Overtaking in Formula 1 is infamously difficult and passing anywhere around Singapore’s Marina Bay Street Circuit is a challenging task in the best of times.
Because of the dirty air effect, following another car close enough to pick up the tow is problematic, as you’ll chew your rear tyres up if you push too hard.
However, there are several spots around the 5-kilometre-long circuit where passing is a very real possibility for the brave of heart. This is partly thanks to the high levels of downforce you’re required to run around the track.
Here are the five most likely locations to overtake in Marina Bay!
READ MORE: All F1 2019 setup guides
1 – Sheares
The first corner on the circuit is also the first overtaking opportunity around Marina Bay. Shears begins the lap and also starts the Turns 1-3 complex, which is effectively a left-right-left slalom. Turn 1 is at the end of a DRS zone, and is a good opportunity to get past your opponent if you follow closely through the last two turns.
To pass here you need to be on the inside, and if the car ahead blocks this path, it’s very difficult to get around the outside, as you tend to cut the corner if you can’t hit the inside apex.
How to master the corner: Get as far to the right as possible for the best line through Turn 1, running your front-right over the yellow concrete on the outside if you can manage it. Brake just before the 50m board down into fourth gear and swing the steering fully left. Bounce your front-left wheel over the edge of the inside kerb of Shears and get back on the throttle towards Turn 2.
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2 – Memorial Corner
The best overtaking spot on the circuit is unsurprisingly the corner which follows its longest straight. You’ve got a good opportunity to get alongside your opponent, whether it’s down the inside or around the outside, as both sides are chances to pass.
Of course, the inside the best line for passing, as you can push your opponent wide, but it does mean that you require a tighter line to get round the corner. As you’ll read shortly, the following Turn is also a passing opportunity, so be wary of your rival hanging it around the outside.
How to master the corner: This corner sees the car travelling at 190 mph (302 kph) into the braking zone, where you need to decelerate down to fourth gear beginning at 75m. Cut over the inside kerbing to avoid having to use the outside kerbs, it’s not as harsh at the one at Turn 5. Running wide isn’t a good idea, as the kerbs out there are harsh.
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3 – Stamford
If you don’t get the move completed into Memorial Corner, you can usually do so in Stamford. Your opponent will usually defend down the inside into Turn 7, so if that happens, Turn 8 could be your best shot at a pass.
Although the straight between 7 and 8 is short, the tighter inside line is far slower than the wide one, meaning you get alongside into T8, even if you’re pushed wide and onto the run-off. Turn 8 is extremely tight, though, and if you’re not alongside, a lunge is very ill-advised, as you’ll usually lose your front wing.
How to master the corner: Turn 8 follows quickly after 7, so swing back to the left quickly after rounding T7. Brake at 75m again and down to second gear for Stamford. Clump the car over the inside kerb and fade back to the right for Padang.
READ MORE: F1 2019 Singapore GP Race Setup Guide
4 – Singapore Sling
Gone are the days of the worst kerbs in the sport used to flank this corner, but now it’s a fast left-hander, very similar to Padang. If you’ve very brave, this can be an overtaking spot, but you have to be fully alongside the inside of your rival.
The straight before this corner is longer than that before Stamford, but it is very hard to follow closely through Padang. If you do have a run, though, be sure to go to the inside, that’s the only way to get through, and if you’re not on that line going into Turn 10, you won’t be getting past.
How to master the corner: Brake at the 50m board down to fourth gear and clatter the inside kerbing to round this corner. Be sure to get on the power again quickly, traction is good out of here.
READ MORE: F1 2019 Singapore GP Track Guide
5 – Connaught
Surprisingly, the straight before Connaught doesn’t have a DRS zone, but this corner is still one of the best passing spots on the circuit.
Turn 13 is almost like a hairpin, but the slow run out of there plays havoc with the rear tyres of cars that are struggling for grip. That coupled with the two lines available to cars makes Connaught arguably the best spot on the track to pass.
The inside line is preferable, as it sets you up better for Turns 15 and 16 if the battle continues, but a pass around the outside is always on, as the corner is wide on exit. If you go for the inside, beware of the kerbs, as they can spit you out into your rival’s pass and cause an accident.
How to master the corner: Brake just after the 100m board down to second gear and completely avoid the inside kerbing, it’ll unsettle the car. You can run the car out wide on exit, but not onto the red and white kerbing, grip is hard to find there. If you’re trying to pass, it’s probably best to go for the inside, as it’s also the inside for Turn 15.
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