The nocturnal race on a Dragon's body
Mention Singapore and the image of a small, yet powerful and highly advanced nation with impressive skyscrapers lining its coast would be sketched instantly in your mind.
Blessed with only swamps to begin with, this South East Asian island country quickly emerged and became one of the Four Asian Dragons a term used for the highly free and developed economies of Asia along with Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan. Today, as one of the world's major commercial hubs and the second-busiest container port, one could expect various business and financial ativities coupled with a booming tourist industry supported by state-of-the-art entertainment facilities and world-class events. Somewhere along the country's glittering skyline and most recent national pride the Marina Bay is the venue of one such occasion: Singapore Grand Prix.
This year, the world's only Formula OneВ® night race will be witnessed from the 18th to 20th of September at the Marina Bay Street Circuit.
As Asia's first street circuit with a lap length of 5.065 km, this track promises to provide one of the most adrenaline-pumping experiences of the season with the lighting condition, the hot and humid climate, and the circuit structure itself, making it a real tough challenge for the drivers.
Designed in 2008 by KBR Inc. based on the work of the famous German engineer, racing driver and circuit designer Hermann Tilke, the main heart-throbbing feature lies between Turns 5 and 7 due to their bumpiness.
Previously had the notoriously dangerous chicane at Turn 10 the "Singapore Slingв" been much criticised as "the worst corner in F1в", leading to its removal and replacement by a single-apex left-hand bend in 2013, pushing cars approaching the realigned corner to reach up to 40km/h faster and consequently, complete the lap race in about one second faster. Safer indeed, but definitively not any less rip-roaring.
All geared up and ready to conquer yet again this ever-unforgiving race this autumn are Sebastian Vettel (four-time Formula OneВ® World Champion) and Kimi Raikkonen (current holder of Singapore lap record of 1:45.599) of Scuderia Ferrari. Such impressive achievements have they earned, yet both Vettel and Raikkonen need to keep watchful eyes on the current Formula OneВ® World Champion Lewis Hamilton and his formidable team mate as well as runner-up Nico Rosberg of Mercedes AMG Petronas, for there is currently a big gap between the two teams to overcome. Other remarkable participations include rising stars Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat of Infiniti Redbull Racing, Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean of Lotus F1 Team, Carlos Sainz Jr and Max Verstappen of Scuderia Toro Rosso, Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas of Williams Martini Racing, Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button of McLaren Honda, Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi of Manor Marussia F1 Team, Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez of Sahara Force India F1 Team, and Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson of Sauber F1 Team.
The heat of Singapore Grand Prix this year will not concentrate only on-track with the passion of determined drivers, but also off the track as Bon Jovi rocks the Lion City on the last day of the racing weekend. Together with the legendary rock band from the US are Jimmy Cliff and the home-grown pop group The Sam Willows. Before that, the Jamaican reggae artist and the young Singaporean musicians will also join Pharrell Williams to kick-start the post-race entertainment scene on Friday, leading up to the Saturday upbeats of Maroon 5 (US), Spandau Ballet (UK) and Dirty Loops (Sweden).In the name of comfort and luxury, all those excitements and thrills can be experienced with class through the Hospitality and Executive Packages. Singapore truly deserves its title as the "jewel in the Formula One crownв" as the race are not simply a mere gathering of sports enthusiasts, but rather a social event of the highest standard with refined service and utmost dedication.
In order to satisfy the sophisticated and diverse palates of their prestigious guests at the Sky Suite, Club Suite and The Green Room during the races, chefs from six five-star hotels namely Mandarin Oriental Singapore, Grand Hyatt Singapore, InterContinental Singapore, Sheraton Towers Singapore, Pan Pacific Singapore and Marina Mandarin Singapore along with apprentices from the At-Sunrise Global Chef Academy have divided into teams and competed against each other to decide the best recipes for the menu. Hospitality guests can rest assured that the roaring engines would be heard loud and clear with an up-close view of their favourite driver flashing by whilst they enjoy the exquisite international cuisines with a glass of Chardonnay chosen from the extensive wine list from either exclusive balconies, terraces, private grandstands or the air-conditioned trackside suite.
As the sun sets and the skyline lights up, join the exuberant crowd and cheer for the ambitious F1 racers. When the engines are switched off and the dust settles, enjoy the legendary performances of international artists and celebrate the art of savoury gourmet. If all still come short of your savoir-vivre, head out of the track circuit and soak in the curious wonders of Singapore. After all, there is nothing that the Lion City the one that barely sleeps cannot offer.