Though the Singapore Grand Prix is known as being the first night race on the F1 schedule, a strange aspect of the track necessitates that teams make modifications to their cars that are specific to Singapore in order to avoid them breaking down in the middle of a race.
In addition to being one of the season’s biggest emotionally and physically challenging races, the Singapore Grand Prix has an additional oddity that teams must plan for.
The teams have had to equip customised versions of sensors to their cars ever since the first Formula 1 night race occurred in 2008 in order to counteract the danger of magnetic interference.
This is so that the racetrack between Turns 13 and 14 may include the Esplanade Bridge. The concrete used on the bridge is anchored by steel beams that are magnetised.
It was necessary for teams to swap out a multiple sensors with special models that are less susceptible to interference because these magnetic fields are powerful enough to interfere with some sensors on the cars.
Teams now routinely prepare for Singapore by installing magnetic shields on the gear shift valves because the problem has historically caused cars to stop on the track, especially in the first years of competition in Singapore.
Did nearby railway static cause Webber’s retirement in 2008?
On his way to a podium finish in 2008, Mark Webber was required to withdraw from the race after the team detected a gearbox issue.
Although gearbox problem was given as the apparent cause, Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner claimed that the problem was actually caused by a neighbouring tram line in the city-Mass state’s Rapid Transit system that was creating static electricity.
Although the railway operator later refuted these reports just after race, it was claimed that this static was causing the gearbox to simultaneously select two gears.
“There is no MRT track beneath Turn 13,” an SMRT spokesman told local media.
“The nearest MRT tunnel is about 200 metres away, with a depth of about ten metres.
“In addition, train wheels and running rails are made of metal and therefore do not generate static electricity charges during train operations.”
F1, F1 2022, FIA, Formula 1, Grand Prix, Marina Bay, Singapore GP