2011 Singapore Grand Prix discussion

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This area is for people who are attending or planning to attend the 2011 Singapore Grand Prix at the Singapore street circuit.

Use the comments below to share your thoughts on the race, where on the track you intend to watch from, how you’ll get to the track and more.

Taken any pictures or video at the race?

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2011 Singapore Grand Prix

356 comments on 2011 Singapore Grand Prix discussion

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  1. Mankster said on 6th December 2010, 13:13

    I attended my first Singapore GP in 2010 and am poised to return for the 2011 race. I did an extensive write up on Trip Advisor in the form a List of tips on how to get the most from the event (rather than a simple review) http://www.tripadvisor.com/GoListDetail-i23030-Singapore_Formula_1_Grand_Prix.html

    and I reproduce it here where it hopefully be of use to a greater number of fans…

    1. Introduction
    http://www.singaporegp.sg/
    The First Singapore Formula 1 Grand Prix was held in 2008 at the Marina Bay Street Circuit. It was the first and only Grand Prix to be held entirely at night under a flood lid track. Singapore is due to hold the race till the 2012 event. There is no announcement yet if Singapore will hold a Grand Prix after this date. At the moment the Singapore Tourism Board /Government foots 60% of the bill to hold the event. In addition to worldwide TV exposure Singapore receives around 40000 overseas visitors for the event. As the event is held in the evenings over 3 days, it is entirely practical to use the mornings and afternoons for sightseeing and shopping or any other regular visitor activity and watch the racing in the evenings.
    The 2011 Singapore Grand Prix is due to be held on September 23.24 and 25th.
    (This List was last updated 28th Nov 2010)

    2. Accommodation
    Singapore, Singapore
    Accommodation
    To recover some of the costs to hold the event the Government imposes a ‘F1 Levy’ on hotel rooms during the 4 days of the event (Thurs-Sunday). Currently hotels designated as ‘Trackside’ are charged 30% of their room revenue as a levy. All other Tourist hotels are charged 20%. Hence, the prices of accommodation during this period reflect this extra charge the hotels have to bear as well as price rise due to demand. When should you book your rooms? Early!- especially for the Trackside hotels that are occupied by the race teams and officials, and hospitality guests. A lot of hotels block out the Grand Prix dates to early reservation and only release these rooms once other hotels release their rooms and prices. Other offer for a cheaper price initially and then raise the rates as rooms get taken up.
    In 2010 and early reservation at the start of the year would have cost you S$400 per night to stay at the 5* Trackside Pan Pacific hotel (used by Ferrari and Lotus), this gradually raised to nearly S$1000 per night closer to the event. The Ibis in Bencoolen (walking distance to the track) was less than S$200 per night if booked early. In Orchard Road (3 stops or about 6min on the MRT)the 5* Royal Plaza on Scotts and the Mandarin Orchard Hotel consistently had the best rates. For those on a budget the Hotel 81 and Fragrance Chains offer good value. Though some of these are in seedier/more colourful (but very safe) parts of town, F1 fans seem to be the majority of the customers during this period. In the last 3 years prices have dropped in the 2 weeks before the event as Hotel try to fill their remaining rooms. For last minute deals please check the Online Hotel room consolidators like Agoda, Asia Best Hotel, Wotif and Asia Travel. Click on the link (labled Singapore,Singapore) below the title to brings up a TripAdvisor thread on F1 Accomadation.
    Currently (Oct2010) you can book rooms for 2011 at the very popular 4*Traders Hotel on Orchard Road for only S$225+tax per night (this is pretty much the regular off peak rate). ***** Nov 2010**** The 5* Mandarin Orchard is available for S$199+ Tax for the whole Race Weekend.

    3. Tickets
    Tickets prices are normally made known in late January and normally go on sale in early March for the race in September. They can be bought online from the Official Singapore F1 website, the Singapore Ticketing agent SISTIC or from a range of authorised ticket agents worldwide (in your local currency), which will be listed on the Singapore F1 website.
    As per other Grand Prix events around the world, there is a significant discount (nearly 20%) for purchasing your tickets early during the ‘Early Bird’ period. Tickets are either for a seat in the Grandstands (with a view of Big screens so you can follow the race) or for ‘Walkabout’ / General Access tickets – will allow you access to the Circuit park but no access to any Grandstands (unlike European GPs where there is free seating on the Friday). All Grandstand tickets are sold as 3 day tickets only. Initially all Walkabout tickets are also for 3days only but with a month or 2 to the race the organisers normally release individual day tickets for those who can only attend a single day. A small number of tickets are reserved to be sold on the day at ticket booths located next to the entry gates. You receive a different ticket for each day and the tickets are transferable so different people can attend on different days. This also make it easier to swap your Friday or Sunday tickets with like minded fans so you see the action from different Grandstands and vantage points (I got to see the action from Esplande and Stamford Grandstands as well as my ticketed seat in Turn2). Tickets permit entry and re-entry as many times as you like throughout the day (the circuit normally opens at 3pm and closes at 1am).
    One of the advantages of the Marina Bay Circuit is it is right in the centre of the city, walking distance to numerous MRT stations, Shopping malls, food and beverage establishment and hotels. This makes popping and in an out of the circuit after the support races and in-between sessions a practicality. There is a lot of off track entertainment and concerts put on throughout the day when there is no action on track however.
    If buying online direct from the Official Singapore F1 website you get to choose the Block within the grandstand as well as the grandstand itself. Front rows are very popular (you cant choose rows, first come first served, the ticketing system at previous events have released the lower rows first) You get very close to the cars, there’s no one tall infront of you and there is a hand rail in front of you to place a camera atop – there is however slightly less leg room. You can choose to have the Tickets mailed to you internationally (they seem to get sent out in July) or collected from a Post office in Singapore (from August) or the Ticket collection centre next to the Track when you arrive in Singapore (this is the option I choose travelling from the UK – for 2010 it was located at the convention centre of the SwissOtel the Stamford Hotel)

    4. What ticket to buy?
    Grandstands – Grandstands seats generally give the best views, you get a seat and even the lowest seats are well above ground level giving you bigger field of view. Grandstand seats are also in front of big screens (with commentary that you can actually hear) so you can follow the race. The price of the Grandstands generally reflect the view you get. Bay Grandstand has the worst physical seats, cramped and less comfortable than those found in the temporary stands. However for only $80 or more than Walkabout tickets, they are very good value. The lower rows of the Esplanade Waterfront Grand stand allow you to get very close to the cars at a slow part of the circuit. In faster parts of the track it generally better to sit further away to allow you to follow the cars. The Sun normally sets just before 7pm. It becomes bearable (for me ) to sit out in the sun from around 6pm. The Stamford, Connaught and Esplanade Grandstands gets the most shade as they face East and the setting sun is behind you. The Stamford Grandstand also has a hospitality block build above the grandstand that block out the direct sun much earlier in the day.
    The only covered seats are part of Hospitality packages (comes with meals, free bar, indoor air-conditioned area etc), the cheapest being the Green Room package. Pit Grandstand Tickets, together with Turn 1 and Turn 2 are the top price tickets and give a view of the cars lining up for the start of the race as well a view of the pits from seats. Turn 1 Bloack A4-6 seats give close quarter views of the Turn 1, 2 and 3 – and are amongst the best seats in the house.
    Walkabout ? These ticket give you free access to all parts of the circuit park included within the Zones on your ticket but no access to the Grandstands. There are bleachers set up at strategic points where you can see the race. Whilst there are public big screens where you can also watch the race. There arent normally any in front of the bleachers (you can hire a Kangaroo TV handheld unit to follow the race though). Public commentary can be heard throughout the circuit. Some of the Walkabout viewing platforms and areas get you closer to the cars than any of the grandstands and afford excellent views. The bleachers next to Turn 1/2 are particularly good, as well as viewing areas next to Turn 11/12

    5. Free Views?
    Though the organisers do a good job of screening off fences and overpasses, as this is a street Circuit there some public areas that overlook the track where you can catch some live action for gratis. If you bring a small stool with you can get a reasonable view over the barrier from numerous points (though as your often close to the track along a straight, the cars are gone in a flash. Naturally the trackside hotels, especially those with balconies provide a view if you’re a guest there. The best free view I found is from the outdoor balcony area of the Foodloft food court at the Marina Square Mall, which overlooks. Turn 16 and 17. Personally I think this view is better than what you would get from most of the Bay Grandstand. So get there early, get some cheap tasty food and get a table on the balcony.

    6. Zones
    The Circuit is dived into Zones. For 2010 The Pit, Turn 1,2 and 3 Grandstands are located in Zone 1. All other grandstand are located in Zone 4 (except Bay Grandstand which is located in Zone 3). Ticket holders to Zone one (and premier Walkabout Ticket holders) can access all zones and use any of the 10 entry points around the circuit. Ticket holders to Zone 4 (and regular Walkabout ticket holders) can access Zone 4 only. Bay grandstand is the only thing in Zone 3 and Bay Grandstand ticket holders can access Zone 4 as well. In 2010, The Singapore Flyer was located in Zone 2 and was only accessible to ticket holder with Zone 1 access who were able to get unlimited free rides throughout the day and night.

    7. Entertainment
    The entertainment schedule is usually known by June or July. For 2010 the headlining acts were confirmed rather late.The 2 main entertainment stages are the one in the Padang (the big open field with the circuit located in Zone 4 and the Village stage located in Zone 1. There is secondary entertainment held in the floating platform and in the Paddock lifestyle area accessible only to those of the Formula 1 Paddock Club. Entertainment of one sort or another is virtually continuous from 4pm when there is no activity on the track. Maria Carey performed after the end of the race on Sunday at the Padang Stage. There is no additional charge for any of the entertainment laid out within the circuit.

    8. Food and Beverage
    There are numerous F&B stall set up in the Padang and a significant amount in Zone1. Zone 1 has a more premium feel to its F&B establishments with more exclusive units. Zone 4 houses the Hawker village with the cheapest food. Expect to pay roughly twice what it would cost in a food Court. $4 for 500ml bottle of soft drink, $10 for a big plastic mug of beer (no glass allowed in the Circuit), $7 for a bowl of Laksa & $10 for 6 sticks of satay in plastic cup. Between the Esplanade water front Grandstand and the Esplanade Theatres is the food gem of the circuit park – The Glutons Bay Hawker centre. This is a regular popular hawker centre that finds itself ring fenced within the circuit for the 3 day race weekend. Food here is better and cheaper than anywhere else on the circuit – you pay regular everyday prices in general. Of course there are many malls containing food courts and fast food outlets as well as other restaurants literally with 2min in any direction around the circuit park. There are numerous entry/exit gates to allow you to get to food and drink just as quick as it would be to walk to the Food stalls within the circuit park. These malls also provide welcome free air-conditioning and respite in between track activity.

    9. After parties and other Off circuit Entertainment
    There numerous post race parties that regular ticket holder can access with the purchase of the appropriate ticket including the official Amber Lounge event often frequented by the drivers themselves. Lots of clubs, bars and restaurants in Clark Quay offer promotions and discounts for ticket holders.

    10. Transport
    Raffles Place, City Hall, Esplanade, Promenade and Nicoll Highway MRT station are close to various gates around the circuit. This must be the eaiest GP to get to from your Hotel on the Calender (no need to camp out at the circuit) Last train times are extended till after 1am across the network for the race weekend for those not staying within walking distance. Most of the Orchard road hotels are with 30min walk once you have left the circuit, if you rather not take the train. Leaving the circuit is very easy even with the crowds, by heading towards the nearest gate and MRT station. Leaving your Grandstand seat to arriving at an Orchard Road Hotel by MRT should take around 30min or so. The track is opened up to the public after the race on Sunday so you can take the scenic route back, rather than the designated walking route. Taxis are also readily available, however there is location surcharge of $5 for the 3 race days. Singapore is a small Island and the MRT trains are quick so even if you are staying at the furthest hotel from the circuit (Crown Plaza at Changi Aiport) you are no more than 35-40min by public transport from one of the entry gates to the Circuit

    11. Photography
    I am not a photographer and don’t have any gear more advanced than a Compact Super zoom camera. I did take plenty of pictures but these were to remind me of the event rather than have great close up pictures of the cars. It’s dark and the cars move pretty fast. You will need a wide aperture and fast shutter speed. Try and shoot cars at a slower corner to allow longer shutter speeds. Some of the walkabout viewing platforms are great for this. The fencing is a hindrance with auto focus cameras choosing to focus on the fencing rather than the cars further away- manual focus if you camera has that option. Tripod/monopods are not allowed to be used in the Grandstands. If you are in the first row of the Grandstand there is a hand rail in front of you which is a nice sturdy place to rest a camera while zooming and shooting through the fence without any camera shake. On the Friday when the Grandstands are not as busy you will be able to find unoccupied seats so you shoot from different vantage points. In most parts of the circuit you need to be above row 13 or 14 to be able to see completely over the safety fence. The safety fence does not affect viewing the race much but affects photography.

    12. Circuit Changes
    There is some talk that there will be some significant changes made to the circuit for 2011 to reduce the number of turns and speed up the race. This may mean some grandstands disappearing and some new ones appearing. There is talk of removing the now infamous ‘bus stop’ stadium section (Bay Grandstand) and altering T7 to go around the War memorial (removing 2 corners from the circuit and enhancing overtaking possibilities).

    • Jenny said on 4th March 2011, 0:07

      Thanks for the comprehensive information. Does anyone have details of the support races please? I heard that the V8 Supercars were to bee there this year but it looks like that has fallen through. Any other details would be appreciated.

      • Mankster said on 4th March 2011, 7:26

        Looks like it will the same as last year, Formula BMW Pacific & Porchse Carrera Cup.

    • Jenny said on 7th March 2011, 0:03

      You mention “If buying online direct from the Official Singapore F1 website you get to choose the Block within the grandstand as well as the grandstand itself.” None of the websites seem to offer this option, could you give me the website please or is it not available this year? Thanks

      • drmikki said on 7th March 2011, 2:29

        http://www.singaporegp.sg/ticket/ticket_price_earlybird.php

        Click “buy” for the grandstand you want. On the next page you get dropdown menus – the first one says “let the system choose the best seats”, but if you scroll through that you get a choice of sections/blocks. Use the map to choose your preferred area. Note also that not all blocks are on sale – for example in the esplanade waterfront stand A2 and A3 are on sale but A1 is not yet available for sale.

        • Mankster said on 7th March 2011, 11:15

          Yes just as drmikki says.
          If you want a little more flexability, you can give the Singapore Ticketing agents a ring.

    • Stephen said on 17th May 2011, 14:27

      Hi Mankster

      Great write up, from your experience what is the best section & row to sit in the Stamford Grandstand?

      Thanks in advance

      Stephen

      • Mankster said on 17th May 2011, 15:59

        Well everyone will have their own preference so there is no definite answer. I will be in Stamford myself this year (T2 last year). I have gone for Seat 1 in the highest row I could get at the time. This means a clear view left to T7 as the aisle means there is a good gap to those sitting the in Block to your left. A higher row gives a bigger field of view as the stand is very close to the track and the racing line take the cars close to the stand for the first few blocks in Stamford. The Giant Screen for Stamford is not the best placed as it is fairly close to the stand due to space constraints. Check videos on you tube if this is important to you.
        I am keeping my fingers crossed that T7 will be at the end of the DRS Zone this year.

        • Stephen said on 18th May 2011, 9:33

          Thanks for the advice much appreciated – will buy tickets tonight. Thanks again

    • suzie t said on 2nd August 2011, 12:56

      Hi can anyone advise I am attending the singapore gp 2011 but due to my flights only can attend the sunday race. I have bought pit grandstand tickets block A6 row 1 seats 12 & 13. Which means I have 2 x fri and 2 x sat tickets I would like to sell them but do not have a clue how much to pitch at. Any ideas??

      • suzie t said on 2nd August 2011, 12:59

        sorry A16 not A6

        • Mankster said on 2nd August 2011, 13:31

          Based on the selling price for individual day Walkabout tickets, Singapore GP Charges 12.5% for Friday, 38.8% for Saturday and 48.7% of the full price for Sunday.
          Looking at eBay sales from last year, thats generally about the right percentage but sale prices are lower than box office prices as its not a sold out event and tickets are still available.
          If ever you put your tickets on ebay, let me know. I have a 3 day pass for the Stamford GS but wouldn’t mind spending the Friday in Pit Grandstand.

    • suzie t said on 4th August 2011, 10:17

      hi Mankster

      I have posted those tickets on e-bay uk. Can I just say a big thank you the information you posted and provided proved invaluable for booking my trip this year. cheers

      • Mankster said on 17th August 2011, 10:04

        Thanks for the great deal on the tickets. Hope you have a great time at the race on on Sunday.

        • suzie t said on 17th September 2011, 9:23

          Less than one week to go and counting down – am soooo excited. 7 months in the planning and it finally is arriving – Yehaa! It also adds to the thrill to know I may be sitting in the very seat that Mankster has sat in!!! This was a surprise birthday present for my husband who now knows and is thrilled – couldnt have planned this without Mansters info put on trip advisor so early – so thank you. I hope everyone has a thrilling time. Rock on singapore!!!!

          • Mankster said on 17th September 2011, 18:11

            Ha! I’ll look after your seat for you. Yes its all come to ahead. Enjoy the race and the rest of your trip.

    • DAVID said on 1st September 2011, 4:24

      Mankster,your are a legend for doing what you have for the F1 fan putting so much helpful info,which covered all the questions the other half asks.
      We have booked and will be there this year and have stand tickets and will be stay inside circuit.
      Love to buy you a beer during the meet,so if you can,let me know a good point to meet during the weekend and its my shout.
      Regards
      Dave

      • Mankster said on 1st September 2011, 9:40

        No thanks needed, it helps keep my interest in the event up in the many leading months, and doesn’t really take up much of my time.
        I will be popping in and out of the circuit and having informal meetings within the circuit as well as this is a bit of a semi work trip, so can’t really commit to a meet at any specific time at this stage. Maybe closer to the time.
        I am also a DE on the Singapore Forum (same screen name- Mankster) http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g294262-i1747-Singapore.html if anyone want to ask travel/tourist related questions about their holiday/F1 trip. The site also allows personal messages (unlike this one) if anyone wants to get in touch. Some good F1 threads there as well.
        I’ll be staying at the Pan Pacific during the F1 Weekend and moving to an Orchard Road hotel after the race.

  2. Sue Roy said on 5th January 2011, 19:59

    Wow! just sat here and read through your blog, it will help my husband and I plan our trip to the Singapore Grand Prix. I was geting excited reading it and cannot wait for tickets to come on sale so I know that we are definetly going.

    Thanks you for taking the time to write this

  3. Mankster said on 5th January 2011, 22:48

    Glad it helped, its the best spectator experience GP I have been to by some distance. And the only one besides my home GP(Silverstone) that I am going to attend again.
    Feel free to post any specific questions closer to the time.

  4. Hi, Everyone, Mankster. Thank you for all the info posted above. Can someone help me deciding on what ticket should I purchase? Im choosing between Bay GrandStand Tickets or the Premiere Walkabout.. Which do you prefer? This would be my first time to watch the race.. And I would like to get the best view of the race.. And can you give me an idea on how much the two tickets will cost(base on last year)?
    Appreaciate you response.. thanks

    • for walkabouts premier per day &1,000++ if u’re grandstand from sistic outlets with+3 sistic fee

  5. Mankster said on 7th January 2011, 18:17

    Last year if you bought your tickets during the early Bird Phase, a regular Walk About Ticket would have cost SIN$168, Bay Grand Stand S$248 and Premier Walk about S$348 (all are three day tickets)
    Premier Walk about gives you a chance to ‘walk’ the entire circuit perimeter and view most of the corners from some point. The views from the bleachers of the last turn and the T1/2 section are excellent (get there early to get a spot). You will have to stand to watch the race (unless you get there early and sit on the bottom step of the bleachers). If you leave for refreshments etc you may lose your spot. There is generally no view of the Big Screen TV’s from the bleachers so you will want to hire a Kangaroo TV for the weekend. Other benefits are access to the entertainment stages in Zone 1 (though all the big acts have performances in the bigger stage in Zone4 as well)
    A Bay Grandstand ticket allows you to walk about half the circuit (zone 3&4), get close to the action at some of the other bleachers as well as seat in front of big screens. It’s a big stand, it will be crowded on Sat/Sun and will take a while to leave the stand when everyone else leaves at the same time. The seats are not as comfortable as the temporary stands. You want to get a seat in the first 10 rows or so for the best views. You do get a great view across the bay toward the lit up city skyline.
    Check out some of the videos on Youtube to see what the view is like from different stands.

  6. Thanks again Mankster. Another question.. Do i have an option to buy different tickets for 3 days. I mean, for Day 1 and 2 i will buy the premiere walkabouts and for the race night i will buy the bay grandstand? is it possible? or these will cost me more?

  7. Mankster said on 7th January 2011, 18:46

    All Grandstand tickets have only been sold as 3 day tickets and only regular walkabout tickets were sold as single day tickets closer to the event date.
    You can swap tickets with other fans or keep an eye on the auction sites, plenty of people only attend the Saturday and Sunday and sell off their Friday ticket cheaply.

  8. gian said on 8th January 2011, 3:37

    Alright. Thanks Again.

    • Steps (@steps) said on 26th July 2011, 16:07

      Hi Gian
      I purchased a 3-day pass in the Turn 1 Grandstand. I arive in Singapore on Sunday morning. Thinking of selling off my Friday and Saturday passes.

      • Kriengsak Khurewathanakul said on 22nd September 2011, 13:29

        Interesting to buy Friday or Saturday F1 Singapore ticket! Give me the price and details stand on my email. Nearly Time Out >>> be hurry.

  9. X1/9Dave said on 9th January 2011, 8:28

    Mankster
    Brilliant write up lots of information, I will be going to this years (2011) Singapore GP arrive 19/9, two weeks at the Pan Pacific.
    Still trying to find the best seats to get a good view will be doing the grandstand bit as my wife has very bad eyes need a very good view and as close as possible, done the Malaysian GP twice got what I think are the best seats in the circuit for those, done Silverstone last year got walk about tickets never again, after Malaysia we do not know how to organise jack.
    Anybody out there who has any ideas about the best grandstand seats please write up which ones and why
    Thanks in advance
    X1/9Dave

  10. Mankster said on 9th January 2011, 12:31

    The best close quarter view of the cars from a Grand Stand seat is Turn 1 Blocks A3-A5. If you get your tickets online from the official website you can chose your blocks, pretty much garanteed the the first few rows if you book in the first week.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wvn41jjFUA

  11. Mankster said on 14th January 2011, 12:05

    Thats the Pit Grandstand.

  12. f00tsie said on 15th January 2011, 18:43

    Does anyone know how ‘set in stone’ the publicised dates for the Singa GP 2011 are?
    I want to book ‘non refundable’ flights from London but don’t want to lose out if the dates are changed.
    Thanks.

  13. Mankster said on 15th January 2011, 19:08

    The date is set in stone, it cant be moved, only cancelled.
    I have booked flights from London on SIA with a £65 cancellation fee (in case I cant go rather than expecting a problem with the event)

  14. f00tsie said on 16th January 2011, 18:08

    Thanks for that Mankster and thanks also for the good advice re hotels, tickets etc.

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