Over the last six years, the Singapore Grand Prix has made a name for itself and has become one of the highlights of the Formula 1 season. This event has such a unique vibe, it's like nowhere on the calendar. The original F1 night race ticks just about all the right boxes. The ambience is electric, the venue is exotic, glamourous and the views are spectacular under the floodlights.
The off-track entertainment is unrivalled and the city just lends itself to the party atmosphere. On top of that, Singapore is a very friendly place which is renowned for its hawker centres (street food courts) and shopping experiences.
View from Turn 2 Grandstand (block A3) - Image: Ferrari S.p.A
The grand prix takes place on the 19-20-21 September 2014 and is one of the toughest and longest on the F1 schedule. Support series this year are provided by the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia and FIA Masters Historic Formula One Championship.
This year, the two stages in Zone 1 and the Padang (Zone 4) will see John Legend, Robbie Williams, Ziggy Marley, Jennifer Lopez and the Pet Shop Boys perform between or after on-track sessions. In the past, the Marina Bay event has welcomed the likes of The Killers, Rihanna, Maroon 5, Noel Gallagher, Shakira, Linkin Park, Mariah Carey, Missy Elliott or even Travis.
Smaller stages in Zone 3 or by the Esplanade Waterfront have welcomed more electronic sounds thanks to appearances by DJs such as Carl Cox or John Digweed. There are also multiple roving artists providing entertainment throughout the day, such as a drummer troupe or Brazilian dancers giving the whole weekend a carnival atmosphere.
If you also like to party on F1 style, The Podium Lounge Singapore will be held at the Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Walk (Friday to Sunday) and the glamourous Amber Lounge will take place next to the Conrad Centennial Hotel on Saturday and Sunday. The bars by the Esplanade Theatres and the Concert Hall offer a cheaper alternative for refreshments in style by the water in case it is some quiet time that you're after.
All in all, this is a stunning event that is far more than a race weekend and you get the feel for the effort the organisers put into it.
The FIA has confirmed the 2015 FIA Formula One World Championship calendar during today's meeting of the World Motor Sport Council.
A draft calendar was circulated to the teams last weekend at the Italian Grand Prix and it is with some relief that the travelling fans will be able to start booking flights and accommodation early rather than having to wait for the calendar to be ratified in December, as it has been the case for the last few years.
The 2015 season will consist of 20 rounds, one more race weekend than the 2014 schedule, with the Mexican Grand Prix making its return after a 23 year hiatus.
The Central American round has been paired up with the US GP and Whilst this is good news for travellers from further afield, it might have been wiser to associate it with the Canadian round at a date suiting the climate of both venues. There is a risk of the Texan event being cannibalised by its close neighbour considering the amount of Mexican fans that have crossed the border to support their drivers over the last couple of years.