Why we can't wait for F1's return to Singapore
It’s been three long years - over 1,100 days to be precise - since Formula 1 last raced around the iconic Marina Bay Street Circuit in Singapore, and we're excited to be heading back!
As the original and self-proclaimed ‘F1 Night Race’ returns, we’re excited to finally see these current-era cars race against the backdrop of one of the world’s most stunning modern cities.
If you’ve ever been to Singapore, be it for the grand prix or something else, you’ll know there’s a remarkable energy to this place that comes out once the sun has set.
The ancient Singapore river, set against a backdrop of neon-lit skyscrapers, comes alive after dark with a vibrant restaurant and bar scene drawing crowds towards its three main quays.
To the south of the circuit, you’ll find the iconic Marina Bay Sands, one of the world’s most famous luxury hotels, which features a high-class sky bar overlooking the final sector of the circuit.
Wherever you find yourself in Singapore during race week, you’re likely to be a convenient commute to either the circuit or one of the city’s busy nightlife hot spots. And with F1 in town, the atmosphere promises to be electric whichever direction you take!
Glitz and glamour each and every way you turn
Singapore is quickly developing a reputation as ‘the Monaco of the East’ and there’s good reason too. Like Monaco, Singapore is a wealthy city-state boasting a range of stunning luxury hotels and properties and has grown to become Asia’s playground for the rich and famous in recent decades.
With a bustling harbour and collection of stunning landmarks including the iconic Marina Bay Sands, a 101-hectare nature park, and Raffles, the elegant colonial-era hotel which is home to the famous ‘Singapore Sling’, there are few places on the calendar quite like Singapore.
This floodlit spectacle also boasts some of the best trackside entertainment of any grand prix, with recent headline acts including Pharell Williams, Dua Lipa, The Killers and The Red Hot Chili Peppers. Just don’t plan on getting an early night while you’re there!
Will Singapore see a world champion crowned this year?
Aside from the nightlife and numerous tourist attractions Singapore has to offer, there’s plenty going on on-track this weekend as well. For the first time ever, the Singapore locals could see a Formula 1 world champion crowd at their own event.
With Max Verstappen holding a commanding lead over Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, there’s a small chance the drivers’ championship could be wrapped up this weekend if results go the Dutchman’s way.
Granted, there’s more than an element of fortune required for Verstappen to complete the job on Sunday, but nevertheless, it is still possible if one of the following scenarios plays out:
If Verstappen wins and sets the fastest lap, he will be world champion if Leclerc finished no higher than eighth with Sergio Perez no higher than fourth.
If Verstappen wins without setting the fastest lap, he will be world champion if Leclerc finishes no higher than ninth and Perez no higher than fourth (or fifth if the Mexican grabs the fastest lap).
Sebastian Vettel’s final Singapore appearance
No driver has won the Singapore Grand Prix more times than Sebastian Vettel. With five victories to his name, he stands one clear of Lewis Hamilton, and with Mercedes yet to win this year, Vettel could yet take that record with him into retirement.
As Vettel approaches his final few races in Formula 1, the Singapore crowd will no doubt be eager to bid him a fond farewell. The likeable German has enjoyed considerable success around the Marina Bay Street circuit, reaching the podium eight times (another Singapore record) and starting from pole four times (equal with Hamilton).
Perhaps one of the most iconic moments from Vettel’s long and distinguished career came in 2019, the scene of his 53rd and quite likely final Formula 1 victory. Having endured a win drought of more than a year, Vettel led home an emotional Ferrari 1-2 that prompted jubilant scenes after the race.
Potential 2023 driver announcements
As we approach the business end of the season, there are plenty of murmurings doing the rounds as to which drivers will occupy the final few seats on the grid for 2023.
Still to confirm their second drivers for next season are Alpine, Haas, and Williams, and there could yet be a fourth vacant seat if Pierre Gasly jumps ship from AlphaTauri to occupy the first of those.
Nyck de Vries caught the eye with his driver-of-the-day performance at Monza, and with Nicholas Latifi now confirmed to be leaving Williams, could the Dutchman be announced this coming weekend as his replacement?
Elsewhere on the grid, Daniel Ricciardo faces an uncertain future after his McLaren contract was terminated for 2023. The Australian is still an option for Williams, however, Haas are also rumoured to have held preliminary talks with the eight-time race winner.
We’ve seen some major news stories break over the Singapore Grand Prix weekend in past years, so watch this space… 👀