Singapore Grand Prix Betting

Before Singapore seceded from the Malaysian Federation in 1965, it hosted the Orient Year Grand Prix in 1961 and the Formula 2 Grand Prix in 1962~65, the forerunner of the Malaysian Grand Prix. Races were originally held on the Thomson Road Circuit, a track measuring 4.865 kilometres long and running in a clockwise direction with nine turns. The first independent Singapore Grand Prix run under Formula Libre rules was conducted in 1966 and won by local driver Lee Han Seng in a Lotus 22.

The Formula Libre races on Thomson Road continued for the next seven years, with one other Singaporean driver claiming the checkered flag—Rodney Seow in 1967. All of the other early editions of the Singapore Grand Prix were won by Australians, including Garrie Cooper in 1968, Max Stewart in 1972 and Vern Schuppan in 1973 as well as a hat trick of victories by Graeme Lawrence in 1969~71. Unfortunately, fatal accidents in 1972-73 caused officials to close the track thereafter, as it was deemed too dangerous for high performance racing.

It was not until the beginning of this century that a revival of motor sports took place in Singapore. In 2007, the Singapore Tourism Board and Singapore GP Pte Ltd. struck an agreement with the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) to join the Formula One World Championship calendar for five seasons beginning in 2008. A sponsor was found in the telecommunications company SingTel and additional funding was provided by the national government.

To take the place of the old Thompson Road course, a new a street circuit was proposed to run around Marina Bay. The track designed by KBR, Inc. was based on a plan submitted by Hermann Tilke. Not unlike the harbourside course of the Monaco Grand Prix in Monte Carlo, the new route would employ existing boulevards and bridges near the water’s edge and pass by such famous landmarks as City Hall and the Raffles Hotel. At a length of 5.065 kilometres, the Marina Bay Street Circuit and its 23 turns would be Asia’s first street circuit and also serve as the scene of the very first F1 night race ever staged anywhere in the world.

Held on 28 September as the 15th race of the 2008 F1 season, the inaugural Singapore Grand Prix proved a huge hit—a complete sell-out with some 110,000 tickets sold and local hotels filled to capacity. Drivers complained about the road surface and some of the turns—notably the so-called “Singapore Sling” chicane at turn #10—as well as the tropical heat and humidity, but that did not stop Spain’s Fernando Alonso from completing the 61 laps ahead of runner-up Nico Rosberg from Germany and third-place finisher Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain.

FIA announced that the Singapore Grand Prix had “instantly established itself as one of the most dramatic and atmospheric races on the calendar.” Its timing as a night race also meant it could be “broadcast at a convenient time for European television audiences as well as thrilling local fans.” The race also benefited from some growing rivalries. In 2009, Hamilton claimed the checkered flag, beating Germany’s Timo Glock and leaving Alonso in third. In 2010, it was Alonso’s turn to win, as Hamilton had to withdraw after a collision in lap 35.

Since then, the Singapore Grand Prix has belonged to Germany’s Sebastian Vettel, the winner of three consecutive races in 2010~13. Alonso has managed a second and a third in that period, and Australian Mark Weber has reached the podium twice. For the 2013 edition, the Singapore Sling chicane was eliminated and replaced by a much more gentle left-hand turn. Meanwhile, FIA has agreed to an extension of Singapore’s position on the F1 schedule through 2017 and the event has become something of a national festival apart from the exciting motor race.

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