Formula One officially starts on the island city state yesterday as the first practice sessions for cars begin. Some interesting firsts includes:
1) First street circuit for F1 racing in Asia.
2) First night-time race for F1 in the World.
And, with yesterday’s practice and today’s qualifying sessions in F1, night time racing in the city centre totally ROCKS! The circuit was well lit and the Singapore’s nicely planned skyscrapers form a great backdrop for the race. Now I truly understand Singapore’s URA objective of planning its downtown skyscrapers. The interesting thing was also the fact that global architects have formed Singapore’s downtown landscape, from I.M. Pei (OCBC Tower, Raffles City), Kenzo Tange (UOB Plaza), Kohn Pedersen Fox (One Raffles Quay), Sir Norman Foster (New Supreme Court). The well lit track also illuminates the colonial buildings along Padang, the Fullerton Hotel and the ultra modern Esplanade. By having the world’s premier automobile race in the island, it also gives it the chance to showcase the amazing variety of nightlife from Casa del Mar in Sentosa, to St James Power Station and even Zouk, who has set up tentages in Padang itself. The whole range of events and attractions brings out the reputation of the state to people worldwide.
In addition, I do think the F1 race in Singapore is a good fit. Think Monaco, city for the wealthy in Europe to mingle in. Lots of sunshine along the Mediterranean Coast, azure blue seas, glamorous casinos, private banks, hosts to yachts and world class sporting events. Singapore will have these too: tropical weather (sun), Marina Bay side (sea), Sands IR and Resorts World (casinos), private banking centre (SG, Clariden Leu, ING, RBS Coutts), One Degree 15 (marinas), and Youth Olympic Games 2012 (sporting events). With this, I do think that cities who hosts F1 races could be considered one of the premier cities in the world. Something akin to the World Top Cities ranking in Civilization.
The future for Singapore seems clear indeed! I do believe if the political stability and financial regulation remains clear, this island city state could be one of the top places to work, play and live in. Oh, the downside is you need to be really wealthy to enjoy this all…
Singapore F1 Track, from Formula One Official Website. Notice the amazing backdrop and the setting with lush greenery and the bayfront.
Level eye shot along Esplanade Bridge from Wikipedia.
By the way, Ferrari’s Felipe Massa will start at pole position tomorrow with reigning World Champion Kimi Raikonnen on 3rd and Lewis Hamilton in between them at 2nd. Given that city circuits are not the best for overtaking, Felipe could use this chance to get to the top of the podium and lead the racing championship.