Much like its cocktail namesake, the famed ‘Singapore Sling’ chicane (Turn Ten) was notoriously difficult to handle and packed quite a punch.
Already one of the toughest races on the F1 calendar, the Singapore GP has deservedly earned its fearsome reputation with fourteen safety car deployments in the previous six editions.
Most of deployments stem from the infamous Turn Ten (affectionately known as the ‘Singapore Sling’ chicane), a triple-apex corner armed with raised kerbs described by F1 driver Felipe Massa as “little tortoises that would wreck the car if you get something wrong” at the inaugural 2008 race.
Massa wasn’t the only one to register his concern, and as such, the kerbs were lowered over the course of the race weekend.
But that didn’t stop the ‘Singapore Sling’ from claiming its victims. Drivers Sebastian Vettel, Adrian Sutil, Kamui Kobayashi and Kimi Raikkonen have all learnt first-hand about the Sling’s ability to inflict brutal suspension and tub damage. Worst-case scenario; prepare to hug the outside wall and a ride in the safety car of shame.
In 2010, due to safety issues, the Sling chicane was modified to make it gradual flowing left-hander. But instead, the resulting smaller corner entry point actually made it deadly causing world champion Lewis Hamilton to proclaim it as “the worst corner in F1”.
The ‘Singapore Sling’ was living on borrowed time.
Finally, the ‘Singapore Sling’ chicane was removed and replaced with a single-apex left-hand turn in 2013. This increased the corner entry speed by 40km/h and resulted in faster lap times.
While the change was universally lauded for its safety benefits, some of the F1 drivers still had a special place in their heart for the Sling. In particular, Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo made his feelings for the Sling known: “I am a racer so going so close to the walls, especially after the white bridge (Anderson Bridge), gives me goosebumps.”
Though it is sad to see the ‘Singapore Sling’ chicane gone, there are still 22 corners left in the Marina Bay Street Circuit for the drivers to test their mettle this F1 Singapore GP weekend.