Sebastian Vettel, Jerome D'Ambrosio, Singapore, 2011

F1 fans’ guide to the 2012 Singapore Grand Prix

2012 Singapore Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Grandstand Motor SportsThe Singapore Grand Prix has proved a popular addition to the F1 calendar since hosting F1’s inaugural night race in 2008.

Many of the F1 Fanatics who’ve been to the race have raved about the close proximity to the action on the street circuit and the unique appeal of F1 cars racing under lights.

With another group of readers heading to this year’s race, here are some tips and memories from those who’ve been before.

“Bring earplugs!”

Sebastian Vettel, Jerome D'Ambrosio, Singapore, 2011Thoughts on the major vantage spots around the track:

We?re sitting in the turn one grandstand in block A6. It should get a view looking up the grid about half way and then front-on as the cars come around turn one and into the turn two and leading into turn three.

We sat at grid position nine last year and while it was great to get close to the cars and drivers at the start and finish it wasn?t the best during the race (though you are really close to the big TVs). The pit grandstand doesn?t get much of a breeze either so it can get pretty damned hot.

Would not take Marina Bay Grandstand which has the most seats – the view is actually limited as the road is narrow and the cars will be going very quick.

If you do book here get there early and reserve your place at the top corner. You’ll need to stand, but if offers excellent views.

Those bleachers on the final turn will be packed during the race. First practice is the best time to go. Also a good spot for pictures and it will be daylight as well.

For those attending this year?s race, try standing under the Esplanade Bridge when the cars are going over it. It?s quite the experience to have glorious V8 howls shake you to the bone. Bring earplugs!

Also worth trying if you?re near the Bay Grandstand is the section where the cars pass under the grandstand itself. If you?re early enough with a General Admission ticket, go up the stairs inside ?ǣ there?s a vantage point where you can see the cars zoom below you through the grandstand.

“Not a lot of General Admission viewing”

As seems to be increasingly the case with new races, there are fewer opportunities to watch without buying a seat:

From what we saw last year there’s not a real lot of General Admission viewing. We were in the zone 1 area and there were virtually no General Admission viewing areas I could see. There are a couple of decent spots around turns four and five (I think) but how crowded these get during the race I don’t know.

There’s always the big TV in the gate 1 area but if you’ve shelled out to get all the way to Singapore it would be a pity just to watch it on telly. Tickets are really expensive in zone one but the stands down at the gate five area are, I believe, somewhat cheaper.

That said, nobody goes to a Grand Prix to save money do they? The “gimmick” of a night race is one that actually works ?ǣ the cars look fantastic under lights, the city lights and fireworks are fantastic, the big TV screens are much more visible, and it’s a sight cooler in the evening.

Refreshments are on the pricey side too:

When I was there, the cheapest beer I had was at the sellers at the circuit, was about $6 (Singaporean) for a pint(ish) of Tiger.
Alan (@dogmop)

‘We saw Crashgate!’

Nelson Piquet Jnr, Renault, Singapore, 2008One of our readers literally had a grandstand view of the major controversy of the inaugural race:

We went in 2008 and had seats in the Bay grandstand, which as it turned out was the most notorious place to sit as Crashgate happened right in front of us!

In terms of action, well you only get to see the cars come out of turn 17 and then go under the grandstand as they take turn 18, but you will have a lovely view of the Marina Bay now that its all finished. And there is a giant screen there for all the action you miss.

But I really liked the novelty of the cars running under the stand, even if the action in front of you wasn?t the greatest. But I did note that tickets for this stand were far more reasonably priced than some of the others, and we considered the money well spent.

Hotels and drivers

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Singapore, 2011A few tips on which hotels to stay at – and where to head for driver-spotting:

Living and working in Singapore I would recommend looking at the Park Royal Hotel on Beach Road ?ǣ I happen to work in the office building attached to it and have attended the last three F1 races in Singapore.

Its not the flashiest hotel by a long shot, but actually one of the closest to the paddock ?ǣ a ten-minute walk or so ?ǣ and great for turns one, two and three. Force India stayed there in 2011 and you?d see the engineers walking off to the track at 2pm plus, as did the Pirelli people and I believe the BBC crew ?ǣ pretty sure I saw a rather sweaty looking Martin Brundle. In 2010 Virgin stayed there.
Marcus Hand (@Wombat1m)

Last year, Ferrari were at Pan Pacific and McLaren drivers were at the Conrad. Best place for driver spotting is Gate Two.

More Singapore sights

In the daytime when the cars aren’t on the track there are plenty of other attractions to check out:

Cultural Heritage Areas ?ǣ Bras Basah/Bugis/Arab Street, Chinatown and Little India
Parks and Reserves ?ǣ Gardens by the Bay South (Recently opened), Botanical Gardens, Night Safari (1st night zoo in the world)
Shopping Areas ?ǣ Orchard Road and the malls around the circuit (Suntec City, Marina Square, Raffles City)
Night Spots ?ǣ Clarke Quay and Boat Quay
Museums ?ǣ National Museum of Singapore, Asian Civilisation Museum, Singapore Art Museum
Entire Island of Attractions ?ǣ Sentosa (where Universal Studios Singapore is located as well, has good beaches too)

Singapore for the 2010 race and just had to save up to go again this year. Its a great city and a great atmosphere at the circuit. Very easy to travel about Singapore and to reach the circuit on the MRT.
Nigel (@f11980)

“I can?t wait!”

From reading comments like this it’s clear to see how popular the race is with those who’ve been:

I’m in the front row of section A9 at the pit grandstand as I like to see the build-up and get on the track easily for the podium ceremony afterwards. From my last visit in 2010 I recall there were some great GA vantage points at the inside of turn one and the outside of turn three.

I love the Singapore Grand Prix weekend ?ǣ I like the carnival atmosphere at the track and the fact that the night racing schedule allows you to party until the early hours, have a long lie-in and still get to the track without missing any action – then repeat for all three days of the GP weekend!

I can?t wait to get to Singapore!

F1 Fanatics going to the Singapore Grand Prix

Here are some of the F1 Fanatic readers who?ve said they?re going to this year?s race. Have a great time everyone and remember to share your images and videos with us when you get back!

@Go-Button, @Thecollaroyboys, Paolo Lambchope (@Stuvy), Eric Steven (@Paranoid), Claire Abbott (@Littlemisspetrolhead1985), Nigel (@F11980), @RobertoLarcos, @ClintonBristolUK, @Doodie111, @Rm4405, @Dougy_D, DaveG (@Lensman), Eyen Paune (@Eyenpau), @Jev

Several F1 Fanatics are arranging a meet-up at the track. See here for more information:

If you?re heading to the race join in the discussion in the forum:

And remember to share your pictures and video here:

Going to a Grand Prix on F1 Fanatic is sponsored by Grandstand Motor Sports

2012 Singapore Grand Prix

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Images ?? Singapore GP/Sutton, Singapore GP/Sutton, Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo