In 2008 Singapore had the honour of hosting the first night-time event in Formula One history. The inaugural Singapore Grand Prix proved a huge hit, staged on a new street circuit, with the city's famous skyline providing a truly spectacular backdrop.
Using public roads around the Marina Bay area, the circuit utilises powerful lighting systems to replicate daylight conditions and the most stringent safety protocols ensure driver and spectator safety.
It was as if the Singapore Grand Prix was able to decide from the start to get rid of its usual string of accidents and safety car periods, and get down to a kind of racing that the track through the city streets has never seen before.
despite a series of exciting team strategies and overtaking moves on
Sunday, the series’ most grueling and longest race ended again, for the
eighth time out of nine editions, with a victory by the driver who
started on pole, Nico Rosberg.
Ferrari's Seteventually wound up fifth, just 27s back from racewinner Nico Rosberg and 17s away from team mate Kimi Raikkonen - deficits made all the more impressive given the lack of any late safety cars.
"We slowly got into the groove and I enjoyed it a lot," Vettel said of his drive. "At one point I thought we could get very close to the battle for third, but we lost a bit too much in the opening stage of the race, which was expected. We were hoping for a safety car that didn't come, but nevertheless an optimum result."
Having pulled off a string of overtakes to scythe his way through the field, Vettel was also a runaway winner in the fans vote of who starred at the Marina Bay Street Circuit.
"That's nice, thank you very much," he said of being crowned Driver of the Day for the first time. "I think we can be happy - it was tough yesterday, even tougher when you don't get to participate, but the car came alive today on the ultrasoft tyre and we got the best out of it.
"We have a lot of stuff to look at. Mercedes are very strong and for the past three years they've won more or less every race, but we are here to fight - and that's how we'll approach the last few races..."
First Grand Prix - 2008
Number of Laps - 61
Circuit Length - 5.065KM
Race Distance - 308.828KM
Lap Record - 1:47.187 by Daniel Ricciardo (2016)
To take fifth place, just 27.6s off the lead, was simply superb given that Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel started from the back of the field. Around Marina Bay, a circuit notoriously difficult to overtake on, it was a vintage drive - and a timely reminder after a bruising year that he can still get the job done.
Even the four-time champion admits that he was very down after the suspension problem that beset him in Q1 on Saturday evening and left him facing a back-row start. But he got his head down, used his soft starting-tyre choice wisely, stayed out of trouble, and attacked when he had the ultrasoft rubber beneath him for his final two stints.
His reward was not only fifth, but also the accolade of being the fans' Driver of the Day.
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