On F1 2013, engines and local motorsports

On F1 2013, engines and local motorsports

OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
13 Mar 2013

You might wonder, what’s all that hype about engines? For discerning petrolheads, the roar from the exhausts gives rise to our adrenalin rush. Some say it sounds even better than a chart-topping hit performed by a pop diva. When I first started watching F1 in 1999, I was fascinated by the high-pitched shrieks characteristic of the 3-litre V10 engines back then. Unfortunately, at the time of the inaugural Singapore Grand Prix in 2008, the teams had already made the switch to the V8s (which are still good sounding, albeit in a different way). Therefore, we never really had the chance to hear the V10s ‘live’ at the Marina Bay Street Circuit. But I am telling you this: if you want to catch the vocals of the 22-strong choir of V8s for the final time, grab yourself a ticket for this year’s race. As much as the manufacturers will try their best to make the new V6s sweet-sounding, the loss of two cylinders will no doubt alter the engine note somewhat.

2013 also marks the sixth iteration of the Singapore Grand Prix. The local motorsports culture has made some headway since we first welcomed F1 to our shores, however, the lack of a permanent motorsports facility till this day is something which enthusiasts (including myself) lament. We were supposed to have the Changi Motorsports Hub up and running, but the plans have stalled since the consortium behind the project ran into financial difficulties. Regrettably, efforts to revive the grand scheme were half-hearted, leaving petrolheads here without a dedicated venue to satisfy their need for speed safely. It’s been years since we last had carpark rallies near the old National Stadium in Kallang. Surely, traffic-light grands prix is a poor and dangerous substitute for a permanent drag strip. If there is any consolation, it will come in the form of recent news about a temporary karting track being planned at the Changi site.

It’s not all about the noise though. Motorists enjoy many benefits from the world of F1 too. The fuels we use are tested in these mean machines (not to mention that we get a free upgrade to V-power from 98-octane petrol as offered at Shell kiosks during race weekends). As teams and manufacturers push the frontiers in the sport defined by cutting-edge technology, we see bits of their know-how being applied to our road cars (think components such as tyres, wheels and brakes).

So while we watch Vettel and company wrestle for the championship, let us not forget how Formula One has contributed to our local motorsports arena, as well as to the car industry and motorists in general. By the way, it has also unearthed the potential of some of our taxi drivers who are inspired by their idols on the grid – how often have we heard others making references such as “he drives like an F1 driver”? Granted, I do not endorse such antics that endanger the lives of others on the roads. Drive safely, everyone!


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