There’s been talk recently of the USA, due to its size and economic importance, hosting more than one Formula 1 Grand Prix per season. Well, if this weekend’s race was taking place from 1963 to 1965, Malaysia could claim to have two races per year, because during that period, Singapore was part of Malaysia. That’s all very hypothetical, but in the year of our STR12 car, here are twelve interesting facts about Singapore.
1. The Singapore race is often compared to that other street circuit event in Monaco and like the Principality, the Asian sovereign city-state is also growing by reclaiming land from the sea, in this case an additional 130 square kilometres.
2. That’s not the only thing it shares with Monaco, as along with the Vatican they are the only three city-states in the world.
3. Singapore celebrates a decade of Formula 1 races this year. It had the honour of putting on the first ever Grand Prix to be run under artificial lighting, but it was 130 years too late to claim to be the first sporting contest to be floodlit as that honour goes to a football match held in Sheffield (UK) in 1878.
4. The Singaporeans clearly love an indoor waterfall, with the first man-made waterfall being built within an aviary at the Jurong Bird Park in 1971. And currently, what will be the world’s tallest indoor waterfall is being built at Changi Airport.
5. According to a study by the British Council, Singaporeans have the fastest walking speed. On average, they can walk about 6.15km in an hour!
6. This is the nearest Formula 1 gets to the Equator as Singapore is around 140 kilometres to the north of it.
7. Singapore is often referred to as “The Little Red Dot” a reference to how it is depicted on many maps and reflecting the fact that, with a surface area of around 720 square kilometres, it is very small. “My Little Red Dot, My Home” is a popular slogan.
8. Singapore’s dramatic economic growth is unprecedented in modern times. Figures show that, after it became an independent state in 1965, it went from being a Third World country to a First World economy in just a single generation.
9. Your first time at this Grand Prix and can’t find the race track? Check you’re in the right Singapore as there are places by that name in Michigan, USA and in South Africa.
10. Formula 1 is not the only popular night time activity here, as Singapore boasts the world’s first Safari Park for nocturnal animals, which only opens at night.
11. Although skyscrapers and bright lights are what first spring to mind when one thinks of the backdrop to the Marina Bay circuit, Singapore is proud of its green credentials, with over half its surface area being home to plant life. The Singapore Botanic Gardens, which opened in 1859 is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
12. We know you love a statistic, so here’s a Singaporean one to end with: the 1600 floodlights around the track are linked by 108,423 metres of cabling and require 3,180,000 watts, putting out 3000 lux, which means the track is about four times brighter than a floodlit football pitch. The lights are also specially designed to reduce glare and reflection from a wet surface in the event of rain.