Singapore makes track changes to aid overtaking

2015 Singapore Grand Prix

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The Singapore Grand Prix track layout has been revised in an attempt to aid overtaking around the tight street circuit.

Turns 11, 12 and 13 have been reconfigured to alter the approach to the turn 13 hairpin, which leads onto one of the longest flat-out sections on the track.

Where turns 11 and 12 previously formed a fast chicane, turn 11 has now been tightened to produce a lower apex speed. The car will continue to cross the Andersen bridge as before, however they will use the opposite side of the 105-year-old structure, removing the kink on the approach to turn 13.

“I expect the modifications from turns 11 to 13 will enable closer racing and the potential for additional passing opportunities,” said Jonathan Giesecke of Faithful+Gould, who is in charge of the alterations.

This will be the third alteration to the Marina Bay circuit since it held the first Singapore Grand Prix in 2008. Turn 13 has already been revised once before, for the second race in 2009, when turn 14 and the pit lane entrance and exit also had minor modification.

More drastic changes followed in 2013, when the turn ten chicane was replaced with a left-hand bend.

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    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    51 comments on “Singapore makes track changes to aid overtaking”

    1. Willem Cecchi (@)
      28th July 2015, 9:46

      Massa overtake 2012!

      1. That was awesome :] There’s nothing like seeing a driver with opposite lock under braking. Like the MotoGP guys skipping on the front wheel under heavey braking

    2. Nice change, it will make turn 1 an even better spot for the zone 4 walkabout tickets holders! ;)

    3. And they make these changes after they release the game and will most likely not get patched in. What a joke. Glad I didn’t buy it.

      1. the game got rate 4.6 out of 10 on IGN, and from many other reports it is not worth buying anyway.

      2. Is this for real? I can’t work it out.

        1. IGN cant tell the difference between a Ford focus and Formula 1 so no matter if the game is good or not i wouldnt trust an IGN review to tell me that.

          1. Good thing that it is largely universally panned then.

    4. I fail to see how that’ll increase overtaking. For the on-ground spectator, that chicane was actually a nice place to see the cars up close and slowly.

      1. I agree, I don’t think it’ll produce more passes here, but it may help bunch up the cars more before getting to the straight which will then have more passing into t14.

        But The spectator spot on the inside there wasn’t the best… you were close to the cars, but were side on, and weren’t able to see any attitude to how they were going.

        With this chance, they may give access to spectators around the outside of t12, and THAT would be a better place to watch from. Although now the cars are going slower, damn, less attitude anyway.
        Let’s see what they do and how it goes…

    5. There will be no overtakes in any case. No point in making the track easier then… It’s one of the rare places we can see a nonMercedes win on merit from Vettel or Red Bull. I don’t like that they are making changes.

    6. I don’t think it will make a whole lot of difference. On the contrary, tightening the hairpin will only discourage overtaking into turn 14. But at least Singapore is getting rid of more and more chicanes, so keep it up!

      1. @andae23

        On the contrary, tightening the hairpin will only discourage overtaking into turn 14.

        You beat me to it. I can only remember a single banzai move into turn 13. No matter how much you alter it, it will never be a good overtaking spot unless you get rid of turns 11 and 12 altogether. Tightening the hairpin will discourage close racing on the following straight and therefore reducing the overtaking possibilities into turn 14.

        Having said that, the changes don’t look too bad and I’m curious about how they will turn out.

        1. I agree. It’s not like the space isn’t there, there’s plenty of room to expand the track limits without sacrificing safety as you could pull back the barriers back Raffles Boulevard.

          Apparently the hairpin at 13 has been widened by a meter. Again, not sure how much of a difference it’ll make.

      2. Also, I just looked it up on Google Street View and it seems like the new route will have very little run-off area: the way it is drawn, there will be a piece of pavement directly on the exit of 11, so it could mean that there will be a barrier there. That could catch a lot of drivers out I think.

        1. I’m not sure if I’m looking at it correctly, but it does look like you are right. Also, there are trees on the side of the track as well.

      3. @andae23 By 2020 is it nothing more than a rectangle.

    7. @andae23 Oh and this:

      But at least Singapore is getting rid of more and more chicanes, so keep it up!


    8. You know, one of the ways they could encourage overtaking is letting the track widen even more on the exit of Turn 7, similar to Turn 15. This will make people attempt more overtakes around the outside and we could see a varity of lines through that corner. And it would also prevent collisions (Webber and Hamilton 2010) or illegal overtakes (Webber on Alonso 2009)

    9. Because Singapore needed another slow chicane…

      1. All circuits need chicanes. See the bad races Austria produces? And Interlagos, bad Interlagos!

        1. I couldn’t agree more. Chicanes are the grave of F1

    10. From the picture, I don’t really get it TBH.

      The removal of the sweeping curve may help cars to follow and the sharper hairpin could improve the braking zone, but doesn’t it look like there’s MORE of a kink?

      Maybe it’ll make more sense to me on video.

      1. @tdm – I agree. From the illustration, it looks like turn 11 is about the same 90ish degrees, just with its apex rotated counterclockwise. The approach has more of a turn so in that way it is slightly slower coming into the turn and the exit to turn 12 is straightened out and less of a radius and more of a straight to a kink. And, like you say, the other kink going into turn 13 looks more pronounced now.

    11. I like tracks to have their own distinct identity and Singapore’s does, regardless of it no longer being the only night race on the calendar. It’s gruelling, it’s slow, it’s punishing on brakes and it’s one of the most unforgiving new circuits.

      I think its key weakness as a circuit is it’s been designed first and foremost as a tour bus route than a racing track.

      For example if they didn’t feel the need to meander along the waterfront they could in one stroke delete four repetitive right-angled bends (turns 16 to 19), remove a section where vehicle recovery is difficult (hello to Nelson Piquet Jnr) and create a decent flat-out run to enhance overtaking opportunities.

      I’m not sold on this fiddly little change but let’s see how it works in practice. Perhaps the most curious thing here is they appear to have enlisted someone other than Tilke to design it.

      1. Alexei The Englishman
        28th July 2015, 12:55

        Yeah I thought that @keithcollantine … Wonder why Tilke GmBh werent engaged for this one ?

      2. COTD right there: “I think its key weakness as a circuit is it’s been designed first and foremost as a tour bus route than a racing track.”

        They can’t leave the waterfront though due to Bernie’s obsession with getting things other than the racing to show on TV. Going over a harbour bridge was the whole reason why F1 went to Valencia which was surplus to requirements when Singapore said they could put together a bus tour going over a bridge at night (and triple the hosting fee obviously).

      3. The grandstand from turns 16-19 was already there before the circuit was built so it really didn’t make much sense to waste a perfectly good grandstand and not have the cars go in front of it.

        1. @adamgoh Interesting – what else is it used for?

          1. @keithcollantine The floating stage in front of the grandstand was designed to be used for National Day Parades – Singapore’s independence day celebrations. Concerts and sporting events are also held there.

          2. Here you go – clearly visible here (taken in 2012).

      4. Zantkiller (@)
        28th July 2015, 21:00


        Given that Tilke’s involvement with the Marina Bay Circuit was an initial concept drawing (which was later modified by another company before being built) I’m not that surprised he wasn’t contacted to make the changes.

        It isn’t his circuit.

    12. One of my favourite sections of the track, which was unique, has just been turned into another slow chicane. The previous one was much quicker. Ah well, we’ll see how this looks I suppose.

      1. And at this point I have just realised I am looking at this the wrong way, I thought the 2014 track alignment was the 2015 track alignment and vice versa. I guess that looks pretty good then!!

        1. I actually had the same thing this morning, maybe because they’ve colored the old route in a different color, as opposed to the new and unchanged. Don’t share the enthusiasm about the change, though.

        2. Yes its less chicane and more fast corner. I like it.

    13. removing the kink on the approach to turn 13

      But there’s still a kink there. Isn’t there?

    14. Surely the answer would be to remove all those lower speed corners and just have a high speed right-left kink (so it follows the existing grey road on that map) the whole section could be a DRS zone which would set up a nice overtaking spot into the turn 13 hairpin. Then you may have defending drivers allowing themselves to be overtaken at the hairpin in order to set up a switch back, or just to take a better exit onto the long straight. Having two of the best overtaking spots on the track in consecutive order would be very interesting and would be fascinating viewing.

    15. OmarR-Pepper - Vettel 41 wins!!! For Jules (@)
      28th July 2015, 16:20

      I always wondered why the designer(s) don’t make a Suzuka-style flyover in the section where the circuit almost touches as an “X”. It may need to build an overpass, but the advantage would be a longer straigh in that point, to less 90º angles and having half of the circuit going the other way, so for drivers it could be kind of a “new” circuit, having to relearn the turns. Some drivers (Pastor?) would make mistakes in the “new” part of the circuit, and those mistakes could make for a naturally unpredictable race.

      1. Difficult to build a flyover on a street circuit for a F1 race which happens just once a year.

    16. I can see what they’re trying. If you look at the old layout, it has a much shorter flatout time. Not sure this will work for reasons already stated unless the turn 11 kink is actually a flowing type of turn.

    17. Michael Brown
      28th July 2015, 18:46

      Actually, I think this will make overtaking harder, because the new turn 12 is a long, curved acceleration zone following a slow corner (like the last turn on Catalunya).
      To make overtaking more likely in turn 13, you would need to smooth out the chicane that is turns 11 and 12 so it would be more like a curved straight.

      1. Michael Brown
        29th July 2015, 4:05

        The long sweeping corner after a slow corner is what I call The Catalunya Mistake and they’ve done it here.

        1. See if we can call it the Mexican Mistake by the end of 2015 because they have done it there too.

        2. Singaporean Slip-up?

    18. I don’t see it on paper, besides this was the most exciting part of the circuit and the one that held the most spectacular overtakes. I would suggest Singapore to get rid of curved straights, like the last turn these enhance aero efficiency’s role and make it hard as nails to make use of the 1st chicane.

    19. Turn 13 has already been revised once before, for the second race in 2009

      This a little off subject, but does anyone know how Turn 13 changed after 2008? I hadn’t noticed this before and I can’t get any clear onboards.

      1. Zantkiller (@)
        29th July 2015, 9:29

        While Turn One is being slowed, Turn 13 – the left-hander after the Anderson Bridge, will be made faster – so as to increase speeds onto the Esplanade Drive and therefore make the braking zone for Turn 14 much harsher. Turn 14 will also be made slower to make the braking zone bigger still.

        Pretty minor work

    20. Is that really all there is to it because that’d be flbaiergastbng.

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