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 S'pore's F1 circuit to be revamped

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PostSubject: S'pore's F1 circuit to be revamped   Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:46 pm

S'pore's F1 circuit to be revamped

By Jeanette Wang


GOOD is set to get even better. The Formula One SingTel Singapore Grand Prix organiser is working on improving the Marina Bay street circuit in a bid to increase overtaking chances for the night race.

Singapore GP told The Straits Times that it was in talks with the International Automobile Federation (FIA) about revising the 5.067km circuit for this year's Sept 27 event.

"We are currently reviewing all the areas of the track and the event with the FIA," said a Singapore GP spokesman. "However, it is too early to make any specific comments."

Singapore GP chairman Colin Syn declined to give details about the revamp.

But autosport.com last week reported him as saying that Singapore GP was looking at reprofiling the first sequence of corners after the Pit Building.

"We are modifying Turns One, Two and Three, because we want drivers to have more opportunities to overtake this year," Syn reportedly said.

There are also plans to improve the track surface, which had drawn criticism from drivers. Red Bull's David Coulthard had likened the surface to "the cobbled streets of Paris".

Said Syn: "We want to reduce the bumps and smoothen out the circuit."

Autosport.com also reported that modifications will be made to Turn 10, where high kerbs caused several accidents last year - most notably involving Ferrari's 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen.

Running in fifth place with four laps to go in the 61-lap race, the Finn bounced off the kerb at the Turn 10 chicane and crashed into the barriers.

Talks on revamping the track between Singapore GP and technical consultants Kellogg, Brown and Root began straight after Renault's Fernando Alonso won last year's inaugural race, using feedback from the FIA as well as the F1 teams. The race has been hailed a huge success by the international motorsport fraternity and won three accolades - the FIA Promoter of the Year, the Motor Sport Facility of the Year and the Autosport Pioneering and Innovation Award.

Despite the recession, Singapore GP is optimistic that ticket demand will remain strong. Some high-end corporate customers have already committed to this year's race, said the spokesman.

"The 2008 race was a sell-out success," he added. "Now our challenge is to create even greater value, more excitement and an even better experience for race fans."

Source: http://www.asiaone.com/Motoring/Motorworld/Story/A1Story20090115-114950.html
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