For one spectacular weekend each year, Singapore’s cityscape transforms into a high octane, adrenaline-charged motoring arena where the world’s best Formula One drivers gather for the annual Singapore Grand Prix.
As the world’s inaugural F1 night race, the Singapore Grand Prix is one of the most unique events in the F1 calendar and a highlight for both locals and visitors in Singapore. Over 1,500 lighting projectors will line the famed Marina Bay Street Circuit as cars roar down the race track, while an impressive line-up of international music acts draws tens of thousands of spectators each night.
If you are planning on being part of the action, ensure you get the most out of the experience by doing as the locals do. Here are five tips to help you get up to speed so you can experience the buzz of the Singapore Grand Prix like a Pro.
#1 LEAVE THE DRIVING TO THE EXPERTS
Navigating traffic can be tricky with several road closures taking effect a day before and after the event. Avoid the roads and leave the driving to the F1 drivers by taking the train instead.
The Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) stations such as the City Hall or Promenade stations lead straight to the entrances of the Circuit Park, so you can travel to and fro in the comfort of an air-conditioned train without breaking a sweat. You can purchase a one-or three-day Singapore Tourist Pass that offers unlimited travel on the MRT and public buses.
From outside of town? Choose hotels along the Orchard Road shopping belt just steps away from the MRT station to make commuting a breeze.
For locals, The F1 weekend also presents an opportunity for a staycation in the city with your friends and family to be closer to the action. You can spend the day shopping before catching the race in the evening, and your feet will thank you for the short break you take as you drop your shopping bags at the hotel before heading out for the action.
Don’t let your growling stomach distract you from the roars of the engines on the track –make sure you fuel up before the race. As food and beverage options within the Circuit Park can be on the pricier side, not to mention burdened with long queues, do as the locals do and get your fill before entering the arena.
Have an early dinner at the hotel before stepping out, or feast on affordably priced local street food at various hawker centres located in the Marina Bay vicinity. Satay by the Bay or Makansutra Gluttons Bay beside the Esplanade Waterfront Grandstand are popular hawker food spots that are within walking distance from the Circuit Park.
#3 ‘CHOPE’ THE BEST VANTAGE POINTS LIKE A PRO
Be a step ahead and identify the best vantage points for watching the race. Arrive at least an hour before it starts to recce the area and ‘Chope’, or reserve, a spot by a major turn along the track to ensure you are in pole position to get the best view of the action.
Take note of the exit points on your way in and plan your departure to avoid being stuck in human traffic on the way out when the race ends. Majority of spectators tend to start making theirway to the exit at least 15 minutes before the end of the post-race concert to get a head start.
If you want to avoid the crowd entirely,you can also enjoy an impressive aerial view of the circuit and the dazzling display of fireworks from one of the city’s sky high bars such as LeVel 33 at Marina Bay Financial Centre or 1-Altitude, the world’s highest al fresco bar on the roof of One Raffles Place.
Party during the race? Join in the revelry as the 5th edition of the annual Sky Grandé Prix will takes place at Empire and Skyline, Level 45 of Singapore Land Tower, offering a race track view with 6 exciting turns! With festivities that feature five themed nights conceptualized by Vanilla Luxury from 14th to 18th September, it’ll be all about champagne, diamonds and fast cars.
#4 STAY HYDRATED AND PACK SUPPLIES
When preparing for the race, F1 drivers condition their bodies to endure extreme gravitational forces and other physical demands. With Singapore’s tropical climate and high humidity, they also drink up to eight litres of water during each race to stay hydrated especially as temperatures heat up in the cockpit.
“Staying hydrated is very important especially for visitors who are not used to Singapore’s tropical climate. Do wear comfortable shoes, bring a small face towel or pack a bottle of face mist to help you stay refreshed after hours of walking and standing outdoors in the Circuit Park,” said Lucinda Neo, Club Inter Continental Manager, InterContinental Singapore.
#5 THE PARTY DOESN’T END WITH THE RACE! REV UP AND PARTY ON!
The are tons of events and parties that will be moving around and about the F1 race itself. Don’t restrict yourself to the circuit ’cause there tons more out there to suit every style.
Singapore’s only homegrown F1 party series, Sky Grandé Prix is set to be bigger and better with close to 8000 party goers expected over 5 days from 14 to 18 September 2016 and will see some of the country’s hottest DJs spinning the night away in Empire and Skyline, with genres ranging from R&B to Top 40s and EDM.
On the other spectrum, if you prefer something closer to the ground, a little raw and rugged, the Singapore Pub Crawl will run it’s annual F1 Pub Crawl on 9 and 10 September if you wanna prime before the race weekend, and then again on 16 and 17 September. These party starters will bring their crawlers to 4 pit stops (pubs) and one club to party the night away with free shots and discounted drink deals.
Now you’re all set to conquers one of the weekends in Singapore. Will you finish in pole position?
If you have yet to secure your tickets for the race, Inter Continental Singapore is also offering a special Singapore Grand Prix Experience Package which includes two 3-day Premier Walkabout tickets, daily breakfast for two with a minimum three-night stay in a Premier Deluxe Room starting from S$828.00++ per room, per night.