Marina Bay, Singapore, 2022

Singapore track surface changes aimed at cutting F1 cars’ porpoising

2022 Singapore Grand Prix

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Three sections of Singapore’s Marina Bay circuit have been resurfaced for Formula 1’s return to the venue this weekend following its three-year absence.

Parts of the track have been relaid in a bid to reduce the ‘porpoising’ and bouncing F1 teams have experienced with their new cars this year.

Most of the Marina Bay circuit uses streets which are closed for the event. Maintenance work has taken place on some of these roads since F1 last race at the circuit in 2019.

The track operators enlisted circuit architects Dromo to consult on the work and ensure the racing surface was up to the required standard for holding a grand prix again. As part of this, the engineers took steps to make the track less likely to induce the porpoising many drivers have complained about this year.

F1’s revised technical regulations for 2022 brought back ground effect aerodynamics to the world championship. This allows teams to generate downforce by running their cars very low to the ground. However this made them more sensitive to bumps and at high speeds can lead to porpoising, where the car rises and falls on its suspension rapidly. The poor ride quality is especially acute at bumpy circuits, particularly where high speeds are reached.

This has been a focus of the changes at Singapore, along with improving drainage around the five-kilometre circuit.

“The local race promoters wanted to ensure that the track was back to racing condition,” Dromo founder Jarno Zaffelli told RaceFans. “This includes monitoring the laying of the asphalt to improve the track surface to ensure that racing conditions are optimal for the current F1 cars.

“This was done through the use of our laser analysis systems, where you can see any uneven surface and also where puddles may eventually form due to track geometry.”

The sections which have been resurfaced run from turns five to six, between the Andersen bridge after turn 12 to turn 13, and the series of corners which spans turns 14 to 20.

Singapore Marina Bay circuit track map
Singapore Marina Bay circuit track map

Pictures: 2022 Singapore Grand Prix preparations

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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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8 comments on “Singapore track surface changes aimed at cutting F1 cars’ porpoising”

  1. Any idea how recently this resurfacing was done? How long had it had to bed in? In particular as these are ordinary roads used daily by traffic.

    1. The section of road between turns 12 – 13 including Andersen bridge have been closed to traffic since the start of the year, and section between turns 16 – 19 is not open to traffic either.

      1. @wombat1m What do you mean? Yes, the floating football field grandstand section between 16 & 19 isn’t a public road (likewise, third-to-last corner till T3 entry), but they’re usually open to the public.
        The same & even more so with the Andersen bridge, which is in regular traffic use like all other circuit parts outside the GP weekend.

  2. Funny how it hasn’t been an issue for pretty much all the cars recently after the FIA told them to raise their cars or accept the risk of getting blocked from participating in an event because the cars would cross certain thresholds.

    Now the circuit decides to smoothen certain parts, allowing a certain team to lower their car again. They really want Mercedes to have that single pity win do they?

    1. Actually, Ferrari were bouncing quite a bit at Monza – much more than Merc. So… to enhance your pity theme, the pity if needed, is for Ferrari.

    2. Not sure the FIA told them to raise the cars, just imposed limits on driver’s G loading (bumps) and plank wear. Then it is up to the teams to manage their chassis and aero performance accordingly. Which they have been doing.
      The floors will be raised next year, but I understood that they are effectively un-changed for this season.
      Open to corrections …..

    3. Mercedes are living rent free in your head

  3. Bless the rains down in Singapore

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