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F1 Singapore Grand Prix: Race Day

The Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix, held annually on the Marina Bay Street Circuit is the only night race that’s part of the F1 calender.  Read about pre-race day, the qualifiers, too.

It’s not just a race, there’s concerts, parades, food, drink (and of course toilets to go with the two aforementioned), famous faces, souvenirs, music, flags, simulators and of course, ear plugs.

On race day, get there early to see the drivers parade.

Lewis Hamilton in the driver's parade, F1 Singapore Grand Prix, Singapore

Lewis Hamilton in the driver’s parade, F1 Singapore Grand Prix

You’ll see all the famous drivers pass with their names handily printed on the side, which if you’ve had a few wines like me made things a little easier and meant I could finally stop asking the Italian couple next to me ‘Who’s that?’.  Yes, they pointed out the names, and no, I didn’t feel foolish.

Jenson Button in the driver's parade, F1 Singapore Grand Prix

Jenson Button in the driver’s parade, F1 Singapore Grand Prix

I’m from the UK, hence I’ve included the famous faces from here. These were taken from zone 3, loads-a-space.

Marina Bay Sands Skypark, Singapore

Marina Bay Sands Skypark, Singapore

THE ZONES:  Zone 1 is obviously the start/finish line, the most expensive seat tickets, a grassy, seated area, food and drinks and concerts (think Tom Jones).  Zone 2 has the Singapore Flyer, restaurants and shops and some not-so-busy viewing areas if you’re wanting to watch but not concerned about the major corners. Zone 3 is the Bay Grandstand and not much else.  Zone 4 is the ‘social area’ – it has the most going on, the important Padang Stage (think Rihanna and The Killers) and the highest amount of food and drink pitstops (see what I did there?).  See pictures below.

Zone 1:  Sat on the grass, this is your view into Zone 1 and the skyscapers behind.  Not too shabby, I think you’ll agree.

Zone 1, grass area, F1 Singapore Grand Prix, Marina Street bay circuit

Zone 1, grass area, F1 Singapore Grand Prix, Marina Street bay circuit

And then there are the concerts, some you can only see if you have a ticket that covers zone 1.

Tom Jones concert, F1 Singapore Grand Prix

Tom Jones concert, F1 Singapore Grand Prix

Managed to catch a little of the crooner Tom Jones on the Village Stage! Rock on!

Tom Jones concert, zone 1, F1 Singapore Grand Prix 2014

Tom Jones concert, zone 1, F1 Singapore Grand Prix 2014

The concerts finish – if you have a walkabout ticket and are looking for a place to view the race start you should already be in your viewing spot – obviously I wasn’t.  But hey, T Jones was worth it.

Photographer at the F1 Singapore Grand Prix start line

Photographer at the F1 Singapore Grand Prix start line

Professional photographer in a special area.  Perhaps he was spying famous people in the Marina Pit.  And then a non-professional photographer.

Photographer at the F1 Singapore Grand Prix start line

Photographer at the F1 Singapore Grand Prix start line

A quick look at the time above the tracks – sponsored by Rolex, you say?  Ten minutes to go.

Rolex Clock at the F1 Singapore Grand Prix start line

Rolex Clock at the F1 Singapore Grand Prix start line

Suddenly everyone starts shuffling around and getting excited.  So I take a picture.  Nothing going past yet.

Start Line, F1 SIngapore Grand Prix,  Marina Bay Street Circuit

Start Line, F1 SIngapore Grand Prix, Marina Bay Street Circuit

Then the chequered flag is waved and the cars start to move. Wheh-hey, it’s all a go-go!  See all the people?  Get there early if you’ve got a walkabout ticket.

Start Line, F1 SIngapore Grand Prix,  Marina Bay Street Circuit

Start Line, F1 SIngapore Grand Prix, Marina Bay Street Circuit

Zone 2:  After a couple of laps I walked around to Zone 2.

Zone 2, F1 SIngapore Grand Prix,  Marina Bay Street Circuit

Zone 2, F1 SIngapore Grand Prix, Marina Bay Street Circuit

With fewer people it’s easier to get a few shots of the cars racing.

Zone 2, F1 SIngapore Grand Prix,  Marina Bay Street Circuit

Zone 2, F1 SIngapore Grand Prix, Marina Bay Street Circuit

Then I walked around a bit more and the safety car came out. Nothing I did, I promise.  It’s in front of these cars, somewhere …

Zone 2, Singapore Grand Prix

Zone 2, Singapore Grand Prix

Zone 3:  Then I stopped by Zone 3, which has the Bay Grandstand.  I was originally looking at tickets for this – whilst they’re the cheapest it’s pretty full up and the view isn’t that great but I suspect the atmosphere is still pretty good.

Bay Grandstans, F1 Singapore Grand Prix, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore

Bay Grandstans, F1 Singapore Grand Prix, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore

Zone 4:  And then I made it all the way around to Zone 4, to catch some fireworks celebrating the win for Sebestian Vettel and Red Bull.

Winner fireworks, F1 Singapore Grand Prix, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore

Winner fireworks, F1 Singapore Grand Prix, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore

After all that, it’s concert time at the Padang Stage, Zone 1.  Time for Rihanna.

Padang Stage, F1 Singapore Grand Prix, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore

Padang Stage, F1 Singapore Grand Prix, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore

Need to know:  book your tickets and hotel early – cheaper and more choice!  I stayed in a central hostel which was pretty good. Spare some time to collect your tickets, there was quite a few people but the queue moves quickly.

Tickets:  seated or walkabout?  It all depends on your budget and how much of a hardcore fan you are.  I had a walkabout and I’d recommend it.

When:  September

Weather:  hot and humid

Further Information:  Singapore F1 Grand Prix Website

Check back soon for another installment of the Singapore Grand Prix: Pre-race day.  Vroooooooommmmm.

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