THE FORMULA 1 Singapore Grand Prix that made its debut in 2008 at the Marina Bay Street Circuit was not the first time that the streets of the Lion City hosted motor racing.
The first event was in 1961 at Upper Thomson Road, 22km north of the city, and it was held until 1973.
There is a distinct difference between the two racing eras. The earlier one was a mixed Formula or Formula Libre and the 4.8km course for the most part weaved its way along forested areas. It was also a national club event, not a world championship, and included motorbike races.
But the F1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix, which is into its eighth edition, is an FIA world championship and the 5.065km street circuit is in the heart of the city.
Another interesting fact is that the first race at Upper Thomson Road ran as the Singapore Grand Prix and from 1962 to 1965 as the Malaysia (not Malaysian) Grand Prix. The change in name came about as Singapore prepared to merge with Malaysia in 1962.
After the union between the two countries ended in 1965, it reverted back to the Singapore Grand Prix the following year until the last race in 1973.
Winners of the Singapore Grand Prix for cars through the years:
1961 Ian Barnwell (GBR), Aston Martin DB3S — 3:04:10.1
1962 Yong Nam Kee (SIN), Lotus — 2:49:22.5
1963 Albert Poon (HKG), Lotus 23 — 2:37:46.0
1964 Race cancelled during Confrontation with Indonesia
1965 Albert Poon (HKG), Lotus 23 — 2:30:47.4
1966 Lee Han Seng (SIN), Lotus 22 — 2:29:41.8
1967 Rodney Seow (SIN), Merlyn F2 — 2:19:44.2
1968 Garrie Cooper (Aus), Elfin-Ford — 2:15:29.6
1969 Graeme Lawrence (NZL), McLaren-F2 — 2:09:16.9
1970 Graeme Lawrence (NZL), Ferrari V6 — 1:18:42.6
1971 Graeme Lawrence (NZL), Brabham BT30 — 1:22:58.1
1972 Max Stewart (AUS), Mildren-Waggott — 1:43:29.1
1973 Vern Schuppan (AUS), March 722 — 1:38:58.3
FORMULA 1— 61 laps, except in 2012 (59 laps) and 2014 (60 laps)
2008 Fernando Alonso (SPA), Renault — 1:57:16.304
2009 Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren-Mercedes — 1:56:06.337
2010 Fernando Alonso (SPA), Ferrari — 1:57:53.579
2011 Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull-Renault — 1:59:04.757
2012 Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull-Renault — 2:00:26.144
2013 Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull-Renault — 1:59:13.132
2014 Lewis Hamilton (GBR), Mercedes — 2:00:04.795