If you’re still reeling from the F1 Grand Prix action and are suffering from withdrawal symptoms given that you now have to wait another year, we’ve got you covered.
In light of the news that Singapore’s premier racing event has bagged itself a four-year extension, here we relive the best eight moments in the history of the annual night race in our CBD.
Affectionately known as the Singapore Sling, the turn ten chicane was a topic of concern for many involved in the race. Slim and tight, it served as a huge hindrance to many racers and it was only a matter of time before the track feature grabbed the headlines because of a high-profile crash.
Enter Kimi Räikkönen in the closing stages of the 2008 race. The turn was then removed in 2013, allowing for a more free-flowing left-hand corner.
The glitz and glamour of the F1 is not short of celebrity appearances and no other year came close to the 2009 star-studded lineup.
From the Black Eyed Peas, to No Doubt, N.E.R.D, and Queen Bee herself, the concert, which was hosted by Lindsay Lohan, was arguably the best music line-up that accompanied the race in Singapore.
In the motorsport world, races are usually a done and dusted affair. From qualifying laps to driver forms coming into the races, the results are usually set in stone far before the actual checkered flag. Fernando Alonso’s Gran Chelem in the 2010 edition, a feat akin to scoring a perfect game in bowling, was his greatest ever race.
It’s achieved when a driver scores pole position in qualifying, the fastest lap in the race and then wins while leading every lap of the race in the same weekend. The last person to perform such a feat? Michael Schumacher of course, six years prior.
The 2015 race was memorable for this particular incident. A British man had wandered through security and hopped onto the track for a very leisurely stroll amongst racing machines zooming past in speeds unmatched.
After his arrest, he explained that he merely wanted to drive the cars. That’s one way to get yourself in one (a police car at least).
Well, haters gonna hate, Vettel would say. The argument here was that racing fans thought that Vettel was making racing boring but through no fault of his own.
Vettel was admittedly backed by an un-prestigious team as compared to Alonso’s Ferrari team. In 2013, Vettel, who secured first place in the race, was harmoniously booed by the crowd to the point the interviewer had to calm the crowd down.
If you are well-versed in your sporting history, you will know full well that scandals and controversies to swing decisions a certain way is in no way something new.
During the first night race in 2008, Renault’s Pat Symonds and Flavio Briatore engineered the plan for Nelsinho Piquet to crash on purpose and aid Fernando Alonso’s run to victory. Scandalous!
In 2013, Fernando Alonso was cruising to another victory in Singapore and in his cool down lap, picked up his distraught teammate, Mark Webber, who watched his ride burn into flames in the final rounds of the race prior.
Both were then subsequently fined by the F1 committee to much criticism. Frankly, I think the F1 needs to loosen up a little. These spontaneous scenes make for great memories for all racing fans around the world.
The sheer dexterity and swiftness that can be observed in the F1 pits is astonishing. The precision of each movement knowing full well that every millisecond can decide a race is thrilling in itself, but in the inaugural race with victory in the horizon, the unthinkable happened.
Felipe Massa was well clear to win his sixth race in 15 that year when the controversial Ferrari fuelling system caused Massa to speed out of the pit with the hose attached. Dragging a crew member along, the whole pit crew had to chase after the car before removing the hose. This mishap cost Massa the checkered flag, ending the race in a lowly thirteenth place.
Singapore’s Night Race is admittedly a pride and joy of many Singaporeans. Yearly, the global attention is on us to put up a great race across our beautiful skyline and for that we cannot wait to continue hosting for many years to come.
Plus, if this list is anything to go by, we won’t be short of our share of crazy incidents too.