F1 poised for Singapore return in 2022
By Mat Coch
Wednesday 29th September, 2021 - 2:35pm
There are indicators that Singapore will return to the Formula 1 calendar next season following a two-year hiatus due to COVID.
Should it do so it will likely take in a modified version of the Marina Bay Street Circuit.
A 2022 calendar has not yet been officially released by F1, though it is tipped to include 23 events.
Singapore’s most recent contract to host the sport ended with the cancellation of this year’s race.
The local promoter has been in discussions about the event’s future but no outcome has been announced.
“Singapore GP is in discussions with the Government and Formula 1 on the issue of hosting the FIA Formula 1 World Championship going forward. We are working towards a mutually beneficial outcome for all parties and will announce details in due course,” a Singapore GP spokesperson told Speedcafe.com in June.
That position has not changed, with officials from the event reaffirming that statement when approached last week.
That came despite the city-state appearing on leaked copies of the draft 2022 F1 schedule as Round 18 of 23.
It’s a view seemingly supported by the sport’s own website, which is now allowing fans to register interest for tickets to select events, including the Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix.
It’s one of 17 races events listed and the only one of those has not been publicly confirmed with a contract for next year.
Ahead of last weekend’s Russian Grand Prix, McLaren’s Andreas Seidl raised question marks over the validity of information in the public domain surrounding next year’s calendar.
“I think it’s important that we wait for an official confirmation of next year’s calendar because these dates around at the moment which are not same as the information we are having,” he said.
His comments came in the days following the Miami Grand Prix social media channels announcing the inaugural event will take place on May 8.
Curiously, that announcement was not followed or endorsed by F1 on any platform.
Should Singapore indeed be on next year’s calendar, construction work on the floating platform adjacent to the Turns 17-18 complex will likely force a tweak to the Marina Bay layout.
Major works are planned to revamp the ‘NS Square’ area, with the new facility to include a gallery, community sports facilities, and a public waterfront promenade.
Tenders for the project were due by July 15, with construction (and demolition) set to commence in March.
With that zone out of action, the Turn 16-19 complex would be unavailable.
It’s therefore likely that the amended circuit will see cars exit Turn 14, negotiate the kink at the current Turn 15 before then straight lining through to what has been Turn 20.
It makes for a similar but slightly shorter run than from Turns 5-7 along Raffles Boulevard and opens up the potential for another DRS zone.
Though the circuit would need to be inspected and rehomologated by the FIA, sufficient run-off area at Turn 20 does exist.
Singapore last hosted Formula 1 in 2019, a race won by Sebastian Vettel – his most recent victory to date.
The 2022 calendar has been earmarked for release on October 15 in line with the next meeting of the FIA World Motor Sport Council.