F1 News

Singapore GP always guarantees safety car and spectacle

Singapore GP always guarantees safety car and spectacle

27-01-2022 10:02


The Singapore Grand Prix will remain on the calendar through 2028. The race was not hosted the last two years due to the coronavirus, but it does have a rich history in Formula One, even dating back to the 1960s and 1970s.

First GP in Singapore

The Singapore Grand Prix traces its origins to the Orient Year Grand Prix which was held at the Thomson Road Grand Prix circuit since 1961. It was an annual event in the Asian country, but in 1966 it grew into the Singapore Grand Prix. The race was hosted through 1973, but was never on the official F1 calendar.

That didn't happen until 2008, when Singapore struck a deal with Bernie Ecclestone. The then CEO of the sport found a place for the race on the calendar, where for the first time in Formula One history it was raced in the evening. To facilitate this, $150 million was spent by the organization.

The first race was an immediate success. At the Marina Bay Circuit, Felipe Massa grabbed the very first pole, but after a chaotic race, it was ultimately Fernando Alonso who took his first victory of the season. However, the victory came in a bad light a year later when it was revealed that Renault's management had forced Nelson Piquet to crash in order to help his teammate to a victory.

The favorite doesn't always win in Singapore

Although Crashgate did not do well to the image of the race, it did not detract from the spectacular racing that would follow. Even without forced crashes, racing in Singapore proved exciting and not always fodder for the big favorite.

In the twelve editions held so far, the eventual champion won seven times. The other five victories were achieved in different years by a driver who would not become world champion in a car that would also not deliver the world title. In addition to Alonso in 2008 and 2010, these were Lewis Hamilton in 2009 and twice Sebastian Vettel in 2015 and 2019.

The twelve editions provided a total of no less than nineteen safety car situations and at least one safety car was needed in each edition. Although overtaking is very difficult at the Marina Bay circuit, the tricky track always causes some mistakes that require safety cars to come on the track. As a result, a race on the circuit is rarely boring.