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F1 in Singapore: fan favourite, hell for drivers

F1 in Singapore: fan favourite, hell for drivers

26 September - 15:50 Last update: 17:07


As a Formula One fan, if you can pick one race to visit, it has to be the Singapore Grand Prix. Many Europeans know what European races are like. But what you experience in the Asian mini-state is unique in the world, according to our own experience. Next weekend, the race is back on the schedule after a two-year absence.

Singapore is a hyper-modern country, where once a year the city centre is transformed into a racetrack. On one side of the large fences, people wait for the bus, race cars or shop in one of the big malls. On the other side of the fence, Formula 1 cars fly through the streets. Not like in Monaco at fairly limited speeds. No, on some straights, speeds of 320 kilometres per hour are reached.

Pretty pictures

The unique thing about Singapore, of course, is that the race is run in the dark. Lights are then used to illuminate the track, which makes for great pictures for television viewers. But it is not only for this reason that the race is at night. Not only can it be extremely hot in Singapore (in the cockpit it can be 60 degrees celcius!), the humidity during the day is 96 per cent. In the evening hours, it is slightly better at around 80 per cent, but it is still very tough.

For the spectators, the humidity is already a challenge, let alone for the drivers racing for almost two hours. It almost the question whether Formula 1 in Singapore is a smart thing to do. At least for Alex Albon, it will be a challenge all the way, now that he is recovering from appendicitis. Singapore, of all places, is the race where he wants to make his comeback.

Not the favourite

Some drivers relish the prospect of an exhausting race. Others especially fear that the current generation of cars is not made for the Marina Bay circuit. For example, Esteban Ocon states, "A big challenge I think for us, very physical. It's not going to be fun. But we're up for the challenge", says the Alpine driver according to F1i.com. "I love Singapore. I love Singapore, but the track itself is not my favourite. They are go-karts on kerbs, it's going to be a tricky one."

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