Philips has announced its lighting projectors have been selected by Valerio Maioli, the Italian consultant company appointed by Singapore GP, to light up the first ever Formula One night race on 28 September 2008 in Singapore.
The go-ahead was given to Singapore to stage the first night race after the International Automobile Federation (FIA) agreed that Valerio Maioli's design satisfied strict criteria concerning safety.
Philips contributed to this project by working with Valerio Maioli to develop a dedicated reflector for the system. The projectors were selected by Maioli because its lighting achieves near-daylight conditions at night, providing a safe environment for drivers on the race track, even at speeds of more than 300km per hour. The lighting system, developed by Valerio Maioli engineers, avoids glare by projecting the light beams at different angles rather than vertically. This is to prevent glare in wet weather conditions.
As well as providing safe driving conditions for drivers, Philips Lighting projectors are designed to provide an exciting experience for race attendees and television viewers at home by meeting High Definition Television (HDTV) broadcast standards.
Championing night racing, Formula One Chief Executive Officer, Bernie Ecclestone, commissioned Valerio Maioli to develop a lighting system for Formula On races in March 2007. After a series of tests throughout Europe, involving Formula One professionals such as Renault test driver Nelson Piquet Jr, Maioli submitted his project to the FIA Safety Commission.
Commenting on the project, Maioli said: "In order to get approval for the night races from the FIA, it was essential the solution presented met very strict safety requirements, as well as delivering the best experience for drivers, spectators and broadcasters. Philips' heritage in the sporting arena made it a natural choice"
Rudy Provoost, CEO of Philips Lighting, said: "Many dream of being a racing car driver and we are pleased to be involved in developing innovative lighting solutions that enhance people's enjoyment of this thrilling sport. We are delighted to support Valerio Maioli in staging the first Formula One night race with our lighting solution, which not only raises the sport's visibility but also makes it safer and even more exciting."
The Marina Bay Street Circuit in Singapore is fitted with nearly 1,500 lighting projectors, illuminating the 5.067km track with light that is four times brighter than a football stadium at night. Because the track is a street circuit, the lighting system is temporary. The heights of the lights will vary to accommodate the trees lining the road. The lights are also set deliberately lower than the canopy, and will not interfere with underground public services such as water and gas pipes, and electricity cables.