The Singapore street circuit lost four corners due to the construction of a multi-purpose outdoor venue, creating a new straight in the final sector of the lap. Watch all sessions from the Singapore Grand Prix live on Sky Sports F1 from Friday, with racing on Sunday at 1pm
Last updated: 09/14/23 at 3:45 p.m
Sky F1’s Karun Chandhok takes a closer look at the Marina Bay Street Circuit ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix.
Formula 1 drivers believe changes to the Singapore circuit this year will provide more exciting racing at Sunday’s Grand Prix.
Building the NS Square multi-purpose outdoor venue means removing turns 16, 17, 18 and 19 from the final sector, so the track will not continue under the grandstand at the end of the lap.
Instead, there will be a straight line from Turn 15 to the old Turns 20 and 21, which will now become Turns 16 and 17.
The change is expected to reduce lap times by approximately 10 seconds, while the shortened lap length from 5.063km to 4.928km means the number of laps on Sunday will increase from 61 to 62.
With the new Turn 16 now offering an additional overtaking opportunity, many drivers feel that historically “boring” racing in Singapore will now be enhanced.
George Russell hopes Mercedes will be Red Bull’s closest rival at this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix.
“It will make the race a bit more exciting,” Mercedes driver George Russell said. “Singapore is a really great track to drive but it’s a bit challenging to race, and historically Turn 5 has only been an overtaking opportunity. Now I’m hoping there’s another opportunity at the new Turn 16.”
“It will make it easier for us physically because it was the longest race of the season in terms of duration. The track will be about nine seconds or so faster this year, so it will be a little shorter on Sunday.”
“Less fun in qualifying but it should be better for the race.”
Russell’s teammate Lewis Hamilton suggested the change might help teams stay a little closer to Red Bull, who are unbeaten in the 2023 season.
“It will make the lap easier that’s for sure,” the seven-time world champion said.
“This gives Red Bull fewer corners to advance further. In this particular section they have always been very strong and in this car they will be particularly strong.
“Maybe that will create more opportunities for overtaking because there aren’t as many of them.”
Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll echoed the Mercedes drivers, saying: “I think it’s good for the race on Sunday for sure.
“It was a lot of fun on Saturdays but it could get a bit boring on Sundays.
“Hopefully this will give us a more exciting race on Sunday.”
Despite Ferrari’s good performance in the last round, Charles Leclerc is not optimistic about his chances at the upcoming Singapore Grand Prix.
AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda also hopes the change will provide more opportunities to make on-track passes.
“I think there are more abuses,” Tsunoda said. “I think there are more chances, which is good. We have a DRS area before that, so hopefully we can close the gap there with a little bit of slippage until the second-to-last corner and maybe we can overtake there.”
However, Alpine racer Pierre Gasly believes the removal of the four corners could hurt his team and says it has removed some of the challenge of driving on the streets of Singapore.
“Normally, the more turns the better for us, so I wasn’t too keen,” Gasly said.
“I’ve always loved Singapore because of its complexity and technology.
“A couple of the stands have been removed, and now one of the stands is facing the wrong direction there – I hope they don’t sell too many tickets there – but apart from that, it’ll still be pretty cool.”
Live Singapore Grand Prix schedule on Sky Sports F1
Take a look at some of the most dramatic moments that happened at the Singapore Grand Prix.
Friday 15 September
10am: Singapore GP Practice One (session starts at 10:30am)
1.45pm: Singapore General Training 2 (session starts at 2pm)
3.30pm: Formula 1 show
Saturday 16 September
10.15am: Singapore General Training 3 (session starts at 10.30am)
1pm: Singapore Grand Prix qualifying preparations
2pm: Singapore Grand Prix qualifying
3.45pm: Ted’s qualifying notebook
Sunday 17 September
11.30pm: Sunday Grand Prix: Singapore Grand Prix preparations
1pm: Singapore Grand Prix
3pm: Checkered flag: Singapore Grand Prix reaction
4pm: Ted’s notebook
Next in the Formula 1 circus are the stunning streets of Singapore under the lights. All sessions from the Singapore Grand Prix will be broadcast live on Sky Sports F1 from September 15-17. Stream F1 on Sky Sports with NOW. Cancel at any time