Why not go! The Singapore Grand Prix is Formula 1 racing’s original night race, staged on an exciting 5.063-kilometre (3.146-mile) street track in the heart of this colourful and cosmopolitan city. The race is floodlit, and the bright lights of the city’s financial centre in the background give the race a unique atmosphere.
“It’s a very physical circuit - more than I expected, actually," says world champion Lewis Hamilton. "You need to put a lot of work into the car to get a good lap - I’d say it requires double the energy of Monaco over a single lap. One lap around here is like two laps of Monaco!"
"The visibility is great and you don't really feel you are driving at night with all the lights on the track,” adds 2007 champion Kimi Raikkonen.
The track makes use of two bridges across the harbour, the famous Padang Park and its permanent pits complex is 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.
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.
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 racing’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.
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.
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 much-missed Malaysian Grand Prix.
Singapore GP Pte Ltd
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