Singapore to use electronic flag displays

As well as making history as Formula One racing’s first-ever night race, the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix will also mark the introduction of electronic flag displays to the sport. The new technology, developed by lighting consultants Valerio Maioli S.p.A for the Singapore event, will be used in conjunction with the traditional flag signals waved by marshals.

The innovative system, which meets the FIA’s stringent requirements, is the result of more than a decade of development at the Barcelona, Imola and Monza racing circuits. Similar to units used to guide pilots at the runways of major airports, these ‘DigiFlags’ will convey the different flag colours in a more visible way during the night race.

Thirty five display panels will be situated around the Singapore track, each controlled by handheld panels operated by officials at each marshals’ post. In addition to improved visibility, the new system will also provide the race director with an overview of every flag display around the circuit, thereby ensuring the more efficient communication of warnings.

With less than six months to go before the inaugural Singapore event takes place on September 28, the race organisers have been hard work preparing the new street circuit. A week-long demonstration of the lighting system was held from March 29, with a 64-metre stretch lit up with 16 projectors, ahead of its complete installation in August.