A four-corner stretch of Singapore’s Marina Bay circuit could be altered for future races due to planned construction work in the city.according to The Straits Times.
The current circuit turns right off Raffles Avenue at turn 16, loops around and under the grandstand, then rejoins the road at turn 19. The area could be bypassed while the construction work goes on, directing cars straight to the current turn 20, potentially reducing the track layout from 23 turns to 19.
This would bypass turn 17, which became notorious the ‘Crashgate’ scandal during the circuit’s inaugural race.
Renault driver Nelson Piquet Jnr deliberately crashed at the corner during the race in order to trigger a Safety Car period which would put his team mate Fernando Alonso in the lead. Alonso went on to win, but the true circumstances of his victory were only uncovered the following year.
The truth of the matter came to light 10 years ago today. Renault, facing an FIA World Motor Sport Council hearing on the controversy, confirmed it would not contest the charges and that managing director Flavio Briatore and executive director of engineering Pat Symonds had left the team.
Although the scandal rocked the sporting world at the time, the development came as little surprise to Renault’s rival teams according to then-Brawn GP CEO Nick Fry in his forthcoming book, ‘Drive. Survive. Win.’ Fry said “most of us involved in the sport suspected something odd had happened’ after the combination of an unexpectedly early pit stop for Alonso and Piquet’s timely crash handed Renault its first win for almost two years.
“An incident like that – a crash out of nowhere in isolation on the track – doesn’t happen fortuitously,” Fry added. “There was a general feeling in the pit lane that night it was all a bit too coincidental.”
Current Singapore Grand Prix track layout
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