Singapore GP: Bring back the Singapore Sling
The Singapore Grand Prix has always been one of the most awaited Grand Prix since it's induction in 2008. Apart from being famous for being the first ever night Grand Prix, it is also one of the most challenging street circuits.
With 23 corners it has more corners than any other circuit on the calendar. One of the best and most difficult corners to manoeuvre around used to be turn 10 of the circuit before it got modified in 2013. Turn 10 of the circuit itself could be divided into 3 smaller turns ( 10a, 10b, & 10c ).
Apart from already being treacherously difficult to maneuver a car travelling at around 171 Mph between turn 9 and 10, in 2008 the chicane was armed with raised kerbs which would send the car flying if the driver made a tiny mistake while making the turn. In fact, Felipe Massa described it as “little tortoises that would wreck the car if you get something wrong” . After complaints from various drivers the height of the kerb was reduced.
However, it continued to haunt drivers. In 2008, defending world champion Kimi Raikkonen crashed out late in the race with just 4 laps to go, after losing control at turn 10 and crashing his car into the wall.
In 2010 citing safety reasons Turn 10 was slightly modified to make it gradual flowing left-hander. However, the Singapore Sling continued to claim victims in both 2010 and 2011. In 2010, in FP2, Force India's Adrian Sutil went off the line and kit the kerb due to which his front left suspension was broken Similarly in 2011 Kamui Kobayashi was launched into the air while trying to manoeuvre around the 10th chicane during qualifying.
Further the turn is so narrow that once you hit the kerb you are almost guaranteed to hit the wall. It was in 2013 that it was modified so that it would just be a left-hander turn instead of having the earlier left/right/ left format of turn 10. Many drivers expressed their pleasure at this, stating that it would be much safer to drive now.
The Singapore Sling tested drivers as well Formula 1 Cars manoeuvrability for 5 years and provided a great deal of entertainment. The current season has seen either Mercedes or Ferrari win almost every race. It would be a great challenge to the drivers on the grid to face the Singapore Sling.
Since there is a straight between turn 9 and 10 it would be fascinating to see how they would manage their braking as they would have to considerably reduce their speed. This will also indirectly affect the Pit strategy and Tyre management as the possibility of blistering or tyre damage could increase with the reintroduction of the Singapore Sling The Marina Bay Street Circuit is known for testing the adversity and skill of drivers, more than any other Grand Prix and bringing back the Singapore Sling will only help that.
The new cars are now much faster and much better equipped to deal with the old chicane. It would be a great treat for the fans if the Singapore Sling was reintroduced this year.