Singapore's street circuit weaves through the Marina Bay area of the city in an anti-clockwise direction.
Similar to Monaco in its layout, the 3.148 mile lap is dominated by slow speed corners (24 in total, 14 left and 10 right) and has only a handful of higher speed connecting stretches, the highest of which being Raffles Boulevard on which the drivers reach 190 mph. Despite so many braking events, the average lap speed is around the 110 mph mark with 50% of the lap spent at full throttle.
Over and above the clear demands provided by a night race, Singapore's creative layout brings its own challenge in that four-fifths of the track take in the city's streets, while the remaining one fifth has been built specifically for the Grand Prix.
From the outset, the circuit has been criticised by drivers as being excessively bumpy, particularly on Raffles Boulevard between turns 5 and 7, resulting in a very unforgiving circuit, especially given the hot and humid conditions of the climate. Indeed, Lewis Hamilton claims that Singapore is twice as hard to negotiate as Monaco and unexpectedly physical.
Ahead of the inaugural race (2008) several drivers expressed their concern about the high and harsh kerbs at the chicane Turn 10), worried that hitting the bumps could cause suspension damage or even damage a tub. They also raised concerns that the bumps would pitch them into the wall on the outside of the corner.
Though the FIA had been involved in the development of the kerbs, in response to the drivers' concerns Charlie Whiting agreed to lower the kerbs at Turn 10 chicane ahead of the Friday free practice session. The kerbs were further reduced in height for Saturday and Sunday's night race.
The chicane at Turn 10 was re-profiled for the 2010 race in an attempt to make it safer and the turns more gradual by moving the kerbs, however Hamilton said the modification made the chicane more dangerous by making the entry to the corner smaller, subsequently dubbing it "the worst corner in F1".
The pit lane entrance, which originally began at the penultimate corner, has also been deemed "difficult" and “incredibly dangerous" by several drivers due to the fast nature of where it is situated. The pit entry was subsequently modified by extending the entry line away from the pits thereby compelling drivers to commit to the pit entry earlier, providing additional warning to those following behind.
The combination of cambers and bumps characteristic of a street track and the smooth asphalt of a designated racing circuit complicate set-up direction over the weekend. With the region notoriously humid, rain is often expected most evenings which further exaggerates the set-up conundrum.
The difficult nature of the circuit was to play a part in one of the most infamous incidents in modern Formula One history, when, in 2008, Nelson Piquet Jr, under instructions from senior members of the Renault team, crashed deliberately to help his teammate, Fernando Alonso win the race.
For 2015 the track was re-aligned between turns 10 and 13 and now uses the left hand side of the Anderson Bridge.
Fast Facts - Provided by the FIA
2017 marked the tenth running of the Singapore Grand Prix as a round of the F1 World Championship. The race has been held every year since 2008.
Red Bull Racing are the most successful team in Singapore with three victories (2011-2013). Ferrari (2010, 2015) and Mercedes (2014, 2016) have two each, Renault (2008) and McLaren (2009) are the other winners.
Nico Rosberg won here last year on the occassion of his 200th grand prix start. The other three drivers to win the Singapore Grand Prix all have multiple victories - and each has won for more than one team. Sebastian Vettel is the most successful driver in Singapore with four wins, comprising Red Bull's 2011-2013 hat-trick and victory for Ferrari in 2015. Fernando Alonso won for Renault in 2008 and Ferrari in 2010, and Lewis Hamilton won for McLaren in 2009 and Mercedes in 2014.
Vettel's record at Marina Bay is phenomenal: he is the only driver to have scored in every Singapore Grand Prix, and has never finished lower than fifth.
Of the current field, the only other drivers to have stood on the podium in Singapore are Kimi Raikkonen and Daniel Ricciardo. Raikkonen was third for Lotus in 2013 and for Ferrari in 2015. Ricciardo has been on the podium in each of his three previous seasons for Red Bull Racing: third in 2014, second in 2015 and 2016.
Given the low-speed, high-downforce nature of street circuits, performance in Monaco is often used as a barometer for performance in Singapore. The statistics do not bear this out. Only four times (2011, 2012, 2014, 2016) has the winning constructor in Monaco also won
in Singapore. More surprisingly, Sebastian Vettel in 2011 is the only driver to have won Monaco and Singapore in the same season. Recent form is a much better indicator: Low-speed Singapore has always followed ultra high-speed, lowdownforce Monza but five times in the last seven seasons the winning driver and constructor in Italy has gone to win the following race in Singapore (2010 Alonso/Ferrari, 2011, 2013 Vettel/Red Bull, 2014 Hamilton/Mercedes, 2016 Rosberg/Mercedes.)
Pole position is vital in Singapore. Seven on the nine races have been won from pole. It has, however, proved possible to make up places on the Marina Bay Street Circuit: Vettel gained 17 positions last year, racing from 22nd to fifth, beating the record of Felipe Massa, who made 16
places in 2010, racing from 24th to eighth in 2010.
The last two races in Singapore have seen the drivers that lined up on the grid first, second and third finish in exactly the same positions.
GP3 has never raced in Singapore and GP2 stopped being a support race at Marina Bay after the 2013 season, thus this weekend represents a full Singapore debut for Stoffel Vandoorne. Lance Stroll is also a Marina Bay debutant. Renault's Jolyon Palmer, racing for Carlin, won the final GP2 feature race here in 2013.