Skip to main content

The lights that led Lewis Hamilton to victory at the Singapore Grand Prix

For those of you who tuned in to the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix yesterday, you would have undoubtedly been delighted to see Lewis Hamilton storming to a first place finish and leapfrogging teammate and arch-rival Nico Rosberg in the drivers' Championship standings.

Read more: German Grand Prix sees Ferrari beat Mercedes (online) (opens in new tab)

What you may not have noticed, however, was the flag signal system that was in place. Singapore made history back in 2008 by becoming Formula One's first-ever night race and with this came the obvious issue of how the drivers would see the flags traditionally used by marshals to communicate with the drivers.

To solve this, the race organisers incorporated electronic flag displays similar to those used to guide pilots at major airports, which supplemented the manual flag-waving of the marshals.

The system was developed by lighting consultant firm Valerio Maioli Spa and went through vigorous testing at the Barcelona, Imola and Monza racing circuits before meeting the FIA's stringent requirements.

Read more: Why the Premier League is stuck in the Stone Age (opens in new tab)

A total of 35 displays were placed around the track, each controlled by a hand-held panel and connected to a central monitor that provides the race director with an overview of the warnings being displayed around the circuit.

The displays have so far proven to be a great success and, along with an abundance of floodlights and projectors, have helped to turn the Marina Bay Street Circuit into a truly spectacular venue.

Sam is Head of Content at Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, and has more than six years' experience as a reporter and content writer, having held the positions of Production Editor, Staff Writer, and Senior Business Writer at ITProPortal.