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How to improve the F1 circuit

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hertfordshire_lad
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How to improve the F1 circuit

Post by hertfordshire_lad » Tue, 30 Sep 2008 10:41 pm

Most will agree that the F1 was a tremendous success for Singapore. The way it was all put together in such a short space of time and in such a small area (by F1 standards) was phenomenal.

The impact it will have on global awareness and tourism, not just during the Grand Prix weekend, but the whole year around is also one of the huge positives.

However, as an F1 fan, the reality is that it is a very tight circuit - both for the fans and for the racing. The human traffic jam that developed at the start of 2nd practice on Friday was simply unacceptable - I was caught in the middle for about 20 minutes and it could have easily turned into a tragic situation.

On race day itself, knowing that there were so few viewing opportunities available for Walkabout Pass holders, I turned up at the gate at around 2:30pm and went straight to one of the designated standing areas. To my surprise, the standing area was already lined with fans - 2 or 3 people deep. Other fans had the same idea and soon the standing area became packed with people.

Needless to say, it was extremely tiring standing in the same spot for such a great length of time (there was no room to sit and I couldn't leave the place for fear that I would lose my spot - despite having people in front of me, it felt that this was the best place I was going to find on the whole circuit). However, the atmosphere was amazing - the group of fans around me were friendly and we were able to keep each others spirits up.

There was a group of older gentlemen (in their late 60s) from England nearby who took it in turns to sit on a garden chair (borrowed from a nearby bar) and it was quite a surprise when the security staff came up and took the chair away from them.

When the race finally got underway, we were all hot and sweaty and the usual scrambling for cameras and movement towards the barriers took place. About an hour into the race, one of the older gentlemen behind me appeared to pass out through exhaustion. He later recovered and stood up, but a few minutes later fainted again and had to be put into the recovery position before eventually being taken out of the crowded area.

So, besides the obvious safety issue, the point I would like to make is that for the price of $168 the 3-day walkabout pass was not good value for money. There were far too few vantage points for these ticket holders, so a lot of people ended up without a good view of the cars. I would therefore like to appeal to the organisers to increase the number of free standing areas ten-fold! Each standing area should also be multi-level - so that those standing behind can see over the heads of those at the front. Otherwise, the walkabout pass will be very poor value for money. The feeling of not getting my money's worth was compounded when I saw that so many people were able to get a free and unobstructed view of the track from One Raffles Link.

I would also like to throw open the question of how to improve the track itself. Without the intervention of the safety car, we wouldn't have had much of a race. There are simply too few overtaking opportunities and too many short straights. Tracks do not have to stay exactly the same year on year - so why not try to suggest some improvements now. For example, if the cars went around the circuit clockwise (instead of anti-clockwise), this might create a few extra overtaking opportunities (e.g. along Esplanade Drive).

All in all, it was a fantastic experience and I still believe it was a huge success for Singapore. However, it would be interesting to know others' opinions of how it can be improved for future years.

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micknlea
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Post by micknlea » Wed, 01 Oct 2008 1:31 am

We were discussing the idea that the Raffles Boulevard straight could go just that bit further with a left turn at the next corner and negate turns 8 and 9. It would make the straight a little longer and take out 2 unnecessary corners. The track does have way too many corners right now. It's wide and already a road that is out of use anyway so why not make it useful? Perhaps they already thought of it, and there are reasons why not, but just an idea.

General or walkabout passes are hard in street race circuits because they have do not have ample space to put small stands or whatever to accomodate them. I think in some cases the road blocks could have been widened a bit to allow spectators to see what was going on. Instead of barricading them off from general public outside, why not open those areas up to the people who have paid for tickets? Extend the fence line a bit and allow an extra 10 metres or so inside? I saw a lot of places where that could happen quite easily.

I remember in Adelaide (yes I am old) when they first got the GP on their street circuit there. First year they had crowds that they just did not expect and a lot of general pass people could not see. In the park area for the next (and following years) they built small mounds into the park so that people could see better.

There are lots of ideas like this that need to be built on and can be done with ideas from those that were there.
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Lilyanz
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Post by Lilyanz » Wed, 01 Oct 2008 2:55 am

The singapore F1 circuit does not allow many overtaking because of numerous turns therefore it poses danger to other drivers. I find it boring. Theres isnt any excitement to it. even monaco has more overtaking opportunity then singapore. I remember steve slater said that the road leading to the pit stop poses another danger because that corner is accident prone. Hopefully they will do something to improvise on it.

Im surprised that here in singapore people are very rich. I have a few race tickets where i got it for free one is the club suite, sky suite, pit grandstand and the pit stop itself. So i went down to recre the place. The club and sky suite is unreasonable overprice at 6500 bucks for 3 days. The place is super crowded and noisy i expected it to be more class and quiet. All i can say is the food and wine is good plus the view.i expected more adults and europeans to be there instead of kids. I then headed down to the pit stop grandstand.

The pit stop grandstand is at 1388+ bucks if im not wrong. I wanted to checkout the view how is it like but i saw people had alreadi came like 2 - 3 hours ago to reserve the place. So i head out again to the pit stop building. this ticket its not for sale and the expriences is priceless, you can get upclose to anybody before they get suited up. once the cars are out only the journalist and reporters, photographers gets to stay in the pitlane. well the view is ok you can go up to the second floor and checkout the technicians in action during the race.. thats the closest u can get to the F1 car.

I believe that next year grand prix will definetely have some changes. Hopefully is for the better so that everybody will enjoy the race

renter
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Post by renter » Thu, 02 Oct 2008 9:55 am

When can a street circuit be good for overtaking?

I think we should forget about making it good for overtaking. Otherwise, move it to Tuas.

Isambard
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Post by Isambard » Thu, 02 Oct 2008 10:13 am

On more practical but mundane points, I felt that the number of food and beverage outlets was insufficient at the Gate 1 area where the beer and food queues were ridiculous. We found, however that if we walked to the Singapore Flyer we were able to get sustenance and liquid refreshment without queuing at all, so perhaps it's more a question of relocating some of the stalls.

The loos were pretty unpleasant and low in number and the finish of the spectator walkways from Gate 1 to Gate 2 were unfinished and basically made of hardcore. The pedestrian area behind the National Day grandstand bottlenecked badly which could have been dangerous if 32,000 people had needed to evacauate.

I also agree with Herfordshire Lad's point about the free viewing areas. It almost felt like the organisers were actively discouraging people from buying these tickets as the views were so poor.

I've read this through and it sounds like a big moan but actually we had a tremendous time and felt Singpaore never looked so stunning.

Winxkid
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Post by Winxkid » Fri, 03 Oct 2008 5:56 am

There's always a first time... :???:
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durain
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Post by durain » Fri, 03 Oct 2008 6:22 pm

put a durian stall inside. uniquely singapore! :P

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elska76
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Post by elska76 » Tue, 07 Oct 2008 10:35 pm

To watch more of the race without getting all frus with the crazy fans....another alternative would be to sign up as a volunteer :)

I vounteered for the Singapore GP this year and it has been great :)

With regards to the track, i believe the organisers are looking to improve not only the track but also for the viewers at large and also the safety of the volunteers :)

We as volunteers are also giving them our feedback on improvements :)
Some people are alive cos its illegal to kill ;)

fling
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Post by fling » Thu, 09 Oct 2008 5:12 pm

i was about to get that 3 day walkabout ticket but work got in a way. I hear the same experience from my friends who went and got a walkabout ticket, good thing I wasn't able to go. Hopefully next year will be better.

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jpatokal
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Post by jpatokal » Thu, 09 Oct 2008 9:13 pm

Lilyanz wrote:Im surprised that here in singapore people are very rich. I have a few race tickets where i got it for free one is the club suite, sky suite, pit grandstand and the pit stop itself. So i went down to recre the place. The club and sky suite is unreasonable overprice at 6500 bucks for 3 days. The place is super crowded and noisy i expected it to be more class and quiet.
Trust me, virtually nobody paid money, or at least their own money, for the suites. Most all were paid for/given to sponsoring companies, who then used them to butter up people they wanted to impress.
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micknlea
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Post by micknlea » Fri, 10 Oct 2008 12:20 am

It is pretty obvious Jpatokal that Lilyanz was one of those who was a recipient and didn't spend a cent to go to the GP...
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