Formula 1 fans in Singapore, in fact F1 fans all over the world, have missed out on one of the best thrills in F1. The Singapore Grand Prix. The 2022 Singapore GP presents the return of F1’s night race. It’s an exiting experience for fans, but not so much for the drivers. The Marina Bay Street Circuit is tricky enough as it is, but drivers have to struggle through 2 hours in the searing heat and humidity. It’s both mentally and physically challenging for them. When F1 races in Singapore, fans can enjoy battles, overtakes, crashes, and varying strategies to excite fans even more.
Because of the pandemic, we’ve had to face the Singapore GP being cancelled twice. In 2020, the Singapore GP was one of the host of races that F1 cancelled due to the pandemic. In 2021, the Singapore GP was actually going to return. It was on the race calendar, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who was looking forward to seeing it. Sadly, we had to wait another year, because the 2021 Singapore GP was cancelled as well. The race promoters cancelled the race for health and safety reasons. While the Turkish GP being the replacement provided some consolation, it’s still incomparable to the Singapore GP.
I can’t wait to see the cars speeding through the streets of Singapore at the 2022 Singapore GP. For the first time, since I created F1ntastic, I’ll be writing a Singapore GP Race Review! I’ll be doing the same for the Japanese Grand Prix. In this post, I’m going to go through some of the key reasons why the 2022 Singapore GP is such an important race. F1’s return to Marina Bay is going to be a blockbuster!
A Complete Package
There are some races where certain parts of the race weekend tend to be more exciting than others. For example, take the Monaco Grand Prix. Typically, Qualifying is incredibly exciting; the fight for pole position is very close, especially because overtaking is difficult during the race. The 2022 Monaco GP was an exception, of course, thanks to the weather conditions and unpredictability of the race. On the other hand, some races are particularly exciting, while Qualifying isn’t as entertaining.
The Singapore GP is special because both Qualifying and the Grand Prix are fan favourites! Qualifying is intense and entertaining as the drivers speed through the twists and turns. The drivers are pushing to the limits as they go within centimeters of the walls of the street circuit. In 2019, Leclerc managed to pip his teammate to pole position. In 2018, at a circuit where Ferrari were stronger, Hamilton stormed to pole position with an astonishingly fast lap.
Qualifying sets the fans up perfectly for the main event. The Grand Prix. The Singapore Grand Prix has many features that encourage racing action. First of all, the characteristics of the circuit. In some areas, the circuit is narrow, just like any street circuits. However, that’s only in some areas. In other areas, the circuit is nice and wide to encourage overtaking. For example, Turns 1 and 7. And to further increase chances of overtaking, there are long straights leading to those overtaking spots.
There are 3 DRS zones, which is already 3 overtaking spots. On top of that, most of the corners are high-speed corners, which makes both qualifying and the race more exciting. With the high-speed corners creating a nice flow through the corners, on-track battles last relatively longer. For example, the battle between Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton continued for quite a while at the beginning of the 2019 Singapore GP. Overall, I can’t wait to see how the cars perform in Singapore this year. With the new cars that have less dirty air, on-track battling should thrive.
The Lion Of Singapore’s Last Roar
The last edition of this coveted race was the 2019 Singapore GP, which is when Sebastian Vettel clinched an unforgettable victory. We now know that that win was the last of his legendary career. It’s going to feel very strange for me and for many other F1 fans to see Sebastian Vettel race on the streets of Singapore for the last time. Maybe in the future, Vettel will grace the racetrack once again, perhaps in a different racing category. But for now, it seems that this is the finish like for him in Formula 1.
I knew that these days would come, the days when Sebastian Vettel would be competing in his final F1 races. But the 2022 Singapore GP will be one of the most special ones. It’s been 5 wins for #5 in Singapore. Vettel is the most successful driver in the history of the Singapore GP, and has also got the most consecutive wins in Singapore. He won 3 times in a row from 2011-2013. He then won once again in 2015; he ruled the streets of Marina Bay by taking pole position and then clinching the win. That win marked his 3rd race win with Scuderia Ferrari. And finally, there’s the win in 2019.
That race win was indisputably one of the most special of his career. To put this win into context, 2019 was a rough year for Ferrari, and especially from Vettel. After losing another championship in 2018, Vettel couldn’t even compete for it in 2019. He wasn’t even scoring any race wins. To rub salt in the wound, Charles Leclerc went ahead and scored 2 wins in the same machinery. Vettel then responded by winning in Singapore. This win was so crucial because it was a ray of light and hope in a year that had been quite dark for Vettel and his fans. While Ferrari’s strategy did help him win over Leclerc, it couldn’t have been done without the sheer pace and racecraft he displayed throughout the race.
Now here we are in 2022, leading up to Sebastian Vettel’s final Singapore GP. Let’s celebrate Vettel’s last dance in Singapore. Let the Lion of Singapore Roar one last time.
A Potential Championship-Decider
There is a possibility for Max Verstappen to win his 2nd Drivers’ World Championship this weekend. While it is a long shot and an unrealistic goal, Verstappen could clinch the title on his birthday weekend. Formula 1 outlined the scenarios where Verstappen can win the world title in the Instagram post above. As you can see, these scenarios are quite difficult to achieve for Verstappen. It’s impossible to ensure that Leclerc finishes 8th or 9th, and Verstappen will have to secure a dominant victory. If Verstappen wins the title in Singapore, it will be the first time a title is won in Singapore. However, Max fans, don’t get your hopes up too much!
Overall, the 2022 Singapore GP is set to be superb. Formula 1’s return to Singapore shall be nothing short of fantastic!