Since 2008, the Marina Bay race has been held at the Marina Bay Circuit. Due in part to the intense heat, the race takes place under artificial lighting in the evening hours. Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the race was absent from the calendar in 2020 and 2021, but it made a comeback in 2022.
Marina Bay is a street circuit with a total of 23 turns, more than any other circuit on this year’s calendar. The abundance of mini-turns on the track contributes to this number. As a result, drivers have to brake and steer frequently, making it a physically demanding race. In 2008, Lewis Hamilton likened this circuit to Monaco’s street circuit, stating that a lap at Marina Bay is twice as challenging to assess and twice as exhausting as a lap at the Circuit de Monaco.
Max Verstappen has experienced varied results on the Singapore street circuit. After a Did Not Finish (DNF) in 2017, he secured podium finishes with a second and third place in 2018 and 2019, respectively. The DNF in 2017 resulted from a Ferrari sandwich: at the start of the GP, the Dutch driver found himself between two Ferraris, leading to his exclusion from the race. During his time with Toro Rosso, he also achieved an impressive eighth position on the street circuit in 2015.
The coronavirus outbreak caused unsafe conditions in Singapore, leading to the cancellation of the Grand Prix in 2020 and 2021.
Night Debut Controversy
The Marina Bay Street Circuit hosted its inaugural race as the 15th round of the 2008 FIA Formula One World Championship, marking the first night-time event in Formula One history.The strategic timing of the night race facilitated live broadcasting for TV audiences outside the Asia-Pacific region. The track featured illumination from projectors that adjusted their output to match the course’s shape. Felipe Massa, driving for Ferrari, initially led the race from the Singapore pole but encountered setbacks after an early pit stop mishap, dropping him to the last place. Fernando Alonso, representing Renault, emerged victorious in the race, although subsequent controversy arose due to Renault’s alleged order for Nelson Piquet Jr. to crash, strategically benefiting Alonso under the safety car conditions.
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