After many previous attempts, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) hosted the first Singapore Grand Prix in 2008 – it was F1’s first night race and Asia’s first street circuit around the Marina Bay streets.
It had and has, what the F1 fans want – action on the track and fun off the track. STB promoted the Singapore Grand Prix hard with a host of fashion shows, parties, and music concerts, and the race had enough action thanks to the street circuit with 23 corners.
#1 2008: The inaugural race, a race no one would forget for wrong reasons
Fernando Alonso wasn’t even an outsider to win the race in F1’s inaugural night race when his qualifying run was ruined by a fuel feed problem and started 15th on the grid.
Massa, the pole-sitter, had a good start and looked to have the race under his control. Alonso pitted as early as the 12th lap, having started light on fuel, to emerge last – an astonishing 85 seconds behind the lead car. A couple of laps later, the infamous Piquet Jr crash unfolded.
Ferrari sent out Massa’s car with fuel hose and was released unsafely. The time taken to remove the fuel hose and drive-through penalty for unsafe release mean Massa scored no points, denting his driver's championship hopes.
When the safety car period ended, the top six were Nico Rosberg, Jarno Trulli, Giancarlo Fisichella, Robert Kubica, Alonso, and Mark Webber. Kubica and Nico had drive-through penalties for diving into pit stops before the pits were officially opened for servicing the cars (remember those the days, when race control had to give clearance to open the pits after safety car deployment?).
Alonso pitted on lap 41, having created enough advantage, and helped by traffic (Hamilton) or car failures (Webber suffered gear issues; Trulli hydraulic issues), he stormed to an infamous victory at the inaugural edition of Singapore Grand Prix.
Till date, Massa believes he was short-changed by FIA (referring to Piquet Jr crash and how FIA didn't annul the final race classification.