F1: Watch out for turn 13

F1: Watch out for turn 13
TWEAKS: Above, changes to the Singapore Grand Prix circuit for this year. Top, Turn 13 will be widened by a metre, enabling more overtaking opportunities.
PHOTO: Singapore GP

It is a figure often associated with bad luck.

But the number 13 - specifically Turn 13 of the Marina Bay street circuit - could become a favourite for speed merchants at the Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix from Sept 18 to 20.

The widening of the hairpin (a very tight corner which has to be taken slowly and often appears U-shaped or V-shaped) was one of the modifications to the 5.065km circuit announced by race organisers Singapore GP yesterday, and it could potentially make this year's race more exciting than previous editions.

The changes have been given the green light by Formula 1's governing body, the FIA.

They came about as a result of enhancement works for the new Civic District, which aims to integrate the areas at Esplanade Park and Empress Place.

The integrated area will form a new arts, culture and lifestyle precinct which includes the Asian Civilisation Museum, Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall and the National Gallery.

Tweaks have been made not just to Turn 13, but to Turns 11 and 12 as well.

The right-hand Turn 11, immediately after the Singapore Cricket Club, will be realigned to sit tighter with the left-hand side of Fullerton Road, which will result in a slightly slower corner speed compared to last year.

MODIFIED

The left-hand Turn 12 will be modified slightly so drivers will enter the left lane of Anderson Bridge instead of the right, and will hurtle towards Turn 13 at 200kmh, similar to 2014.

Turn 13, which is the corner of Fullerton Road and the Esplanade, will be widened by a metre, enabling more overtaking opportunities.

Jonathan Giesecke, the senior project manager and engineering track manager for Faitfhul+Gould who is overseeing changes to the Singapore street circuit, predicts a more thrilling night race.

"It is a fantastic challenge to translate changes to Singapore's Civic District into improvements to the Marina Bay Street Circuit," he said.

"I expect the modifications from Turns 11 to 13 will enable closer racing and the potential for additional passing opportunities."

Colin Syn, deputy chairman of Singapore GP, added: "It's a win-win situation that the development of the new arts, culture and lifestyle precinct will provide an upgraded experience, but also potentially make for closer racing at this year's Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix."

Changes have also been made off the track, for spectators to enjoy the raceday experience better.

A new 220-metre Jubilee Bridge which links the Merlion Park to the Esplanade promenade has been incorporated into the Circuit Park, providing spectators with an vantage point of the fireworks display following the chequered flag.

Tickets to for the Singapore GP are available at www.singaporegp.sg.

msazali@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on July 29, 2015.
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