Singapore Grand Prix 2014: How To Run A Race On An Island
Singapore is a small island nation about 30 miles west to east and 16 miles from north to south, giving it a total area of 276 square miles. This makes it about 4 to 5 times smaller than Rhode Island, the smallest U.S. state (see geography here). Yet despite its small size, there has been a Grand Prix (also known as Formula 1) racing event since 1966. How could such a small nation accommodate the building of a large racing track.
The secret is that racing takes place in the streets, and moreover, at night. It was the first night race ever for a Grand Prix / F1 event. It takes place at night, naturally, because the streets are much easier to shut off and control with minimal disruption to reduced traffic loads.
The route the drivers take, also known as the “street circuit”, is called the Marina Bay Street Circuit, comprising 3.1 miles of harbor side roads that has seen comparison to Monaco’s Grand Prix and the Valencia Street Circuit in Valencia, Spain. Interestingly, drivers have complained that the circuit is quite bumpy and dangerous to cars in the event of small errors. The organizing body of the event, the FIA, has continuously approved modifications to the circuit in an effort to improve it.
This year the event takes place in September. As Singapore is a tropical climate region it experiences little deviation from being hot and humid. Drivers are warned to take care they don’t overheat. Because Singapore is conveniently located at a nexus between Malaysia and Indonesia and other parts of Southeast Asia, it acts as a convenient portal for travelers interested in the area. Visitors in September will want to take advantage of Singapore Grand Prix experts in travel, accommodations and sightseeing.
(Photo Credit: acroamatic / Creative Commons)