Pit Stop Singapore: Finns Racing in to Formula 1 Night Race

With Singapore gearing up for its fifth edition of the Formula 1 Singtel Singapore Grand Prix on 21 – 23 September the interest in the race is approaching fever pitch. The 2012 Formula 1 season is proving to be the most competitive – now with seven different drives having won a race out of the eight so far – which makes the interest in attending and watching the races grow.

The countdown to the 2012 Formula 1 Singtel Singapore Grand Prix has thus seen brisk sales.

Healthy competition is what the audience wants, with surprising and action-filled races that makes the result much less predictable and not only with the same driver as winner every time.

And with the return of Kimi Räikkonen to the Formula 1, Scandinavia is represented by two Finnish drivers this season; Heikki Kovalainen racing for Caterham being the second Finn.

Also, with Sebastian Vettel added as the most recent new champion, F1 now has six world champions on the grid – more than any other season in F1 history. Statistics also show that Formula 1 is much more competitive now than it was ten years ago.

The closer races have shown that on a good day any team can claim a victory. Of the two Finns the former world champion Räikkonen has already come close to winning a race with a second place in Valencia and a fifth at Silverstone. So of the two Finns he certainly stands the best chance to win a races.

And, as this year is seeing an intensive level of competition, these are also interesting time with regards to the future of the race in Singapore and possibly Formula 1 coming also to Thailand!

The Singapore Grand Prix (SGP) is negotiating (under way since almost a year ago) the terms for an extension of the rights to hold the race for another five years.

And while team Red Bull Racing-Renault is leading the constructor standings, its brand Red Bull, along with Singha Beer from Thailand and its Thai Tourism and Sports Ministry have talks going on with Bernie Ecclestone’s Formula 1 circus FIA to host a Grand Prix in Thailand from 2014.

Racing fans and others who favour all the lifestyle events that comes with it are watching carefully how these negotiations will unfold, with the promise of potentially no less than three races in Southeast-Asia.

The current contract for Singapore expires with the race this September. In 2008 the city hosted the first night race in Formula One history, which has established itself as a draw for F1 fans from far and near.

As for Kimi Räikkönen, with the Lotus F1 Team, has consistently set blistering times since his comeback. Meanwhile, the many talented drivers in the formula one teams in 2012, a couple of tenths either way on any race day can make a profound and enormous difference.

Changes of rules positive for the sport have also made it, as pointed out, more unpredictable. Also, experts point out tyres to be the number one factor influencing the race now. F1 now has a single tyre supplier for all race teams: Pirelli has, encouraged by the different racing teams, supplied tyres designed to challenge the drivers and technicians.

“In times of stable regulations the cars become more and more alike – and when that happens the driver becomes key again to make the difference,” writes f1fanatic.co.uk.

The 2012 Formula 1 Singtel Singapore Grand Prix also offers a lifestyle and entertainment event of sorts, with caters also to people with less interest in the cars and the drivers. Pop sensation Katy Perry is confirmed as Sunday’s ‘Main Stage’ headliner. And once again Singapore Grand Prix invites artists from the ‘80s based on previous successes.

Three of the era’s celebrated performers, namely Bananarama, Pretenders and The Proclaimers, will make in-circuit concerts.

“At our previous events, ‘80s artistes were phenomenal crowd favourites. Our in-circuit concerts by Boy George, Chaka Khan, Shaggy and Rick Astley had everyone singing along to their hits, adding to the already festive vibe at the Marina Bay Street Circuit. The ‘80s is an era with some of the greatest hits that inspired countless musicals and cover interpretations, and since it appeals to a large portion of our audience demographic, Bananarama, the Pretenders and The Proclaimers are the perfect complement to this year’s entertainment programme,” says Michael Roche, Executive Director of race promoter Singapore GP Pte Ltd.

Ace of Base of Sweden also visited Singapore connecting to the F1 race previously.

About Joakim Persson

Freelance business and lifestyle photojournalist

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