What F1 Fanatics say about… Singapore

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From looking at the comments left by F1 Fanatic readers who’ve been to the Singapore Grand Prix it’s clear this recent addition to the Formula 1 calendar is a popular one.

If you’re going this year, or have ever thought about a trip to Singapore for the Grand Prix, find out what people who’ve been to the race have to say about it:

Michael recommends experiencing the rare sensation of standing underneath a live track during an F1 race:

There?s an area a F1 fan should experience ?ǣ go under the Esplanade bridge and hear the sound amplified several times with fantastic reverberation underneath the bridge. I stumble upon it during practice session while exploring the circuit. There?s no other F1 circuit in the world to enable a fan to experience from “under” the track!

There?s two place to do this. One is outside the circuit, near the Merlion statue, the other is on the other side of the Singapore River beside the Esplanade theatre by the Bay (the spiked, domed building).

My seat was at the Padang facing the City Hall and old Supreme Court (that looks like St Paul’s Cathedral).

During race day, I did a bit of walking around the circuit and at certain points, the cars were so near to me, that if the fence was not there, I could reach out my hand and touch the tyres of the car. I could even feel the particles that were picked up by the tyres hitting on to my face as the car zoomed by.
Michael

John BT also urges visitors to move around the track to see as much of it as possible:

It?s better to walk to as many turns as you can as there?s no vantage points due to the tight viewpoints as it?s a street circuit. Two turns will be about the maximum one can view, but the closeness of the cars is awesome.
John BT

Robertty lives in Singapore and has done a great job of answering questions from fans on the 2010 Singapore Grand Prix discussion page. Here’s some of his tips:

Best view for racing action: Stamford Grandstand at turn 7 ?ǣ the best overtaking spot for the circuit.

Best entertainment area: Almost every zone will have its own little “party”, complete with entertainment, food and drinks. Zone 4 near the Padang is pretty happening.
Roberttty

Steve Slater, ESPN Star Sports’ F1 commentator who also does PR for the Singapore Grand Prix, has been on the thread offering advice to people heading to the race:

One thing to remember is that you save a load of money at Singapore GP by not needing to book a rental car or coach transfers to/from circuit.

You can walk from many hotels to track, or use the MRT underground. Tickets cost less than a pound a trip. Even airport to hotel taxi costs less than a tenner.

Taxis are brilliant in Singapore. You never normally have to wait for five minutes to flag one down. or you SMS the taxi company with your location and they send a message with the registration number of the taxi on its way to collect you.

Big tip on eating out, if you like Chinese, Indian, Thai or Vietnamese food, is to eat at some of the better ??hawker food? centres or the upgraded one under the name Kopitiam. Excellent food, good hygiene and a cracking meal for less than five pounds per head!
Steve S

Journeyer went to the inaugural Singapore Grand Prix in 2008 and warns people to avoid the City Hall train station:

You can also get to the track via the Esplanade and Promenade MRT stations (do note that they are on the yellow Circle Line, whereas City Hall is on the red North-South line).

There should also be minibuses bringing ticket holders to other public areas in the city.
Journeyer

Finally, Sharon Smallridge has been to lots of F1 races – here’s why she considers Singapore the best:

I?ve been to over 10 different Grand Prix circuits (including watching from a balcony at Monaco) and would have to say that this is the best all-round Grand Prix experience a person could get. Here?s why:

Location ?ǣ a 50 metre walk from Hotel (if you choose to stay at the Fairmont, Raffles or nearby) to Gate 3, then you?re in the circuit.

Viewing – nowhere else can you get so close to the cars. We sat at the Esplanade Theatre stand that was less than two metres from the track and was facing a giant screen.

Entertainment – In between all the practice/qualifying/race sessions was a whole catalogue of events ranging from Travis to John Digweed (DJ) concerts, Indian belly dancing, Austin Powers, countless bars and fantastic restaurant and Hawker areas. Nowhere else would you get a fresh fish stall.

Because the race is set around a permanent area, the food and restaurants are excellent and all within 50 meters from the stand.

Timing – The temperature perfect at night ?ǣ it’s still 30 degrees so it would be terrible in the heat of the day. Also, there was a two hour slot from practice to qualifying – perfect for evening dinner and wine and plenty of time to do it too.

Atmosphere – Couldn’t be beaten!

Downsides – Drinks are a bit pricey, but hey, it’s a Grand Pix weekend ?ǣ don’t expect it to be cheap.

Security ?ǣ a bit overdone ?ǣ even puts the Germans to shame! Still, apparently an improvement on 2008.
Sharon Smallridge

If you’re going to this year’s Singapore Grand Prix you can find other fans who are heading there on this page:

There’s also discussion pages for the remaining events on the calendar:

2010 Singapore Grand Prix

Browse all 2010 Singapore Grand Prix articles

Images ?? Brawn GP, Toyota F1 World

Author information

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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63 comments on “What F1 Fanatics say about… Singapore”

  1. Wow! This all seems very positive. I would have thought that Singapore would be one of the worst races to attend due to low grandstands and high catch-fencing but it seems that the thrill of being so close to the cars makes up for this. I might consider going in the future now! :D

    1. And if you stand at the right point on Turn 5, you will have tiny bits of marbles on your skin and hair, for sure. LOL.

  2. Looks like Singapore went at it the right way. It is a real street track (not much for overtaking, but it’s testing the skills with barriers, kerbs and bumps as well as offering a nice view) and they have really taken a good look at what makes Melbourne and Montreal great races with a nicely filled event calender.

    The fact it’s a night race fit in nicely with the city scape and offers the people in Singapore a chance to visit the sessions as well after work. And the concerts seem to be of good quality as well.

    1. On that note: I haven’t heard anything about a concert this year… Is there going to be one like last year?

      1. If you’re referring to F1Rocks, nope, i don’t think so.

        There are entertainment acts within circuit park though.

      2. Yup, Mariah Carey, Daughtry, Missy Elliot and Adam Lambert will be there.

        And for ladies, Chippendales are also in town! (Not my cup of tea though! :))

  3. Ah well, never thought of it that way, suppose it must stay and the crowds are massive and keen so it’s just a shame the circuit creates such utterly boring racing.

  4. Agree that security is over intrusive (and rubbish). Went last year, watched FP1 at the Floating Platform Grandstand (where Grosjean did a Nelsinho, much to the delight of the spectators), and spent the Saturday and Sunday at the walkabout area. It’s a good idea to rent a Kangaroo TV as there aren’t many screens and the commentary is audible (they seem to have fixed that this year).

    I’ll be watching the race this year instead from one of the pubs nearby, and will be bringing along my laptop for the liveblog…

    1. You sure the commentary problem is fixed this year?
      Last year it gave me a great pain, but I do not think their is a free Wi-Fi.

      1. i think there’s a radio frequency channel that’s going to broadcast the commentary. I don’t remember exactly but i believe it should be on the website.

        1. It’ll be on 103.9FM, but I’ll be renting a KangarooTV and tuning into the BBC commentary instead. ;)

  5. I haven’t been to the GP (had to leave 2 days before it started last year for a work emergency), I have walked the track etc. but I have to say that Singapore is generally a blast in terms of seeing the city, the people, going out etc. You cannot not have fun there :)

    for tips on non-GP related things to do in Singapore see this thread:

    http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/forum/topic.php?id=342

    I would have loved to have gone this year but can’t arrange the time. Have fun if you are going!

  6. Can’t wait for Singapore. Go Lewis/Jenson :)

  7. can’t wait singapore is allwas a decent track

  8. Can’t wait for singapore its allways a decent track (corrected sentence)

    Go Sutil and Liuzzi

  9. I went to Singapore last year and it was fantastic. The cars look amazing under the lights – particularly the McLaren silver bits.

    The best bit has to be getting so close. There are loads of places where you’re less than one metre from the cars. There are also many places where the cars slow right down so you can get a really good look at them.

    It’s hot – a bit too hot for us Brits perhaps, but I prefer it to the cold. The beer is expensive but, like cars and cheese, that’s the way it is in Singapore. The food and bars on the Quay just across from the race track were convenient and fun.

    Combine the race weekend with a couple of weeks exploring the Malay Peninsular and you have a pretty awesome holiday.

    And not as cold and wet at this year’s Belgian Grand Prix. But at least Lewis Hamilton won both of them. I’m going to ask McLaren to pay me to go to a race next year as whenever I do, Lewis wins…!

    1. It’s usually the humidity that gets to visitors more than the heat itself, though the problem generally gets forgotten after a pint or two of locally brewed Tiger Beer!

    2. Where have you guys been buying your beer, the concession stands??? I remember that beer was sold at SGD10 per cup, but you can get a jug of Tiger at around SGD25 if you can find a watering hole post-race… For food, the “Banquet” or “Kopitiam” branded food courts are fairly decent, while Lau Pa Sat, an open air old school hawker centre can be a bit of a tourist trap…

  10. It’s perfect for snappers! The lights make the cars look awesome, you get real close and the night sky is epic. I think I may buy a Mclaren poster next week after the race!

    1. I’ll be trying my luck again at the merchandise tent outside Raffles City, last weekend when I checked, McLaren men’s tees in sizes M and L were sold out…

  11. Can’t wait. Fly out on Wednesday. Then on to Thailand after woods!
    C’mon Lewis!!!!!!

    1. Would’nt mind a program. be in JORDANs bar on Koh Samui, believe that there will be a few pit crews visiting here after the race. The owner Stewart is an old F1 pit crew member.

    2. please tell me that’s not how you spend your life spelling ‘afterwards..’?

      1. I think the iPad auto corrected itself or user error maybe…

  12. I have walkabout tickets this year! Can’t wait!

  13. This race would be much better during the day where you’d actually be able to see everything around the circuit instead of those horrible flood lights drowning everything else out.

  14. The cars look great and the spectacle is definitely impressive. Actually being there would be awesome.

    The circuit has far, far too many corners, however, and the race is meh.

  15. Wow.. I´m scared now. There some predicting thunderstorms through this weekend.

    1. Can´t wait then ehehe

    2. I won’t be too worried (or should I be worried since I actually WANT thunderstorms :D)

      It seems that our weather forecast predicts thunderstorms just about everyday anyway.. If the storms come, they’re most often in the day. We’ll need a little luck for them to fall right smack on the three hours of qualifying and race, but I sure hope we get them this year!

      1. Some light rain (us Singaporeans have a different way of classifying rainfall) would be great in qualy and the race.

        If it’s the kind of heavy thunder and lightning, Starbucks flooding type of rain, I can only suggest that you guys head for Marina Square or Suntec City, since the race will likely be red flagged…

        1. Oh yes, I’ll be hoping for intermittent, moderate rain as well, nothing that will threaten flash floods. That’ll just be uncomfortable, since I’ll be at the Bay Grandstand myself… It would be best if it could rain at some other parts of the track and not mine :)

          It would be great to be part of history as well, the first wet night race etc, and witness how the drivers handle the likely treacherous conditions.

          Most important, I really want to put the poncho we get in the survival kit to use finally…

  16. Guys,

    I’m based in Malaysia and providing motorsports hospitality services for F1 and MotoGP. We of course have packages for the Malaysian F1 and Singapore GP but this year was too close. Next year definitely we’ll have packages again.

    Visit http://www.facebook.com/p1motorsports

    For those going this year, have a great time.

  17. While the track can be improved in terms of action, the organizers have done very well in making the race weekend an experience. Accessibility and entertainment are just excellent. And, like what many have mentioned, you are really so close to the cars! The noise of the engines, the smell of the rubber, the view of cars under those shiny lights – just awesome. :)

  18. going again this year. this time taking the kids, so in bay stand instead of pedang. they can’t wait as many of the fences have been up since before national day. personally, i hope we get some wet weather – that will make for added excitement to an already brilliant weekend.

    Tiger beer, chicken rice, and local hospitality!

  19. Went in 2008 and sat in the bay grandstand – right in the box seat for Crashgate. I have some awesome photo’s of Nelsinho’s car being winched away.

    Quite apart from that little incident, we loved it. The track was central to just about everything, and if you got too hot or whatever, we just ducked into the shopping centre to cool down or grab some non-GP-priced food. Plus the cars looked awesome under lights. And for the full experience go stand under the Bay grandstand whilst the cars go under it – your ears will never be the same again !

    1. If you think the Bay Grandstand is loud, you should stand under the bridge that connects Marina Square to the Pan Pacific Hotel (around turn 6). The cars scream through there at full throttle and you can almost feel the reverberations through your bones!

    2. You were actually witness to a key (albeit negative) moment in F1 history. We sat at the Marina stand (2 turns before that), so we missed it. Still, an awesome experience all round. :)

  20. From the sounds of things, Singapore is one of the best-organised events on the calendar. Now if they could just touch the circuit up a little bit …

  21. stay there for a couple weeks to catch Malaysian MotoGP!!!

    1. I just got the email for it actually. Goodness, those are some cheap tickets to see Rossi and co. :) Am considering going maybe next year – Rossi on a Ducati!

      1. Don’t forget Stoner in Honda and Ben spies in Yamaha…

  22. Weather update from sunny Singapore: It has been raining at night!

  23. What a terribly boring circuit. If it wasn’t a night race, or an event that has thrown up some drama over the last couple of years, I would rate it as one of the worst races of the season. Only Valencia, Bahrain and Barcelona are more boring races than Singapore.

  24. 2010 will even be much better as the premier walkabout tickets allow you access to all the turns except turn 6. For an F1 freak, man it’ll be awesome.

    Gosh, am feeling the buzz! Will be walking the track on Thursday night, hoping to meet some drivers.

    There might be rain this weekend as Singapore has been receiving sporadic heavy downpours, but mostly during the day. My gut feeling tells me it will be hot and humid for 3 days like 2008 and 2009.

    Cheeeeeers to all.

    1. From what I’ve heard they’ll be closing off the track to the public on Thursday night. Are those rumors true or is the track still accessible to fans?

      1. Yes, but it will be much later when drivers start their track walkabout.

        Last year I managed to say ‘good evening Lewis’ at Turn 11 but didn’t approach him, as he was busy checking out the track.

        1. Hm, so you reckon the track will still be accessible earlier on Thursday night? If so, I might venture over to the flyer area for dinner and a peek at the pits..

  25. Been in the Singapore GP last year and if you try to buy Walkabout tickets better stay at turn 8. There’s a pedestrian tunnel going to Turn 14. Then a short walk to Turn 16 at the back of the Esplanade building you will see the cars slow down for a turn – great for taking pictures! Enjoy! :D

  26. can’t wait for the weekend. i’ve got my padang grandstand tickets already ;-)

  27. Alonso and Massa will attend the opening of the Singapore Ferrari store on Thursday.

  28. I remember being amazed by the scenery last year. It looked magnificent.

  29. To add on to what Keith said above, here’s a short list of events that the drivers will be attending the next few days:

    http://community.livejournal.com/ohwhatdoidonow/

    MCLAREN-MERCEDES
    Jenson Button
    Timing: 22nd Sept [Wed]
    Venue: Tag Heuer Store at Marina Bay Sands [The Shoppes]
    Event: Tag Heuer Store Opening – Ribbon-cutting Ceremony

    Lewis Hamilton
    Timing: 12-5pm on 22nd Sept [Wed]
    Venue: Singapore River Promenade (in front of UOB Plaza)
    Event: Dragonboat Race, apparently…

    MERCEDES GP
    Nico Rosberg
    Timing: 5.30pm on 22nd Sept [Wed]
    Venue: Main Atrium in Paragon
    Event: Roped-off Media Event

    SCUDERIA FERRARI
    Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa
    Timing: 23rd Sept [Thu]
    Venue: Ferrari Retail Store in Marina Bay Sands
    Event: Ferrari Store Opening

    AT&T WILLIAMS
    Nicolas “Nico” Hulkenberg [← ‘s what it says on the flyer]
    Timing: 5.15pm on 22nd Sept [Wed]
    Venue: South Galleria 3 in Millenia Walk
    Event: Harvey Norman Philips Electrical Fair

    LOTUS RACING
    “Your favourite Lotus Racing Team drivers”
    [presumably Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli]
    Timing: 23rd Sept [Thu]
    Venue: The Great Hall in Millenia Walk
    Event: In the Limelight with Lotus
    …alternative report…
    “The Lotus Racing Team drivers”
    [presumably Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli]
    Timing: 23rd Sept [Thu]
    Venue: GP Superstore at ION2
    Event: Meet the Lotus Racing Drivers

    RENAULT F1
    Mysterious undefined Drivers
    [due to timing unlikely to be Robert Kubica or Vitaly Petrov]
    Timing: 2-4pm
    Venue: Wearnes Automotive Showroom
    Rumoured showing on Friday, but who knows
    Event: Renault Publicity Event

    Sir Jackie Stewart
    Timing: 6.30-9.30pm on 23rd Sept [Thu]
    Venue: Singapore Cricket Club
    Event: BritCham Special Event – An Evening with Jackie Stewart
    S$120 – Guests must be accompanied by Member

    Kimi Raikkonen or David Coulthart
    The St. Regis Singapore F1 Aficionado Package:
    [includes] A one-hour Private Afternoon Tea with former Formula One drivers Kimi Räikkönen or David Coulthard at Astor Bar Daily in-room breakfast or Breakfast at Brasserie Les Saveurs.

    I very much doubt Kimi will be here though :D

  30. Simply love Sharon’s comments.

    Its amazing to realise that what we crave for on TV is very different to what the spectators at the circuit crave for. While all we are concerned with is an exciting race with overtaking, spectators really look for the all-round weekend experience.

  31. A lot of people I speak to seem to think that Singapore is new to motor racing. Contrary to popular belief, the Singapore GP was huge in the 60s.

    Here’s a video of the 1966 GP news coverage:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sVdEcGLgTk

    And the track:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomson_Road_Grand_Prix_circuit

    1. There were mixed categories of cars racing around the circuit then. The roads are still around (especially Old Upper Thomson Road, popular with hoons late at night), although the roundabout is long gone…

      1. The most notorious turn “Devil’s Bend” claimed quite a few lives.

        Marking laps on the program was our form of ‘live timing’, lol.

        New Zealanders, Australians and Japanese dominated the major part of the events especially the Formula 2 and open category for motorcycles.

        Too much memories for me to post here.

        And if you recall Jackie Stewart somewhere in the year 1986 approached and proposed to our government to hold Formula 1 races too.

        Mr.Stirling Moss sang praises for the Thomson Circuit as it was an estate road but had the natural twist and turns of a race track. It’s a bit like our own Spa.

        If only the track was replicated and built at East Coast Park with more elevations it would have been a world class venue.

        1. Nah, East Coast Park is reclaimed land and the track would would probably sink and break up like Circuit Gilles Villeneuve every year (Île Notre-Dame, I believe is also largely reclaimed)…

          I’d like to see F3 races at the upcoming Changi Circuit instead…

    2. It was first called Orient Year Grand Prix and than Malaysian Grand prix but after Singapore separate from Malaysia, it was called Singapore Grand Prix. Various categories of racinf was held there especially Formula Libre and Formula Two.

  32. Nicely written up, I wish everyone from F1F who is going to the Singapore GP to have a great weekend, & whoever is not going to stay home & enjoy the race.

  33. If anybody reading this is in Singapore and around the track area, Hulkenberg has a PR session in the lobby of Millenia Walk going on right now. Managed to get my Friday pass signed. :)

  34. Cannot afford Singapore, its too expensive, but went to Malaysian agp and intend going again next year.

  35. Was drinking with a couple of guys just flew in from Singapore one works for ARAI supply drivers helmets and the other with Puma supply drivers safety clothing etc, They said that they get out of Singapore asap hotel rates more than double during F1 week. they always come to Koh Samui (2 hrs flight) for a week before Japan. Both have been doing job for over 12 years, ARAI German and Puma Italian.

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