On Racing, Entertainment, and Marketing: The Singapore Grand Prix Spectacle


As the sun sets over the Lion City, Marina Bay Street Circuit comes alive. The 5.063-kilometer (3.145-mile) track is bathed in lights, with the sound of Formula One (F1) cars screaming along the circuit that features a mix of fast straights and slow corners.

The smell of exhaust comes on, and the crowd goes wild- cheering and waving flags as their favorite drivers compete for victory. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the Singapore Grand Prix – an unmatched, exhilarating spectacle that has been held annually since 2008, except for 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The said event is uniquely distinguished as the only F1 race held in Asia and the exclusive night race on the F1 calendar.

This year’s exhibition is a can’t-miss event for art lovers, culture enthusiasts, and anyone who loves non-stop race action and entertainment. Taking place on September 15-17, 2023 at the same venue, it will carry the same vibrant atmosphere it held throughout the decades.

Even though the peak of the event is on the last day, you also have the chance to see the Formula 1 drivers’ practice sessions live on the two days before that. Check out the schedule below:

  • September 17, 2023 – Race (20:00)
  • September 16, 2023 – Qualifying (21:00 to 22:00)
  • September 16, 2023 – Practice 3 (17:30 to 18:30)
  • September 15, 2023 –  Practice 2 (21:00 to 22:00)
  • September 15, 2023 – Practice 1 (17:30 to 18:30)

The Marina Bay Circuit: A crash course

The upcoming event marks the 18th round of the 2023 Formula One World Championship. Adjustments have been made to the track layout due to the ongoing redevelopment of The Float at Marina Bay. 

Consequently, the stretch between Turns 16 and 19 won’t be in use this year, shortening the lap time to around 20 seconds. This part of the circuit became famous for Nelson Piquet Jr.’s clever crash in 2008, which helped his teammate Fernando Alonso win the race.

With a reduced track length of 4.928km and 19 turns, drivers are gearing up for a marathon of 63 laps. Organizers have introduced new grandstands to cater to the demand. These included the Sheares Grandstand at Turn 1, the Promenade Grandstand settled between Turns 17 and 18, and the Pit Entry Grandstand at Turn 19.

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The best spots to watch the race

Tickets are now on sale, and they’re selling fast! Whether you’re a seasoned fan or a first-timer, there are a lot of awesome options to choose from. Grandstand seats are recommended if you’re looking for a great view of the track. However, if you want to explore the trackside and see the race from different angles, then a walkabout ticket would be an ideal choice.

If you’re looking for a truly unique experience, you can also consider booking a hospitality suite. These suites offer the best views of the track, as well as a variety of VIP amenities, such as fine dining, open bars, and live entertainment.

There’s a change in the lineup this time around as the Bay Grandstand and Turns 16-19 of the Marina Bay Street Circuit steps out of the scene. If you’re all about keeping it pocket-friendly, our go-to recommendation remains the Premier Walkabout tickets. But if you’re aiming to secure the best spots, here’s what we can suggest:

The Padang Grandstand:

This area offers a bird’s-eye view of the entire racetrack, making it an ideal location to witness all the action and soak up the atmosphere of the race, as it is located in the heart of the city.

Connaught:

This grandstand is located outside the track, giving you a clear view of the cars as they zoom by. It’s also a great choice if you’re looking for an affordable seat. It’s still a win since you get an awesome viewing experience while staying on your budget.

Orange@Empress:

Positioned right at the start/finish line, this location offers an up-close view of the cars as they start and close off the lap. It’s also a nice option if you’re looking for a seat with a bit of shade.

The Marina Bay Street Circuit is divided into four zones, each with its exclusive advantages. The pricier grandstand tickets and Premier Walkabout tickets provide access to all four zones, while other tickets restrict access to just one or two zones. If your budget allows, it’d be best to buy a ticket with access to Zone 1. This zone tends to be less crowded and houses the pits and the Singapore Flyer as well.

Take a closer look at the Marina Bay Street Circuit:

Zone 1: less crowded, home to the pits and the Singapore Flyer

Zone 2: Close to the start/finish line

Zone 3: Good views of the Marina Bay skyline

Zone 4: Home to the Padang Stage concert

Fan events and off-track entertainment

Fans are in for an absolute delight with the chance to meet their favorite drivers during the F1 Drivers’ Meet and Greet Sessions, which will take part on September 15 and 16 at the Zone1 Wharf Stage. Enthusiasts also better mark their calendars for the Formula 1® Drivers’ Parade on September 17, featuring the drivers cruising around the track in classic cars.

Even for non-race enjoyers, Singapore Grand Prix is still a hit; given the entertainment value that transcends beyond the racetrack and the immersion in the Lion City’s culture and vibrant cityscape. 

Experience these enjoyable events that take place during the race season:

Concerts and Parties by the Circuit:

Singapore is known for the concerts that take place after the on-track action each night. No worries, there’s no need to buy extra tickets to see your favorite international musicians –  every ticket provides access to Zone 4 where you can see the performances live.

This year, get ready for fantastic performances from top international artists including Post Malone, Robbie Williams, and 88Rising artists like Jackson Wang, NIKI, Warren Hue, and Rich Brian.

Important note: There are two main stages, one in Zone 1 and one in Zone 4 (Padang Stage). The main Padang stage (Zone 4) will host bigger headline concerts, wrapping up the weekend’s festivities for all three days. The smaller Wharf Stage located in Zone 1, however, will also feature performances by top artists over the weekend.

If you are keen to see a specific performance, make sure your ticket gives you access to the zone where the concert is happening. Find more of these events on the Singapore Grand Prix official website.

There are also a number of parties and events that take place around the Singapore Grand Prix, including the Formula 1 After Party, the Amber Lounge Party, and the Heineken® Nightlife Festival. These parties are a great way for fans to socialize with other fans and celebrate the race.

Live Screenings of International Grand Prix Races:

As the F1 fever builds up weeks before the main event, avid enthusiasts have the opportunity to experience complimentary live broadcasts of overseas races. 
Viewers can immerse themselves in the thrilling moments of the Belgian, Dutch, and Italian Grand Prix events, brought to you live at Suntec City (July 29 and 30), Dempsey (August 26 and 27), and HDB Hub (September 2 and 3). Make sure to visit the website before heading over for the exact schedules at these venues.

Hop in the Singapore GP truck:

Fun fact: Did you know that almost 384,000 people have visited the Singapore GP truck since it hit the city’s streets in 2016? You don’t want to miss out on the fun with race-themed games. Plus, you get the chance to test if you have what it takes to be an F1 racer by participating in the interactive race simulator.
In addition to fun games, merch, and activities, participants can win exclusive Singapore Grand Prix merchandise and watch live Formula One races from Austria, Hungary, Belgium, Netherlands, and Italy at selected locations.

Get the Pit Lane and Behind the Scenes Experience First Hand:

Be one of 4,000 lucky audiences to get the hang of the Pit Lane Experience! This exclusive event gives fans the chance to walk down the pit lane and see the Formula 1 teams up close. The experience takes place on September 14th, a day before the race. The ballot has opened on July 1st, 2023 and fans are encouraged to head down to any Singapore GP Truck live screenings to double their ballot chances. 

Joiners can also sign up for a free guided tour of the F1 Pit Building for 75 minutes. They can walk the grounds, access restricted areas like the garages, race control room, and take pictures at the podium. This behind-the-scenes opportunity, however, is limited to Singaporeans and permanent residents only.

One-stop F1 merch grabs at KrisShop:

Cheer your heart out while wearing your favorite team colors from KrisShop, a one-stop shop for all the F1 racing fandom needs, from  driver tees, jackets, caps, to accessories like backpacks and fountain pens. Enthusiasts can browse their faves at any time and place as they watch out for the shop’s collections.

Inclusivity and Giving Back to the Community:

In the spirit of innovation, the Singapore Grand Prix has teamed up with various organizations to spark the interest of younger generations in motorsports and event management. They have lined up exciting initiatives and harnessed the energy of the youth to offer insights into the city-state’s grandest events.

The Beginners Guide to Singpaore GP

Explore the world of Formula 1 at this 45-minute program with insights on safety measures, and event organization from Singapore GP officials, marshals, and event organizers. Gautham Ramesh, Singapore’s first F1 engineer, will also share his experience working with Williams Racing.

Singapore GP X SGCarMart

In collaboration with SGCarMart, Singapore  GP delivers educational talks in Institutes of Higher Learning. The “Beginners Guide to Formula 1” offers insights into the racing championship and its impact on the automotive industry.

Singapore GP X Republic Polytechnic

Republic Polytechnic students take on the challenge of showcasing their creativity and innovation as they design a digital game for creating a street circuit. As part of their final year project, they incorporate local landmarks and elements to enhance the Circuit Park experience.

Access Singapore

With the partnership with Access Singapore, Singapore GP offers opportunities to disadvantaged students, providing a glimpse into Formula 1’s world and the diverse industries that participate in the organization of the event. Students gain insights into the event’s organization and its stakeholders, fostering opportunities in a less-reached educational landscape.

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Singapore Grand Prix: A worldwide marketing success since 2008

Since its kickoff in 2008, the Singapore Grand Prix has been a roaring success. The masterful blend of motorsport thrill of the heart-pounding races on the Marina Bay circuit, food fests with the alluring cityscape as the backdrop, and star-studded entertainment lineup made the Singapore Grand Prix a favorite among residents and tourists alike.

With strategic partnerships, engaging social media campaigns, and a knack for creating unforgettable customer experiences, the Singapore Grand Prix has transformed into more than just a race – it’s a marketing marvel that keeps fans and sponsors coming back for more, year after year. 

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Here are some of the marketing strategies that propelled the famed racing event into a global success:

Unique selling proposition:

The Singapore Grand Prix is the only night race in Formula One, giving it a unique selling proposition that sets it apart from other races. The night race creates a special atmosphere that gives fans a special experience that can’t be achieved in a day race – cars illuminated by floodlights, the racetrack bathed in a golden glow.

The race takes place against the backdrop of the Singapore skyline, which is lit up in a dazzling display of lights. Now that’s something that fans can’t get anywhere else. In fact, The Singapore Grand Prix had a record attendance of 280,000 in 2022, more than any other F1 race.

Strategic partnerships:

Singapore GP has strategic partnerships with major brands like Singapore Airlines, Heineken, Mercedes Benz, and Zalora, to name a few. These partnerships help to ensure the success of the Singapore Grand Prix. They provide financial support for the event, they help to promote the event to fans, and they offer a variety of services and products to the event attendees.

Engaging social media:

The Singapore Grand Prix has a large and engaged social media following. With over 2 million followers on Facebook and Twitter, the event’s social media team is always coming up with innovative ways to engage fans. Their posts generated over 100 million impressions in 2022.

Exclusive experiences:

The Singapore Grand Prix invests in unforgettable experiences for fans, making sure that every audience gets to have fun on and off track. This includes concerts, parties, and other events that take place around the race weekend. There are also a variety of hospitality packages that allow fans to experience the action up close and personal.

Charity drives and community engagement:

The Singapore Grand Prix is partnering with a number of charities to raise money for local causes. For instance, the event is donating a portion of ticket sales to the Make-A-Wish Foundation Singapore. This foundation grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions.

The Singapore GP is also working with schools and universities to develop educational programs about F1. These programs are designed to teach students about the sport, its history, and its technology.

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The final lap…

From the marketing perspective, the Singapore Grand Prix’s intelligent mix of entertainment, attractions, and hospitality provides a unique experience that transcends the limits of traditional motorsport events. 

The event’s dynamic use of marketing strategies positioned itself as a global phenomenon that not only lures F1 fans but also individuals of various ages and interests to take part in the festivities. 

The Singapore Grand Prix is a great example of how integrated marketing, together with inclusivity, and client-centeredness can be used to achieve event success. The event’s marketing team has done a great job of integrating various channels to ensure consistent messaging and boost the event’s impact. This has resulted in a record number of people attending the event. Certainly, the Singapore Grand Prix will continue to be a major success in the years to come.

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