Singapore GP Circuit Fine-Tuned to Increase Overtaking
SINGAPORE, 2 February 2009 - The Marina Bay circuit, home to the FORMULA 1 Singapore Grand Prix will be fine-tuned for the 2009 event. Following consultation with the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) and the teams, minor changes will be made to Turns 1, 13 and 14 to further increase the potential for overtaking, road surface improvements will be undertaken at Turns 5, 6 and 7, and revisions will be made to the Pit Lane entry and exit as well as the Turn 22 runoff area.
Drivers as well as spectators can now look forward to an enhanced experience in the 2009 season as race promoter Singapore GP Pte Ltd is looking at improving all aspects of the race after drawing upon lessons and feedback garnered from hosting the first ever night race here.
"While the circuit and the event exceeded expectations around the world, as with any brand new event, there are always things which we now know we can do better" says Technical and Race Operations Director, Michael McDonough. "Minor modifications are proposed on the track, at Turns 1, 7 and 14 in order to improve overtaking opportunities whilst the main changes will be to the Pit Entry and Pit Exit to provide added margins of safety for cars entering and leaving the pit lane."
The changes to Turn 1 will involve modification to the geometry to reduce corner speed so that it provides potential overtaking opportunities in the braking zone at the approach to the corner. The modifications will involve relocating the corner apex, reducing the corner radius and thereby reducing the estimated cornering speed.
Once the cars took to the track last September, some drivers took a far wider line, turning in from the concrete verge next to the wall. Kerbing will therefore be installed on the entry to Turn 1 so as to prevent cars utilising the concrete verge to obtain a wider line into the corner.
Turn 13, the tight left handed hairpin after the historic Anderson Bridge, will be amended to increase cornering speed, providing additional speed on Esplanade Drive and increasing the opportunity for overtaking in the braking zone at Turn 14. With the revision, the cars are likely to reach speeds of approximately 275km/h along the Esplanade Drive.
In addition, the geometry of Turn 14 will also be modified to improve overtaking opportunities in the braking zone. The modifications will involve relocating the corner apex to reduce the corner radius, reducing the estimated cornering speed of the cars.
PIT LANE ENTRY
During the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, a significant speed differential was observed at the apex of Turn 22 between cars entering the pit lane and those lapping the track. A dedicated pit entry lane will be constructed to separate slowing cars from the lapping vehicles, in order to reduce any risk of interference caused by pitting vehicles on those lapping the track. The runoff distances at Turn 22 will be reduced, providing better spectator circulation in the area.
PIT LANE EXIT
For the 2008 race, the pit exit lane entered the circuit into the braking zone for Turn 1, immediately after the pit wall. Following suggestions from the FIA, the pit lane will be re-aligned and lengthened for 2009, exiting on the drivers' left at Turn 2, away from the racing line and onto a part of the circuit where the cars will all be accelerating.