I love living in Singapore. There is always something going on. And some of the events are so huge they warrant enormous fireworks at Marina Bay; events like National Day, New Year’s and the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix! You don’t even have to understand the races, or like cars to enjoy the F1 event in Singapore. This year, I discovered the best way to experience it. (Click here to go straight to the video.)
The F1 race in Singapore is the only full-night race of the F1 season. Downtown streets are sectioned off to form the race track. Grandstands and infrastructure spring up for the 250,000+ people who attend the event over 3 nights. The cars thunder around the track with a force that rattles your bones and makes your ears bleed. There are teams and there are drivers, but I don’t know who is who – check out https://www.formula1.com/en.html for those details.
Around the track, there is entertainment that plays during, between and after the races each night. My husband and I bought “walk-around” tickets a few years back. You’ll need earplugs for when the cars are racing. The entertainment is always very good. My music-loving husband bought walk-about tickets a few years running just to enjoy the concerts at the end of each night. His favourite was when Queen played a couple of years ago.
For F1 fans you can buy tickets that give you access to grandstands along some of the racing straights, or tickets at the pits where they change tires so fast that if you blink, you miss it. The more you’re willing to pay, the more you will see.
But this year, 2019, we did something different.
We knew F1 was coming to town – Singapore goes into F1 mode well in advance – but we weren’t planning to attend. Then, a few weeks before the event, we attended a ball that had a charity auction. To cut a long story short, we ended up going halves with friends on the last auction item. The item? A room at the Swissotel Stamford for two nights with views over the F1 track, on F1 weekend, breakfast included. (Valued at SGD $3000 but I’m happy to say we got it for a lot less.)
My friends, this is the best way to experience F1 Singapore!
We had room 3153 on the 31st floor. It was a Harbour View room with a kingsize bed and a narrow outdoor balcony (standing room only) that ran the width of the room. The views to Marina Bay, and beyond, are amazing. It was right over corner 9 of the race track (see the video here) and we could see the Padang (Singapore Cricket Club grounds) where the entertainment is set up. Though we couldn’t see the front of the stage, the noise from both the concert acts and the racetrack are in full force.
We each invited friends to come join us throughout the evening. And we all had a blast. We moved between the air-conditioned room where we cheered our favourite drivers on the TV screen and watched the action at the pits, to viewing the cars and one of the crashes in real life from the balcony.
Our birds-eye view of the race meant we saw lots of the track (not all, but lots – 5 corners and 4 straights in all) and enjoyed the breeze. Most major events in Singapore involve crowds and sweat (tropics – yay), but we avoided both of those!
When the racing finished at about 10 pm each night, the big-name headliner acts began and played till 12 midnight. Though we couldn’t hear the music well since the speakers weren’t facing us, we could see the crowds. Which was just as much fun. With an appropriate ticket, we could have walked out of the hotel lobby and gone straight to the concert if we wanted; lots of others staying at the hotel did exactly that.
When the winner was announced on Sunday night, the fireworks in Marina Bay were spectacular! This is likely the last time I’ll be in Singapore for F1 weekend, and this was definitely my favourite way to enjoy it. There is no way we would have paid regular price for this, but, if you can afford it, I can highly recommend a birds-eye view for the best F1 Singapore experience.