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Singapore to be fine-tuned to boost overtaking 02 Feb 2009

Felipe Massa (BRA), Ferrari, Ferrari F2008, leads the Singapore Grand Prix 2008, Singapore, Sunday 28 September 2008. © Martin Trenkler / Reporter Images Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren, McLaren Mercedes MP4-23, Singapore Grand Prix 2008, Singapore, Sunday 28 September 2008. © Martin Trenkler / Reporter Images The safety car leads Felipe Massa (BRA), Ferrari, Ferrari F2008, Singapore Grand Prix 2008, Singapore, Sunday 28 September 2008. © Martin Trenkler / Reporter Images Timo Glock (GER), Toyota, Toyota TF108, Singapore Grand Prix 2008, Singapore, Sunday 28 September 2008. © Martin Trenkler / Reporter Images On-track action, Singapore Grand Prix 2008, Singapore, Saturday 27 September 2008. © Martin Trenkler / Reporter Images

Following the huge success of last year’s inaugural Singapore Grand Prix, organisers have announced that the layout of the Marina Bay circuit will be improved further ahead of the 2009 event.

Following consultation with the FIA and the teams, minor changes will be made to Turns One, 13 and 14 to further increase the potential for overtaking, whilst road surface improvements will be undertaken at Turns Five, Six and Seven, and revisions made to the pit-lane entry and exit as well as the Turn 22 runoff area.

“While the circuit and the event exceeded expectations around the world, as with any brand new event, there are always things which we now know we can do better,” explained Singapore’s technical and race operations director, Michael McDonough.

“Minor modifications are proposed on the track, at Turns One, Seven and 14 in order to improve overtaking opportunities whilst the main changes will be to the Pit Entry and Pit Exit to provide added margins of safety for cars entering and leaving the pit lane.”

The changes to Turn One will involve modification to the geometry to reduce corner speed so that it provides potential overtaking opportunities in the braking zone at the approach to the corner. The modifications will involve relocating the corner apex, reducing the corner radius and thereby cutting the estimated cornering speed.

When the cars took to the track last September, some drivers took a far wider line in this corner than expected, turning in from the concrete verge next to the wall. Kerbing will therefore be installed on the entry to prevent this.

Turn 13, the tight left-handed hairpin after the historic Anderson Bridge, will be amended to increase cornering speed, providing additional speed on Esplanade Drive and increasing the opportunity for overtaking in the braking zone at Turn 14. With the revision, the cars are now likely to reach speeds of approximately 275km/h along Esplanade Drive.

In addition, the geometry of Turn 14 will also be modified to improve overtaking opportunities in the braking zone. The changes will involve relocating the corner apex to reduce the corner radius and reducing the estimated cornering speed of the cars.

During the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, a significant speed differential was observed at the apex of Turn 22 between cars entering the pit lane and those lapping the track. To reduce any risk of interference between them, a dedicated pit-lane entry will be constructed.

The pit exit will also be changed. Last year it entered the circuit into the braking zone for Turn One, immediately after the pit wall. Following suggestions from the FIA, the pit lane will be realigned and lengthened for 2009, exiting on the drivers’ left at Turn Two, away from the racing line and onto a part of the circuit where the cars will all be accelerating.

Finally, the runoff distances at Turn 22 will be reduced, providing better spectator circulation in the area. The 2009 Singapore Grand Prix will take place from September 25-27.