One of the most challenging tracks on the calendar and originator of the night race in Formula 1, the Marina Bay Street Circuit is home to arguably the most spectacular grand prix in F1.
Set against the backdrop of the Singapore skyline, Marina Bay has become a firm favourite amongst fans and teams alike and has a contract to continue staging races until 2028.
Previously comprising the second most corners on the F1 circuit, modifications to the track will see the number of turns drop from 23 to 19 in 2023, dropping the overal lap time by 20 seconds.
Nevertheless, the length of races, often clocking in at close to two hours, bumpy surface, almost guaranteed appearance by a safety car and Singapore’s sweltering temperatures mean there’s no such thing as a cruise through the Garden City.
|What||2023 Singapore Grand Prix|
|Where||Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore|
|When||Friday, 15th September - Sunday, 17th September|
|How to watch||Sky Sports F1|
Made up of the streets that run through the Downtown Core and Kallang areas, alongside Singapore’s harbour, the Marina Bay Street Circuit is squeezed into a relatively modest 799,000 square metres.
With space at a premium in Singapore, the circuit is the only one in the world to go under a section of grandstand, while the race takes in views of several of the city state’s most famous landmarks, including the Singapore Flyer, Supreme Court and Parliament, and Anderson Bridge.
Work began on the circuit in 2007 ahead of the initial grand prix in 2008 with Hermann Tilke designing the initial layout.
The only purpose-built sections of the track are the start/finish area, pits and paddock with the rest of the race held on public streets.
The layout of the track has undergone minor revisions over the years with the 2023 race to see the biggest change. Due to construction work in the city, the four-corner section from turns 16 to 19 will be bypassed by a straight, significantly reducing lap times.
A lap of the Marina Bay Circuit currently measures 5.063km, which is just below the average length of a track in F1.
The circuit had been slightly longer when it first opened but revisions to the layout over the year have seen the distance decrease.
Although it's not one of the longer tracks on the calendar, the previously large number of corners and being at full throttle for less than 50 per cent of a lap meant it had one of the highest average lap times of the season. Those lap times will drop with the removal of four corners for 2023.
Singapore held its first Grand Prix in 2008, becoming the first F1 race to be held at night in the process.
Renault’s won the inaugural race, albeit in controversial circumstances after it was later revealed Alonso’s team had ordered team mate Nelson Piquet Jr to crash. That brought out a safety car, which proved hugely beneficial to Alonso’s chances of victory.
Marina Bay has been a permanent fixture on the F1 calendar since its debut except for two years with no Grand Prix held in 2020 or 2021.
Sebastian Vettel has taken the chequered flag on five occasions at the Singapore Grand Prix, winning three races in a row between 2011 and 2013.
Vettel won again in 2015 when driving for Ferrari, while the four-time world champion’s final win in F1 came at the venue in 2019.
Red Bull and Mercedes have been the most successful teams since the Singapore Grand Prix moved to Marina Bay, recording four wins each.
Kevin Magnussen holds the record for the fastest lap during a race when going round in 1:41.905 in 2018. However, both those records apply to the old layout and will fall during the 2023 race due to the changes to the circuit.
The Marina Bay Circuit has held various other classes of motorsport with the Porsche Carerra Cup Asia returning this year after a four-year hiatus.
Previously, the W Series, GP2 and Ferrari Challenge have taken to the track.
The weather is one of the main reasons why the Singapore Grand Prix is one of the most physically demanding races of the season. The humid climate in Asia means that temperatures in the cockpit during the race can soar to 60C, resulting in drivers losing as much as 3kg in bodyweight.
With a 40 per cent chance of rainfall on average per day during September in Singapore, there’s a regular threat of rain during a race weekend, as was the case last year when Sergio Perez won at wet race.