Singapore Grand Prix: Marina Bay Street Circuit

Marina Bay Street Circuit
Marina Bay Street Circuit (chensiyuan /

The Singapore Grand Prix is visually one of the most stunning in the world. It’s held around Singapore’s Marina Bay, which in itself is an incredible place to be. It’s one of the newest tracks in rotation, breaking ground in 2007 and opening up just 12 months later at an initial construction cost of $33 million. 

The race takes place in middle of September, just after the two-week break following the European swing for drivers. The weather is often very hot, but it’s the humidity that often catches people out. Whilst the cars tend to cope fairly well, the drivers have to be able to cope with the extreme heat, which is often where races are won and lost. 

The street circuit format means that a single lapse in concertation can be the end of the race. Interesting, the Grand Prix is famous for having a safety car deployed in every single Grand Prix that’s been held there, with 17 in total over 10 races. 


Swap Start/End

Circuit Info

Location Length Corners Capacity Year Opened
Marina Bay 5.065km 23 90,000 2008

Circuit Layout

F1 Singapore Marina Bay Street Circuit Track Map

One of the best characteristics of the track is the run from the pit area, underneath he Benjamin Sheares Bridge then out onto the track. The pit straight is one of the few lengthy bits of straight on this tricky circuit for the drivers and it’s here where they are able to take advantage of the DRS zone to create a maximum speed of around 190mph. 

The first few turns are in an ‘s’ shape and it’s here where you see a number of impact zones for cars, as it becomes very narrow with little run off areas to work with. Cars are reduced to speeds of around 50mph, which makes it one of the slowest and most technical parts of the track. 

As cars accelerate out, they need to navigate through turns 4, 5 and 6, which are the fastest parts of the track. It’s also here where the second DRS zone is located, meaning that cars able to utilise a little more straight-line speed. 

Turns 7, 8 and 9 offer a tricky left, right then left again corners, with each at almost 90 degrees. Cars need to decelerate from 200mph, down to just 65mph in this space of time. It’s again, another good place for drivers to nip in for an overtaking spot, although fortune favours the brave here as get it wrong and not only can you lose time on the field, but also could signal the end of the race. 

Turns 10, 11, 12 and 13 are probably where the tracks changed most over the last decade or so. A lot of it’s been widened, but a little kink added to turn 10 means that a new racing line has essentially been created when heading into 12 and 13. 

The later turns on the track are probably visually the most impressive as turn 14 almost meets turn 8 which lies adjacent, but then turns 16, 17, 18 and 19 run under the impressive floating grandstand that’s on offer at the Grand Prix. A good finish to the lap requires a good run out of turns 20 and 21 which allows drivers to hit turns 22 and 23 at speed before propelling down the pit straight and back through the DRS zone. 

Recent Winners

YearDriverCarFastest Lap
2017 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1.45.008
2016 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1.50.296
2015 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1.50.069
2014 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1.50.417
2013 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1.48.574

Other Races at Marina Bay Street Circuit

Birds Eye View of the Marina Bay Circuit
Birds Eye View of the Marina Bay Circuit (chensiyuan /

One of the reasons why Singapore was so keen to get the track set up at the Marina was not just for F1 (although this was the biggest attraction), but to lure other forms of racing from around the world, which they have successfully managed to achieve. 

Other forms of racing have included the Porsche Carrera Cup, Ferrari Challenge Asia-Pacific, GP2 Serie and the TCR International Series. 


F1 Singapore Pit Lane
F1 Singapore Pit Lane (miles around /

Racing in Singapore has actually a longer heritage than you might think. The first organised race was that of the Orient Year Grand Prix in 1961, later renamed the Malaysian Grand Prix. But, after Singapore was able to gain its impedance in 1965, it was later renamed the Singapore Grand Prix. 

But, it’s not been plain sailing for the event. The close proximity of the track and the fact that many public roads were having to be closed, putting real strains on the local economy, meant that in 1973 the race was pulled. 


It wasn’t until 2008 when it was announced by Bernie Ecclestone, the then head of Formula 1, that the Grand Prix would be returning to Singapore. An investment of $150 million was needed to allow them to run the track and create what was deemed to be both safe and exciting. The government footed around 60% of the total costs, with sponsors making up the final 40% of the costs. 

The 2008 Grand Prix, their first on the Formula 1 circuit, was deemed a great success with a sell-out crowd of over 110,000 people in attendance for the race. Since then, attendances have dwindled slightly, but have consistently been in the mid 80,000s for a number of years now, highlighting the popularity of the race still. 


The track has come with its criticisms though, with many drivers stating that the surface is very bumpy. They also compared it to the street circuit in Monaco, stating that it takes twice as much energy to complete just 1 lap at Singapore then it did at Monaco, mainly down to the heat and humidity that drivers have to race in. 

Other criticisms have come from the formation of the harsh kerbs that line the track, stating that they are like hitting rocks and just waiting to shatter suspension set ups. Whilst FIA chiefs have agreed that these could be addressed, as yet that have remained in place.