surely Sutil’s fault. But I’m glad that Heidfeld’s streak is finally over.

        Longest clasified finish streak is a record nobody gives a damn about.

      2. wow look at you furiously pick nits nitpicker!

      3. That award has to go to Rosberg surely!

        1. And, yet for all the “record breaking run” He’s made a total 12 points.
          Time to get another job Nick?

          1. since indy 2007 i’m sure he made more than 12 points…

          2. Sorry, should have said this season
            I thought you would have realised that

          3. Sorry (again) I had just been following a thread about who’s going where in 2010, my comment should have gone in there.

      4. Last year Massa spun at the entrance to the grandstand tunnel, stopped and then drove out into the racing line right in front of Sutil, causing him to crash. Apart from the irony of Sutil doing the same thing this year, it is interesting that the stewards noticed the offence this time but did not when the culprit was in a red car. Perhaps Adrian thought it was okay to take out Heidfeld since Massa had done it to him and got away scot free…

        1. Sutil, I believe, came into the corner too fast last year. Fine, he probably lost concentration as a result of Massa’s incident, but there was nothing Massa could have done to prevent Sutil crashing. Had he stayed where he was, it would have been more dangerous as he would have partly blocked the corner. Whereas Sutil could have avoided taking Heidfeld out by waiting until the track was clear before turning around.

          1. Have another look at it, Tom. Sutil was lined up to take the inside line through the corner, through the gap left ahead of Massa’s stationary Ferrari. When Massa moved forward, blocking that route, Adrian had no alternative but to go straight on and into the barrier.

        2. For some reason I can’t reply directly to your last post so I’ll reply to this one instead! Your explanation does seem to make sense; unfortunately I can’t find any footage of it in Youtube to have another look at it. So what do you think Massa should have done, stayed where he was until Sutil had gone past? I think the main difference is that in last year’s incident, Massa was moving his car from a dangerous position, whereas this year Sutil was simply trying to resume racing as quickly as possible.

          1. In fact, the positions of the spun cars were almost exactly the same distance from the racing line in both incidents, so both were in dangerous positions. The rules state that a driver who has spun off the track must make sure that it is safe to do so before rejoining the race. Neither driver did so, apparently, although Sutil said afterwards that he could not see Heidfeld coming.

            That may be true, given the high sides of the cockpit these days, but it does not excuse the offence. I also find it unlikely, since he had spun around and was facing back down the track towards oncoming traffic. More likely is that he just couldn’t wait to get back into the race and hit the accelerator without thinking.

            Pretty much the same is true of Massa’s spin. He, too, was facing back towards following traffic and could only have missed seeing Sutil approaching if he was too concerned about getting back into the race.

            Both drivers should have stayed where they were until they were sure that it was safe to move off again. There was room to get past both cars and no accident would have ensued had they waited the necessary few seconds.

          2. What you say is probably true, the only thing I’d point out is that due to the positioning of barriers etc. in the corner where Sutil and Massa crashed, the visibility was probably more reduced than in the slightly more open corner where Sutil crashed into Heidfeld.

    2. Sutil is unlucky that he crashes so often? I though that it was more of a skill that drivers don’t crash.

  15. Do we have any stats and facts on the use of the term, “for sure.” It felt like this term was used more here than any other race this season, for sure.

    1. For sure they are compensating for the absence of Felipe, for sure :D