Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The F1 Pit Building


It's great that Singapore is the first country in the world to host the World's First Night Race. Every September since 2008, an interesting event will be taking place in Singapore known as The Singtel Singapore Grand Prix otherwise known as the F1 Night Race. The night race is an event where racing enthusiasts come together to witness and cheer for their favourite racing teams. It's also one of the biggest races in the world.


In today's article, I'm going to give you a tour of the F1 Pit Building. The building is where the drivers park their race cars, where the VIP ticket holders get to enjoy watching the race in comfortable rooms and where Pit Grandstand ticket holders get to watch the racing teams and drivers change tires and fuel. Right now, the building's empty and quiet so I decided to have an up close and personal look of the building itself.




The F1 Pit Building is right next to the Singapore Flyer building (more info here) and it's along the Marina Promenade Park. At the Marina Promenade, you can see the beautiful observatories and gardens at Gardens By The Bay which is Singapore's newest botanic gardens that's going to open on the 29th of June. Right next to it is the Benjamin Sheares bridge which is part of the East Coast Park Expressway that connects eastern residents to the city and also to the right of the bridge is the iconic Marina Bay Sands integrated resorts.


Right next to the Marina Promenade's jogging path, is the road where F1 race cars zoom past. When I was walking along it, it feels just like a regular road. However, the road is off limits to public cars and vehicles. Although there were a few cases where there were events happening here and shuttle buses were allowed to enter the F1 race track. During non-F1 seasons, this road is great for jogging, walking and also running otherwise you can use the actual jogging track which has a great view of the Marina Reservoir.




As you walk further, you can see the 'humps' where the F1 race cars will make a turn. What's even more cool is that you can see the tire marks of the race cars. As you can see from the photos, you can see the corporate sponsor of Singapore's F1 Night Race which is Singtel on the humps. Other major sponsors' logos are found on other humps.



After the humps, I saw these grandstand seats being set up and also some large events tents being set up as I was walking to the F1 Pit Building. At first I was thinking that maybe they are setting up the F1 race track but I didn't really think so as it was still too early. After a while, I was thinking that maybe it's just going to be another event happening at the F1 Pit Building. The place is also used as an events area. Past events include the Affordable Art Fair, OCBC Cycle Singapore and Savour Festival all happening right here at the F1 Pit Building. After doing some research online, another event was also going to take place which was the NS 45 event where the Singapore Armed Forces will celebrate the 45th anniversary of Singapore's National Service. 



This is how the F1 Pit Building looks like when it's all quiet before the F1 season. I like the design of the F1 Pit Building with its simple, clean and modern architecture. You can see the locked garages, the VIP rooms and the names of the team members of each racing team.



From the picture above, you can see the starting points. It's where the F1 race car drivers wait before they start the race. Once it's time for them to start the race, the race cars will start zooming past the Pit Building and Pit Grandstand and go through the whole Marina Bay Street Circuit. On the left of the starting point, are the garages and the Pit stops. The pit stop is where the race car drivers will stop while the team members change the fuel and the tires. They have to do it quickly and if you see them in action on TV, you can see that they do it in seconds flat. It's no wonder the spectators pay a premium to get a seat here because all the action takes place here at the Pit Building. You can actually see the tire marks at the Pit Stops too.




Here you can see the garages of the Pit Building. It's where the team members do their work and it's also where the F1 race cars park their cars. And if you're wondering if the cars are actually parked inside the garages right now, I really don't think so. Plus, you can't really see anything through those tiny windows. Again, it's still cool passing by the building and seeing the names of the racers above the garage doors.



There's also something weird that I noticed while walking past the garages. At one of the pit stops, I noticed these three flags which are almost torn off and stained with tire marks on the floor. It seems that these flags can only be found at one of the pit stops and it's not found in all of it. It's very very strange. Anyway, each pit stop will have a small hole and a sticker with the words 'Front Axle'. Something tells me that when a race car stops by the pit stop, the driver has to make sure that the front axle of the wheel reaches the hole or something like that so that the crew can change the tires. Inside the hole, I could actually see some oil.



And that's the end of Singapore's F1 Pit Building. Again, the building's architecture is unique and I just love the dark green colours of the exterior. Below is the picture of the back of the Pit Building and you can see the corridors and doors to access the VIP rooms. Some events also take place inside the Pit Building itself other than the open space in front of it.

Overall, the F1 Pit Building is a nice place to check out if you're an F1 fanatic. It's also a great place for joggers and runners to do some jogging and running. There are great views of the sea and also the Marina Resevoir. You can also drive along the Pit Building to experience racing like an F1 driver but I'm not 100% sure if you're allowed to. I've seen several videos of drivers driving along the race tracks at the F1 Pit Building and I'm not entirely sure if you're allowed to so just be cautious about it. The best time to visit the F1 Pit Building is during the F1 season and whenever there's an event happening here.

Getting Here
 
Bus services available: 1N, 2N, 3N, 4N, 5N, 6N, 56, 75, 77, 97, 97E, 171, 195, 960, 961C (Bus stop along Raffles Avenue before Temasek Avenue) (BOARDING ONLY)

Bus services available: 36, 70M, 97, 97E, 106, 111, 133, 133M, 162M, 502, 502A, 518, 518A, 700A, 857 (Bus stop along Temasek Avenue opp. The Ritz Carlton) (BOARDING AND ALIGHTING)

Nearest MRT Station: CC4 Promenade MRT Station (Circle Line)

Website: http://www.singaporegp.sg/


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