Fast facts for the Singapore Grand Prix

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The Formula 1 community headed this weekend to South East Asia for the Singapore Grand Prix, Round 15 of the 2023 FIA Formula One World Chapmpionship. F1Technical's senior writer Balázs Szabó picks out some stats and trivia ahead of the Singapore race.

Track changes - The Marina Bay Street Circuit has gone through enormous changes for this year. The previous Turns 16, 17, 18 and 19 have been removed and the walls have been realigned from Turn 15 until what was Turn 20. Furthermore, the track has been resurfaced from the start of the pit straight until the exit of Turn 6 and from the entry of Turn 14 until the exit of the new Turn 16. Moreover, the existing paint in the working lane of the pit lane has been replaced with new, anti-skid paint.

A fixture on the schedule – Singapore has established itself as a fixture on the calendar. The event joined the calendar in 2008 and has been an ever-present race since. Today’s race will be the 14th Formula One Singapore Grand Prix.

The fast Dane – With the track having gone through significant changes for this year, there is no official track record. It means that the fastest lap set in today's race will be the new record. The previous record for the fastest ever race lap was set by Kevin Magnussen. The Dane went fastest with a lap time of 1m41.905 with Haas in 2018.

Long track – The Marina Bay Circuit is a track that features extreme temperatures, unforgiving walls and a bumpy surface. The previous layout was 5.063km long and consisted of 23 corners. The modified track is slightly shorter with a total length of 4.904km. Drivers will need to complete 62 laps today which is one lap more than on the previous layout. The total race distance will be 306.143km.

The dominant team - Mercedes and Red Bull are the most successful constructors in Singapore with four victories apiece. Ferrari have won three times while McLaren and Renault have won once apiece.

German success - Sebastian Vettel is still the most successful driver when it comes to wins earned in the Singapore Grand Prix history. The four-time world champion has won five times - three times with Red Bull and twice with Ferrari. The German is followed by Lewis Hamilton, who has won on four occasions at the Marina Bay Circuit.

Fernando Alonso is the only other repeat winner in Singapore. He took the victory in the first ever Formula One Singapore Grand Prix in 2008 in controversial conditions. Driving for Ferrari, the Spaniard claimed his second victory on the Marina Bay Circuit in 2010 following an epic battle with Sebastian Vettel.

Unknown territory - Two drivers will make their Singapore debut this weekend, with Logan Sargeant and Liam Lawson all getting their first taste of the Marina Bay Street Circuit.

The Stewards – The group of the three international race stewards consists of Vitantonio Liuzzi, Matteo Perini and Garry Connelly. They are joined by Paul Ng, the national steward.

Overtaking aid - There will be three DRS zones in Singapore. The first detection point will be at the exit of T4 and the first activation point will be 48m after T5. The second detection point will be 102m before T13 with activation 78m after T13. The third detection point will be 105m after the apex of T17, and the activation point will be at the exit of Turn 19.

Vettel at both ends - The smallest winning margin in Singapore F1 Grand Prix history came in 2010 when Alonso beat Vettel by just 0.239s. Coincidentally the biggest winning margin at the venue involved the same two drivers and came in 2013 when Vettel finished 32.627s ahead of Alonso.

Artificially lit – Singapore became the first ever night race of Formula One. The late starting time was chosen to accommodate to the time zone difference between Western countries and Singapore. Although many doubted the success of the event and some feared that visibility would make driving dangerous, it has never become a problem. Fitted along the track are 1,600 lighting projectors, each consisting of a projector with internal reflectors that project the light beams at different angles to prevent it from blinding the drivers. As a result, the track is 4 times more brightly lit than a stadium.

Huge preparation – As the Singapore Grand Prix is a street circuit, organizers have to commence their preparations long before the event kick off. To withstand high speeds generated by the Formula One cars, the manholes at the Marina Bay Street Circuit have to be welded shut before each race.

Strategy - A one-stop strategy is expected to be the fastest one at Marina Bay, given the pit loss of 27 seconds – the highest of any circuit on the calendar thanks to the 60km/h speed limit and tricky pit entry. Pirelli has brought the softest trio of compounds to Singapore for maximum grip on a twisty and demanding track.

Very high – Since 2014, the safety car or the virtual safety car was deployed at least once in every race. In 2022, there were three Virtual Safety Car deployments. Their deployment could have huge influence on race strategies as pitting in normal conditions takes 27 seconds while that time drops to only 16 seconds under safety car conditions and 20 seconds under virtual safety car conditions.

Track position is vital – Starting from the first row is usually key around the tricky layout of the Marina Bay Circuit. Eight of the thirteen races have been won by the driver starting from the pole position. On the five other occasions when other than the pole-sitter won at Singapore, some kind of an incident happened to the fastest driver of the qualifying session. In 2008, Felipe Massa was robbed the victory after his team released him from the tyre change with the fuel hose attached. In 2012, Lewis Hamilton retired with a gearbox issue while leading. In 2017, Sebastian Vettel was involved in a first corner incident with Kimi Räikkönen and Max Verstappen which ended the race for all of them.

The Marina Bay Street Circuit is one of the hardest venues at which to overtake, second only to Monaco. With an alternative layout this year, with Turns 16-19 removed and replaced by a straight, there might be an increased number of overtakes in the Grand Prix. Historically, the first DRS zone has been the prime passing place.