Singapore street track – spectators’ experiences

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Tell us about your experiences of visiting the Singapore street track.

You may wish to include:

  • When you visited the track
  • Where you watched from
  • How easy it was to get to
  • How much of the track you could see
  • What support races there were
  • What you liked and didn’t like
  • How much it cost and whether it was good value

Please use the reply box below to leave your comments.

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36 comments on “Singapore street track – spectators’ experiences”

  1. Vistied for all three days. Watched from the turn 1 grand stand – great view; highly recommended.

    The track was easy to get to being right in the centre of the city. As you’d expect with Singaporean organisation it was top notch. Turn 1 was no where near the underground and the organiser ran a bus-metro system. It worked fantastically well – on qualy day and race day we were able to get back to our hotel on Scotts Road in about 30 minutes. In most other countries that would have taken 2 hours.

    From our vantage point you could see down the main straight and turns 1 – 3 – a good location. It was easy to walk around the circuit and you happen across other great vantage points – one in particular by the Marina on turn 23 looking down the main straight. Also the flyer is a great, albeit expensive, ride during one of the practice sessions as you get a great view of the circuit (think London eye). Street circuit is also good as you get close to the action.

    Support races weren’t that great – no GP2 or GP2 Asia, which was a shame. Singapore GP 2008 was a fantastic race, which added to the atmosphere. Watching Massa at the end of the pitlane was hilarious! However, I can imagine that it had been a procession then it wouldn’t have been much fun to watch.

    Total cost was 1000 sing dollars per ticket for three days. Expensive. Great value – money well spend, but not sure I’d go back next year. Would rather spend the money going to a different race.

  2. Visited for all 3 days too. I watched from the turn 15 Marina grandstand. While the view was OK rather than great, I did get great proximity since we bought them the day the tickets went on sale. We sat on the front row of seats, which was brilliant (sensory overload!)

    The track was very easy to go to. We skipped the MRT (just WAY too many people going in like sardines) and walked instead. Walking there makes it worth your while; to get to the gate of our grandstand, we’d pass through 3 malls, which means lots of interesting stuff to see. There was even some rare F1 stuff in the malls and stands waiting to be bought – if you could find them. Thank goodness I did! ;)

    I’d have loved to go to the Flyer, but it was too pricey for me. I’ll go there next time when it’s cheaper (read: NOT an F1 weekend).

    Support races were missable – and I did miss them, since my girlfriend-companion doesn’t care much for non-F1 motorsport. But I get the feeling I really didn’t miss anything – I shopped and rested during that time instead.

    The biggest plus there was the atmosphere – there were many European fans in our grandstand, and it was lots of fun to watch with them. They were wonderful and you could feel their excitement at being part of history.

    I also got a Kangaroo, which was like manna from heaven. It helped us keep tabs on everything going on, especially with the live timing, 5Live coverage, and onboard-on-demand.

    Total cost was 650 sing dollars per 3-day race ticket. Expensive, but money well spent. Given that, I’ll go to Sepang, Malaysia for 2009 instead. Not only do I want to go to another circuit, I also get better bang for my buck (500 sing dollars for a 2-day ticket facing the Ferrari pits, with Fridays free admission).

    DISCLAIMER: I’m from the Philippines, so I’m looking at the options available to me from an Asian perspective.

  3. I was another three day eventer at the Stamford Grandstand towards the Turn 7 end. Do not consider this part of the circuit if you want to take any photos!!! In my opinion, it is not worth the money to sit here. If you can get tickets for the Turn 8 end, you can see Turn 14 as they come back before going on to the Marina Bay Grandstand. Photographers though should note that unless you want to include the security fencing in your shots, pick another location as the fencing is very high. Another downside is being located underneath the Sky/Club Hospitality suites. You cannot have anything that will impair their view e.g. Flags or camera tripods/monopods. The only advantage I found to this location at all was the food stands just outside and that it was only a short walk from Gate 3 which was the closest gate from my hotel.

    The TV screen opposite was not ideally situated and was partially obscurred by tree branches. The more ergonomic location on the side of the Exhibition Centre as indicated on the circuit map is not part of the circuit and did not show anything other than advertising (even if it was Williams related, it’s not quite the same as being able to watch the racing!)

    I haven’t been to a street circuit race before (unless Montreal or Melbourne count?) so I don’t know whether this is unique to Singapore but I usually scoff at those wearing earplugs (except children) as one of the best parts of the experience for me is the roar of the engines. However, here I was forced to rethink after the first day as the noise reverberates around the buildings increasing the decibels.

    It sounds so far as if I’m being quite negative. Whether some of the bugbears were because it was an inaugral event and would be looked at for future races I don’t know. I did enjoy the atmosphere and buzz the whole city seemed to have about this even if it was all the International race fans wanting their bit of history rather than the indigenous Singaporeans.

    The general organisation and location were both extremely efficient. Getting to and from the circuit was very easy although some of the distances were a bit much for those with impaired mobility or of advanced years. I did use the MRT straight after the race to visit my Singaporean friend and found the experience refreshingly easy considering so many people were attempting to use it at the same time (Doningtion take note – this is what public transport should be like!)

    I am glad I went for the experience and history. However, it is only due to the actual race being as good as it was that I do have a generally positive memory of the race weekend.

  4. We sat in the Bay grandstand at turn 18 (where the track goes under the stand). We had a good vantage point for sure, but one of the reasons we chose this area was beacuse of the view over the bay, and let me tell you Monaco it was not ! Cranes and a large building site are not the most picturesque backdrop. Having said that, in a couple of years when that area is finished, this will be the place to sit.

    Cost was about AU $250 for the three day pass, which we felt was pretty good value. Not much in the way of support categories, so we mostly gave those a miss.
    Transport was great – easy to get in & out, although there was a bit of distance involved walking to the station. It was also great being right at the Marina Bay Shopping centre so when we got hungry or just wanted to cool off, we could come and go from the centre. Bought all our food there too at prolly half the price of the catering inside. And despite the warning that you weren’t allowed to bring food or drink in, we managed it.

    In terms of trackside diversions, there wasn’t much. No expos, barely any merchandising. There were some bands and other acts on stage dotted around the circuit, but we never managed to find them. Walking around from one part of the circuit was no so easy, given a lot was blocked off – I guess understandable given the location.

    A few other teething problems were to be found – ie only one set of toilets open each end at the bay grandstand – hardly sufficient for 15000 people ! And coralling off the walkways under the stand for the support categories is fine, but then where do 15000 people walk who are trying to get in? A few logisitcal problems to be ironed out by next year. And I’d suggest that the Singaporeans work on their control freak tendencies as well ! A carnival atmosphere it was not !

    And tbh, although it was great, I don’t think having the race at night really added to it. Sure it was good as a novelty, but I wouldn’t want to see much more of it.

    In all, we thoroughly enjoyed the experience and would not hesitate to recommend it.

    1. We went to the Singapore GP in 2009, and had an absolutely fantastic experience.

      The view from the Bay Grandstand was phenomenal and I held no qualms about sitting in front of an amazing view. The construction site was incredible in its own right.

      Please note to anyone reading this, holding the race at night adds more to the spectacle than you can imagine. Having seen it for myself, all street circuits should hold races at night.

      Fantastically organised, as you would expect from such a city. Hotels were affordable if you were happy with 3 stars.

      The day after the race we moved to the Marina Mandarin (5 stars, on the track) as the price had dropped dramatically. We saw the BMW Sauber team leaving the lobby the next day, so I suspect a few teams will stay there this year!

      1. Which rows/sections of the Bay Grandstand are the best?

  5. History was made for the first night race for sure. Was there with family of four so bought the 3 day walkabout. Kangaroo TV was something one can’t do without if you’re a hardcore fan.

    We managed to cover every corner that was visible for the first two days, so as to be at the best turn that suited us. Overall views were not really fantastic, as the cars disappeared to soon due to the street circuit format. So finally settled for Turn 5 because it was the widest turn which overtaking could be possible. Also there were a lot of skidding and drifting making viewing exciting. Amazing part was we were so near the cars, like less than ten feet, AWESOME! We had small bits of marbles left on our hair and skin, how much closer can we get.

    The atmosphere was a party mood, but was surprised so many people were not really into the race mode, guess it was just being there for the history especially the locals.

    Was happy that there was a substantial crowd of hardcore fans which were caucasians. Hopefully there will be improvements for 2009, but for the circuit itself I doubt it. As a hardcore fan, Sepang is a better venue for racing. A proper racing circuit is always better. Street circuits, too much compromise, hence lowering the standards for motor racing.

  6. I’ve written a series of posts about the 2008 Singapore F1 GP – all available here.

  7. i wont pay 300 plus for a walkabout tickets when i can watch it on national free-to-air TV.. but if i’m rich enough i wont mind spending hundreds for a seat.

    1. The experience of watching an F1 race from the ground stand seat is unique to anything else in the world.

  8. Sharon Smallridge
    7th October 2009, 22:03

    I’ve been to over 10 different grand priz circuits (including Monaco -watching from a Balcony) and would have to say that this is the best all-round grand Prix experience a person could get!

    Here’s why:

    Location – a 50 metre walk from Hotel (if you choose to stay at the Fairmont, Raffles or nearby) to Gate 3- then you’re in the circuit.

    Viewing- no where else can you get so close to the cars. We sat at the Esplanade Theatre stand that was less than 2 metres from the track and was facing a giant screen.

    Entertainment- In between all the practice/quali/race sessions was a whole catalogue of events ranging from Travis to John Digweed (DJ) concerts, indian belly dancing, Austin powers, countless bars and fantastic restuarant and Hawker areas. No where else would you get a fresh fish stall!

    Because the race is set around a permenant area, the food and restaurants are excellent,and all within 50 meters from the stand –

    Timing- Its perfect at night – still 30 degrees so would be terrible in the heat of the day. Also, there was a 2 hour slot from practise to quali- perfect for that evening dinner and wine!! Plenty of time to do it too!

    Atmosphere- couldnt be beaten!!

    Downsides- drinks a bit pricey, but hey ! its a grand prix weekend – dont expect it to be cheap

    Security – a bit overdone – even puts the Germans to shame! Still, appparently an improvement on last year

    Well worth going!

  9. Just bought my F1 ticket and went for the Premier Walkabout ticket 3 day. Am going to stay in Singapore in hostel for 8 days so hope to sightsee aswell. Am on my Gap year but doing it at the end of my working life and have to do it on a budget by myself. Soooooo any ideas where to watch F1 race with good vantage point? and where to go in Singapore and where to go after Singapore, Hong Kong / Bangkok / ????
    Will travel for 12 months.

    1. If you walk through airport door sideways you’re going to Bangkok =)

    2. Suggestion: It’s better to walk to as much turns as you can as there’s no vantage points due to the tight viewpoints as it’s a street circuit. 2 turns will be about the maximum one can view, but the closeness of the cars is awesome though.

  10. There’s an area a F1 fan should experience – go under the Esplanade bridge and hear the sound amplified several times with fantastic reverbration underneath the bridge. I stumble upon it during practice session while exploring the circuit. There’s no F1 circuit in the world to enable a fan to experience from “under” the track !

    There’s 2 place to do this. One is outside the circuit, near the Merlion statue, the other is on the other side of the Singapore River beside the Esplanade theatre by the Bay (The spike dome building)

    While my seat was at the Padang facing the City Hall and old Supreme Court (that looks like St Paul Cathedral during race day, I did a bit of walking around the circuit and at certain points, the cars were so near to me, that if the fence is not there, I could reach out my hand and touch the tires of the car ! Can even feel the particles that were pick up by the tires hitting on to my face as the car zoom by.

    I agree it is sensory overload ! Sight (the car looks so much better under artifical lights) sound, smell and touch ! (particles touching your face).

    Best thing is that after the race, there’s so many party place so nearby to go to. Clarke Quay is fantastic in atmosphere (just 10 mins walk from Padang). This year with the Marina Bay Sands Casino completed, it will be another fantastic landmark to add to this special circuit. Its was being constructed when seen from the Bay GrandStand last year. Check out this monster !

  11. This year, I’m gonna watch the race in swimming trunks with a pair of binoculars in hand on a swimming pool 57 storeys up. Yeah!

    Check out the pictures below to see what I mean

  12. Good view of turn 13 and the Esplanade bridge stretch

  13. christopher (sennaboy3)
    25th July 2010, 23:50

    Does anyone know if there is anything scheduled for Thursday before the race? Any pitwalk, etc (I guess that may be hard considering it’s in the city)…? Thanks!

  14. Very nice scene of the Singapore race track seen in Daylight, blue hour, twilight and night . . .

  15. I’m looking forward to attending this year’s race! Does anyone know if the walkabout tickets allow you to view turn 7 near the base of the Stamford grandstand?

    1. Hey there codesurge…

      Yes the basic walkabout ticket does allow you to go to turn 7. theres usually a platform next to the stamford stand but as you would imagine it fills up fairly quickly

      1. Thanks for the info Tom!

        Is that platform limited to a view of only the corner exit or do you get to see complete overtaking moves down the straight before turn 7?

        1. From standing there during parts of FP1 in the first year, I can confirm that you can actually see the cars thundering down Raffles Boulevard from the standing platform. I’m not sure whether it’s been changed for last year and this year though.

          You should spend Friday walking about the whole circuit to try find a spot that you like to camp at during qualifying and the race..

  16. magiklegz (@)
    10th June 2011, 12:49

    I attended the 2010 race, on a Premier Walkabout ticket… there are plenty of places to watch the action from on this tickets, they have loads of platforms around the circuit.. plus you have access to the whole circuit, rather than a few sectors.
    Was easy to get to circuit via subways, visibility i thought was rather good for a street circuit. also on a premier walkabout ticket you get unlimited use of the Singapore Flyer which gives you a fantastic aerial view.
    Support races where Porsche and Formula BMW asia, and at where good filler races, though i wasnt glued to them. I terms of price and value it can be expensive for drinks and food, but if you go to the supermarket under the singapore flyer in sector 1, then you can buy cheap beer and food, remember this is a street circuit and the owner of this shop clearly refuses to close even though he is inside the track!!
    Finally the best bit about watching Singapore GP is surely its the only track where meeting the drivers is VERY easy!!… basically the drivers are not allowed to be driven into circuit grounds, they get dropped off at the gates and walk through the general areas in ZONE 1, and then into the pits… i had my photo taken with all the drivers except Schmi and Hamilton, by just asking as they walked though… not sure how well known this is, but there seemed to be very few people in this area, as its not a great spectator area. They tend to come in around 2hours before 1st session of each day!
    But as well as this, what better venue than watchin a race live at night!

    1. Great info, magiklegz. I’m planning to go there this year with my dad (my first live GP) and I’m thinking of getting the Premier Walkabout tickets so I can walk around the track. Say I get tired walking around, any tips where it’s best to see the action?

      Also, which gate exactly do the drivers enter? Is this Gate 1 on the upper right here?

      1. Hi Nightsoil, basically the drivers come in somewhere around Gate 2… the best place to catch them is near the white bridge going over track in square H14 (on map you linked), you need to be on the inside of the track,(as some drivers i think stay at hotels within track confines) , there is a 2 tier car park next to this bridge that they walk past… you will need Prmier Walkabout to get in this area… you can meet them just before they go into the paddock, but this area has a load of fans… so best to catch them the otherside of the road (next to the bridge) before they turn the corner into FansVille! as they are happy to stop for odd photo.. but not likely when 30 other people look to get a photo too! Premier walkabout is really good.. as it gets you into zones 1 & 2 (aswell as 3&4) but 3&4 is very crowded as cheaper part of track, and also less goes on down there… best to stay in around zone 1.. there are loads of tiered stands for premier ticket holders… i terms of good areas to stand/sit i reccommend anywhere from gate 9 through pits straight to gate 1… gate 9 is brilliant to higher speed up close and personal viewing… see them out of the chicane and into final corner… i recommend being opposite podium for end of race, as they open up circuit so you can go onto the grid for the podium presentation…! as worth being opposite pit exit for start as you see the whole grid fly past 10 feet infront of you into turn 1! awesome sight…

    2. Zone 1 ?do you know which gate? or you meant gate 1?

  17. This is going to be my 3rd year.I sat in Padang 09 & Bay Grandstand 10.Let me just say,it’s just amazing.
    I know it’s a bit pricey but definiely worth it.
    This year I’m going to sit in Main Grandstand.I’m so excited.I’m staying at Conrad,this year.Padang is really good place to seat if you are going to watch the concert afterwards.But not a good place for photo taking.Bay Grandstand is just awful..roads are blocked and there are no signs of how to get to bay grandstand if you are coming from suntec city so you have to walk around a lot.

  18. I intend to attend th singapore GP this year. Can anyone tell me of their experience at the Bay Grandstand? What are the best seats and what cheap hotels are there nearby?

    1. I have sit in Bay Grandstand,last year.I can’t really tell you the best seat of Bay Grandstand because I don’t think there is any.It’s really same unless you are seated in the Green Room that is above the Bay Grandstand.Only thing I can tell you is that upper section is a little bit better than lower section.There are no cheap hotels near by.If you want cheap hotels,you have to go outside of circuit area.And I suggest you look for it asap.Because as I speak,rooms are getting more expensive and there are only few cheap hotel rooms left.

  19. I think the opposite, the lower seats in Bay Grand stand are better, but the views are no the best and the seats are unconforable. Try the Vhotel Lavender. Much more information available under the Singapore 2011 Discussion thread

    1. My seat was exactly in the middle of lower&upper section.From Bay Grandstand and Padang,you can’t really see the action.
      Unless you rent Kangaroo Tv.That is strictly from my personal experience.
      Good thing about Bay Grandstand is the view and good thing about Padang Grandstand is that you can watch the main event right after the race is finished.If you watch from grandstand,you will get a better view than rest of the people.

  20. hi guys going to singapore for my very 1st grandprix have tickets for the stamford grandstand would love to here from anyone eho can tell me what that grandstands like good points and bad whats it like for takeing photos?

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