2008 FORMULA 1 SINGTEL SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX
- 4.4 million
- Singapore dollar
- First Grand Prix
- GMT +8
- English, Malay, Chinese
- Buddhist 42%, Muslim, Christian and other 58%
- Visa / Passport Requirements
Why not go! The Singapore Grand Prix is Formula One racing’s first ever night race, staged on an exciting new 5.067-kilometre (3.148-mile) street track in the heart of this colourful and cosmopolitan city.
The race will be floodlit, and the bright lights of the city’s financial centre in the background are sure to give the race a unique atmosphere.
“I’ve only driven the track in a road car and in quite heavy traffic,” says Red Bull Racing’s Mark Webber. “But from what I could tell, it’s going to be an interesting challenge, and much faster than Monaco. The track is quite wide in places and there will be a couple of places where we’ll be travelling quickly.
“There are safety issues with the race being run at night, especially if it’s raining - which it often does in this region of the world! But the FIA have done a lot of tests and say that visibility will be okay.”
The track will make use of two bridges across the harbour, the famous Padang Park and the permanent pits complex is being built alongside the ‘Singapore Flyer’, the city state’s answer to the London Eye Ferris wheel.
Did you know? At just 684 square kilometres (264 square miles), Singapore is the smallest country in South East Asia.
Singapore’s Changi Airport, 20 kilometres east of the city, is an extremely impressive facility. Its 160 shops and 80 restaurants make it a delight for passengers, who can fly to virtually anywhere in the world. There are 185 destinations from Changi, in 58 countries.
The quickest way from the airport into the city is via the Modern Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) rail system. Trains leave every 12 minutes and the journey time into City Hall Station is just 27 minutes.
With the MRT at your disposal, as well as endless bus services and taxis, you don’t need to hire a car in Singapore. And when you can’t get any further by public transport, go by foot.
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Singapore is a clean city; in fact it’s so spotless that you can’t buy chewing gum, just in case the temptation to litter the streets is too great. While in Singapore, you’d do well to respect each of the Republic’s five ideals, as depicted on their national flag: democracy, peace, equality, justice and progress.
You can keep up to speed with all the action throughout the weekend by hiring a Kangaroo TV handset at the circuit, which offers access to several channels of live video, audio and data content.
Where to go?
If you’re a fan of Far Eastern metropolitan life, you’ll love Singapore. There are two renowned shopping/entertainment malls, the Marina Square and Sentosa Island. When you’ve had enough of shopping or watching movies, you can head to the Como Shambhala Spa, where some of the oldest methods of spiritual and physical growth are practised.
Eating out is also a delight, with food to suit every palette. For the most eclectic mix of restaurants, head to the Dempsey Road enclave; it used to be known for its antique teak furniture, but the majority of those shops now serve food and drink. The Wine Company (Block 14-3 Dempsey Road) specialise in wine and pizzas, Samy’s Restaurant (25 Dempsey Road) is famed for its fish-head curry, while the Dempsey Hut (130E Minden Road) offers an outdoor bar in which to enjoy the balmy tropical weather.
Where to stay?
F1’s high flyers will no doubt try to get a room at the exclusive Raffles Hotel on Beach Road. It was recently voted at number 40 in the list of the world’s best hotels and, consequently, staying there does not come cheaply.
All of the other big hotel chains can be found in the city, based around Orchard Road, which is Singapore’s equivalent to Fifth Avenue. If, however, you’re on a budget - and all rooms at Grand Prix time are inevitably likely to be at a premium - try a youth hostel. They’ll be clean and (relatively) cheap.
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Singapore consists of 63 islands, including mainland Singapore, so why not head to one of these for some sun and sand? More than 23 percent of the land consists of rainforest and nature reserves, giving the intrepid explorer a chance to see South East Asia at its best.
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Cast your minds back to 1973, to the last motor race staged in Singapore. Back then, the Singapore Grand Prix was run on public roads for Formula Libre cars, but was axed after deaths in successive years.
You could also make the short trip to Kuala Lumpur and check out the Sepang International Circuit, home to the Malaysian Grand Prix.
|Fri 26 September 2008|
|Friday Practice 1||19:00 - 20:30|
|Friday Practice 2||21:30 - 23:00|
|Sat 27 September 2008|
|Saturday Practice||19:00 - 20:00|
|Sun 28 September 2008|