New straight, Singapore, 2023

Drivers hope ‘dull’ Singapore races may be ‘more exciting’ after track change

Formula 1

Posted on

| Written by

The temporary loss of the seafront ‘float’ sequence in the final sector of the Marina Bay circuit should improve racing, drivers feel.

The Singapore Grand Prix track layout has been slightly shortened this year by the removal of the previous turns 16 to 19 due to renovation works to the area known as the ‘float’.

In place of the double chicane, which saw the track run alongside and then under a grandstand, the circuit now runs directly from turn 15 to chicane which previously formed turns 20 and 21 before the pit entrance. The new section should be one of the longest full-throttle stretches of the Marina Bay Street Circuit, but will be the only one without a DRS zone along it.

Mercedes’ George Russell thinks the new-look circuit should improve on-track action during the Singapore Grand Prix.

“I think it’s going to make the racing a bit more exciting,” Russell said.

“I think Singapore is a really great circuit to drive, but it’s a little bit challenging to race on. Historically, it’s only really been turn five which has been an overtaking opportunity, whereas now I hope maybe with the new turn 16 there’ll be another chance.”

AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda echoed Russell’s prediction of better racing but said he was surprised that the FIA have opted not to place a DRS zone along the section.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

“I think [we’ll see] more overtaking,” Tsunoda said. “I think more chances, which is good. We have a DRS zone before that so hopefully we can close the gap there with a bit of slipstream until the second-to-last corner and maybe we can overtake there.

New straight, Singapore, 2023
A blind kink precedes the new straight
“I’m not sure why they didn’t add a DRS zone there. In the simulator so far it’s not easy to follow with DRS. There’s a bit of a left-hand corner and a long straight in sector three where they modified. It’s kind of a blind corner, so I can get why they want to do it, but we’ll see the real track if it is a real issue to put a DRS zone or not.”

However Alpine driver Pierre Gasly feels the loss of four of Singapore’s 22 corners along the lap will take away some of the challenge of the circuit.

“Usually the more corners, the better it is for us,” he said. “So I wasn’t so keen.

“But I’ve always loved Singapore for how twisty and technical it is in a way. So it’s two chicanes which have been taken away and now one grandstand which is facing the wrong way – hopefully they didn’t sell too many tickets there – but apart from that it is still going to be very cool.”

The total track length has fallen to just under five kilometres, meaning that the total laps of the race have increased by one from 61 to 62 laps. As Singapore is often the longest race of the season, Russell believes that the total race time will be reduced as a result of the change.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

“It’ll make it slightly easier physically for us, because it was obviously the longest race of the season in terms of time duration,” Russell explained. “So I think the track will probably be nine seconds or so quicker this year – so a bit shorter on Sunday. So less fun in quali, but should be better for the race.”

Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll echoed his view. “It’s a lot of fun on Saturdays, but can be a little bit dull on Sundays, so hopefully that can give us a bit more exciting racing on Sunday.”

Bringing the F1 news from the source

RaceFans strives to bring its readers news directly from the key players in Formula 1. We are able to do this thanks in part to the generous backing of our RaceFans Supporters.

By contributing 1 per month or 12 per year (or the equivalent in other currencies) you can help cover the costs involved in producing original journalism: Travelling, writing, creating, hosting, contacting and developing.

We have been proudly supported by our readers for over 10 years. If you enjoy our independent coverage, please consider becoming a RaceFans Supporter today. As a bonus, all our Supporters can also browse the site ad-free. Sign up or find out more via the links below:

2023 Singapore Grand Prix

Browse all 2023 Singapore Grand Prix articles

Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

5 comments on “Drivers hope ‘dull’ Singapore races may be ‘more exciting’ after track change”

  1. Very surprised they haven’t put a zone in there, would at least keep the cars closer together. Feels like a very weird decision.

  2. Dull? What have they been doing for the last 15 years?

  3. I agree with the drivers.
    It’s one of my least favorite tracks on the calendar.
    Because its driven by night and the entire track is walled and fenced, it could be almost anywhere in the world up to a parking lot.
    It’s an uninspiring track, that apparently was the catalyst for all these new street tracks, making it unsurprising those new tracks are equilly uninspiring.
    It’s such a shame that big monetary budgets can have such a negative impact on F1 tracks.

  4. I doubt because the new longer full-throttle section is short anyway & partly also because of not having an activation zone there.
    While I don’t mind about that, FIA’s safety argument is contradictory because the Raffles Boulevard section that has hold an activation zone ever since 2011 has a similar kink, while, for example, Nurburgring’s back straight has a little tighter one, so since these ones have never been problematic safety-wise, neither would the one on Raffles Avenue that’s barely even a kink, not to mention Zandvoort’s banked high-speed last corner is even tighter & Melbourne’s fast T9-10 combination has been perfectly okay to approach with DRS activation despite barely applying brakes into the former.
    While the track will be faster & thus, the race should be shorter time-wise, this could get nullified by the high SC likelihood.

  5. The Singapore GP is certainly not dull more often than not.

    I also like how it’s usually the only track now where drivers look like they have been challenged and given a workout at the end.

    It’s what you used to see at the end of every race back when the sport was actually more about challenging drivers physically and mentally as well as been a challenge for the cars rather than just been more about the show where quantity has become more about the quality or the challenge.

Comments are closed.