From 16-18 September 2016, watch as Singapore's cityscape gets transformed into an adrenaline-charged motoring area where some of the world's best F1 drivers gather for the annual Singapore Grand Prix night race. With an impressive line-up of international acts and thousands of visitors coming in to the Lion City for this busy weekend, here are five tips to help you get up to speed so you can experience the buzz of the Singapore Grand Prix like a true local:
1. Leave Driving to the F1 Drivers
With so many scheduled road closures, it is best to leave the driving all weekend to the F1 drivers instead. Thanks to a fairly comprehensive MRT system in Singapore, you can get around places pretty easily and quickly by getting on and off at the right stations. Alight at City Hall (red line) or Promenade (blue and yellow line) and walk directly to the Circuit Park. For us locals, the F1 weekend presents an opportunity for a staycation in the city to be closer to the action. Check-in to the Holiday Inn Express Singapore Orchard Road or the Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard City Centre so you can spend the afternoon at your favourite cafe spots or out shopping before catching the race in the evening.
2. Fuel Up before Entering the Circuit Park
If you do not want to pay a premium for food and beverages within the Circuit Park, be sure to fuel up before the race. The Makansutra by the Bay as well as Satay by the Bay are all located close by to the waterfront - they are also popular hawker spots so be sure to get in early to find a table.
3. 'Chope' the best Vantage Spots
Nothing reveals more about your nationality than the iconic 'choping' of seats (well, Singlish comes close too). Be one step ahead of everyone and arrive at least an hour before everyone to 'chope' (or reserve) the best spots by a major turn to get the best view of the action. Make sure you take note of the exit points on your way so you can find your way out quickly the moment the race ends. If you want to avoid the crowd entirely, you can also enjoy an impressive aerial view of the circuit and the dazzling display of fireworks from one of the city’s sky high bars such as LeVel33 at Marina Bay Financial Centre or 1-Altitude, the world’s highest al fresco bar on the roof of One Raffles Place.
4. Stay Hydrated
When preparing for the race, F1® drivers condition their bodies to endure extreme gravitational forces and other physical demands. With Singapore’s tropical climate and high humidity, they also drink up to eight litres of water during each race to stay hydrated especially as temperatures heat up in the cockpit.
5. Go Beyond the Circuit
The Singapore Grand Prix is just one of the many exciting activities taking place in Singapore in September, so take the opportunity to soak in the local culture during your downtime. Happening a day before the Singapore Grand Prix, on September 15th, is the annual Mid-Autumn Festival. Indulge in a variety of Mooncake (baked sweet lotus seed or red bean paste pastries) with tea while admiring the vibrant lantern processions in Chinatown and along Clarke Quay. Hotels close to Clarke Quay such as Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium and Holiday Inn Express Singapore Clarke Quay offer guests convenient access to the festivities.