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Some of the most innovative vehicles in F1 history

Ferrari Formula One pit crew practise changing tyres in the pit ahead of the Singapore F1 Grand Prix Night Race in Singapore.

Often known as the technological pinnacle of racing, Formula 1 began in 1946 with the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile’s (FIA) rule standardisation.

This single-seater category was initially defined by the engine capacity of the cars. The various eras of Formula 1 are influenced by this and changes in aerodynamics.

Engineers often scrutinised the rulebooks to find loopholes to gain an advantage.

The cars featured here are among some of the more interesting engineering innovations that the F1 world has come across.

MARCH 711 (1971)​

Nicknamed the Spitfire and the tea tray, the awkward-looking contraption raised eyebrows on track.

The potential advantages of having a front wing to generate downforce was a relatively new concept.

Instead of having small winglets to guide the air around the car, engineer

Frank Costin used a full wing design and made an aerodynamically streamlined body.

Driver Ronnie Peterson emerged runner-up in the Driver’s Championship in 1971 with this car.


One of the more experimental and bizarre creations was the Tyrrell P34 six-wheel car. Four 25.4cm wheels increased the front-end mechanical grip with more contact with the road. The front nose almost covered the front tyres, creating a more streamlined shape and enhancing its aerodynamics.

Cut-outs in the car body, known as portholes, allowed drivers to observe locking of the wheels and to monitor tyre wear.

The P34 got a 1-2 finish in the Swedish Grand Prix.


The front wheel design had more grip, allowing the car to tackle corners with more stability.


The current crop of F1 cars had its most recent regulation change in 2014 and the cars run on V6 turbocharged 1.6 litre engines. It is the first time that turbocharged engines have returned since 1988.

The engine output is also supplemented by an Energy Recovery System.

There are two main components: The MGU-K (Motor Generator Unit-Kinetic) which harvests energy under brake and the MGU-H (Motor Generator Unit-Heat) which harvests energy which is expelled from the exhaust pipe.

The current cars produce around 900 brake horsepower.



BRABHAM BT46A (1978)

Known as the fan car, the BT46 first appeared in Formula One during the 1978 Swedish Grand Prix.

Brabham’s designer Gordon Murray strapped a giant fan onto the car. Air from the bottom of the chassis channeled via sideskirts allowed the car to generate enormous suction forces to keep it glued to the track.

Driver Niki Lauda noted that he had to keep his foot on the throttle during corners to keep it grounded.

The performance advantage and clever circumvention of the rules caused unhappiness among other teams. The car was pronounced illegal after its first outing.


Air is channelled below the chassis and exits via the fan, creating a strong suction force that keeps the car grounded.

Other Oddities

EIFELLAND FORD (above, left)

Team owner Guenther Hennerici had a company that made caravans and decided to enter F1 in 1972. The car was designed by Luigi Colani, who had no prior experience developing single-seater racecars, and the result was a car that looked fast but had problems with reliability and overheating.

LIGER JS-5 (above, centre)

The Liger team entered F1 in 1976, a year which featured air boxes that boosted engine power. The engineering solution that Liger developed was extreme on aesthetics and was dubbed the Flying Teapot. Despite its appearance, it was able to claim second place.

ARROWS A22 (above, right)

In an attempt to generate more down force, the designers at Arrows mounted a front wing contraption to claw back grip. But the design was deemed a safety hazard and was banned.

John Lam was no 'inside man'

He was found by the court to be the inside man to smooth the way for the multi-million dollar misdeeds.

But former investment committee member John Lam was nothing more than a volunteer of a church who barely knew anything, said his lawyer, Senior Counsel Kenneth Tan, yesterday.

Lam, 48, who was convicted of three charges for conspiring to commit criminal breach of trust and sentenced to three years' jail, was the first to have his appeal heard yesterday.

Mr Tan argued that Lam did not know the funds from the Xtron and Firna bonds were controlled by City Harvest Church (CHC) founder Kong Hee and that the bond's repayment was controlled by Kong and three of the other co-accused.

"If he was really an inside man he would surely have been copied in many more (e-mails) and must know the plot," said Mr Tan.

In 2007, Lam, who was then chairing the investment committee, disclosed the full facts and nature of the Xtron bonds to his committee - something "no inside man" would do, added Mr Tan.

Mr Tan also said that his client was only asked to help out whenever it came to accounting issues of impairment.

Referring to Lam's sentence of three years - the second lowest of the six - Mr Tan said it clearly reflected his client's limited involvement.

"His involvement is so little, you shouldn't give him a consolation prize of three years' jail. He should be discharged," he said.

CHC leaders loved their church, did everything in good faith, says lawyer

IN COURT: Kong Hee and his wife Ho Yeow Sun, who is also known as Sun Ho.

They were a bunch of leaders who loved their church and had done everything in good faith.

So much so that they put their hands into wherever their money was going into to keep it safe, said Senior Counsel Edwin Tong, who is representing City Harvest Church (CHC) founder Kong Hee, yesterday.

Kong, 52, and five other church leaders were back in the courts yesterday as they began their appeal against their convictions and sentences for misappropriating more than $50 million of church funds.

First, $24 million was misused to fund the music career of Kong's wife, Ms Ho Yeow Sun, via two "shell companies". Another $26.6 million was later used to cover up that amount.

The six were jailed for between 21 months and eight years in November.

The prosecution also lodged appeals - calling the sentences "manifestly inadequate" - for the case involving the largest amount of charity funds ever misappropriated here.

Yesterday, Mr Tong - on behalf of Kong, who was found guilty of three charges for conspiracy to commit criminal breach of trust and sentenced to eight years' jail - presented his case to a three-judge panel.

Mr Tong said the CHC founder had been so meticulous and careful with the budgeting for his wife's English album that he even rectified mistakes made by American producer Justin Herz in the projections.

He said this was even noted by State Courts Presiding Judge See Kee Oon in his judgment last year.

"How does that sit with someone who is dishonest?" asked Mr Tong.

He said that Kong acted as a guardian of the church funds.

Mr Tong also submitted that the six leaders had regularly consulted lawyers and auditors to ensure their dealings were above board.

For example, they often consulted auditor Foong Daw Ching about the bond investments into music production company Xtron and glass-maker Firna - which the prosecution labelled as sham investments to channel money to Ms Ho's singing career.

Said Mr Tong: "(Would the) conduct of dishonest persons be to go back to the one person who could pick out problems?

"Which dishonest person... (would) go back for a second time to an auditor to ask if bonds are above board?"

Yesterday's session was heard before Judge of Appeal Chao Hick Tin and Justices Woo Bih Li and Chan Seng Onn. Ms Ho was in the public gallery. The session continues today.

Who can run for President?

Steps in determining a presidential candidate's competency and expertise are scrutinised

It seems only sensible to require a presidential candidate to have the technical competence and expertise to discharge his custodial powers, said the Constitutional Commission in its report.

While agreeing in principle, the Government has decided to adopt a more cautious approach to some of the Commission's suggestions.


Now: Under the automatic track, a candidate in public office must have held office for at least three years as Minister, Chief Justice, Speaker, Attorney-General, Accountant-General or Permanent Secretary

Commission: The offices of Attorney-General and Accountant-General should be removed from the list as they play ancillary and comparatively narrower roles than the other offices listed.

Government: Retain the two offices for now. The Commission's observations raise valid points, but the Government would like to study this and reconsider in the future.


Now: Candidates in both public and private sectors must have served in the qualifying offices for at least three years.

Commission: The duration should be doubled to six years as it takes time to acquire and hone the requisite skills. The length of time one spends in an office can also be an indirect indication of that person's success in discharging the responsibilities of that office.

Government: Retain the qualifying tenure of three years. While it is important that candidates spend adequate time in a qualifying office, it is ultimately a question of balance as to how the precise minimum duration of office is set.

Since it will remain at three years, the applicant can aggregate a maximum of two terms of office, where offices are held within the same sector and each with a period of at least a year.


Now: No provision to ensure relevance of a candidate's qualifying experience.

Commission: A candidate's qualifying tenure should be within 15 years of Nomination Day - a "look back" duration to ensure the currency of his experience.

Government: Extend the "look back" duration to 20 years. The duration is essential, but its length should be approached with caution.


Now: For private sector candidates, $100 million paid-up capital as an indicator of a private company's size and complexity.
Commission: Shareholders' equity of $500 million with periodic review to keep up with changes in the economic environment.

This shows that a company is big and complex enough for its heads to have the requisite technical skills, experience and expertise in financial matters to make them suitable candidates.

Shareholders' equity is a better proxy for a company's size and complexity as it reflects its current recorded worth. 
Government: Yes, but the shareholders' equity should be calculated based on an applicant's three most recent consecutive years in the qualifying office.

The period of assessment should end by the time the writ for the Presidential Election is issued.


Now: No performance criterion for eligible private sector candidates.

Commission: There must have been net profitability throughout the time the applicant held the qualifying office.

The company must not have gone into liquidation or entered any other type of insolvency process within three years of the applicant's cessation as the holder of the qualifying office, or by Nomination Day, whichever is earlier.

This is to ensure a candidate's capability in undertaking the tasks entrusted to the President. The Commission found this criterion unsuitable for public sector candidates.

Government: Yes, but the period of assessment should be pegged to the date the writ for the Presidential Election is issued.


Now: Candidates need to be chairman or chief executive officer of a company to be eligible.

Commission: Replace the terms "chairman" and "chief executive officer" with a general reference such as "the most senior executive position of the statutory board, however that office may be titled" to place emphasis on those who have had practical experience in handling fiscal matters of sufficient size or complexity.

Government: Yes. This will be applied to all Fifth Schedule entities, regardless of whether they are statutory boards or government companies.

White Paper reinforces need for caution, balance

FEEDBACK: The Elected Presidency dialogue session with Law Minister K. Shanmugam, Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say and Southeast District Mayor Maliki Osman.

Exercise caution and strike a balance - that is the recurring theme in the White Paper on the elected presidency.

Released last evening, the White Paper is in response to recommendations by the Constitutional Commission.

The nine-member panel was tasked to look into eligibility criteria, minority representation in the presidency, and the role and composition of the Council of Presidential Advisers (CPA).

Dr Mustafa Izzuddin of Iseas-Yusof Ishak Institute likened changes made to the elected presidency to a "political minefield".

He told The New Paper: "Treading carefully also means the Government can better sense, review and analyse the fluctuating ground sentiments regarding the elected presidency.

"Erring on the side of caution is the right approach to take as changes to the elected presidency can generate mixed reactions from the general public."


In its report released last week, the Commission proposed to raise the bar for better, suitable presidential candidates.

One suggestion is to introduce a 15-year "look back" period. This means the candidate's relevant experience should be within 15 years of the Presidential Election.

The Government decided to extend it to 20 years.

The reason for this was the need for a cautious approach, said Law Minister K. Shanmugam.

FEEDBACK: The Elected Presidency dialogue session. PHOTO: THE STRAITS TIMES

On the sidelines of an engagement session on changes to the elected presidency, he said: "Today, there's no look back. So from no look back, we are going to one which imposes a look back.

"We think maybe we start at 20 years and we decided that instead of six years, keep it at three. Let's see how it works.

"And you know, a person who has been in a top job for three years would have had to do a number of things in the private sector before he reaches that level.

"There would be substantial experience, so we have taken a slightly cautious approach, taking on board the Commission's recommendation but changed it slightly."

Mr Shanmugam was referring to the Commission's suggestion to double the length of a candidate's qualifying tenure from three years to six, which the Government decided not to change. (See report on Page 12.)

Rather than seeing it as the lowering of standards, political analysts saw the Government's stance as one of setting reasonable standards.

Dr Mustafa said: "The Government's response was less about lowering standards and more about managing expectations on setting reasonable standards for candidates.

"Being reasonable also means there can be a larger pool of eligible candidates, particularly from minority groups, being able to stand in an election to become the next president."

Agreeing, National University of Singapore's Associate Professor Tan Ern Ser felt the eligibility criteria set by the Government can enable the Presidential Elections Committee to "evaluate a candidate holistically".

"For instance, a candidate may score high on all dimensions but is one year short of the qualifying tenure. It would be a waste of talent to disqualify such a person," he explained.

He noted that the Government's more cautious approach would allow room for necessary modifications down the road.

"Whatever it is, the objectives remain the same - to ensure that we have people of competence, character, reputation, track record and stature to take on the role and functions of the presidency," he said.


The balance in the Government's stance also showed in its acceptance of the Commission's suggestion of a "hiatus-triggered" mechanism - a model that guarantees a minority president from time to time.

The Commission recommended that if Singapore does not have a president from a particular race for five consecutive terms (30 years), the next presidential election should be reserved for candidates of that race.

This framework "carefully balances the need for multi-racialism with our meritocratic ideals", the Government said in the White Paper.

"Our nation loses an important element of multi-racialism if particular racial minorities are never represented in the office of President.

"Every Singaporean has to be able to identify with the President, and to know that a member of his community can and will become President from time to time."

The Commission also said that it would be prudent to put safeguards like this in place until Singapore arrives at the "ultimate destination" - where no safeguards are needed to ensure that candidates from different races are periodically elected into presidential office.

The Government agreed.

Some may view this model as tokenism, the Commission said in its report, but the Government said presidents will be elected by a mechanism which gives weight to their proven experience and competence, as well as their ability to represent all the different races.

"A President who assumes office after a reserved election would, like all other elected Presidents, have met the constitutionally prescribed eligibility criteria and been chosen through a national electoral process," it said.

The Government also agreed with the Commission that this mechanism is "race-neutral".

"It is most unlikely that a five-term hiatus will ever arise vis-à-vis the Chinese community, which constitutes a significant majority of our population," said the Government.

"But the approach is significant at a symbolic level as it underscores the importance of ensuring that all races are represented in the presidency," the Government said.

Singapore's progress in building a multi-racial society - "an integral part of Singapore's social fabric and fundamental to Singapore's cohesion and survival" - should not be taken for granted.

Citing the recent Brexit as an example of how easily racial harmony can unravel, the Government said: "The world is, today, seeing a trend of explicitly race-based politics which work up and exploit populist sentiments.

"Decencies and sensibilities built up over the years can easily come undone in an age where populism and appeals to racial impulses are increasingly common."


Another instance of a "workable balance" comes in the form of a recalibrated entrenchment framework.

There is a 25-year-old clause that is yet in force: It allows the President to veto any law that seeks to curtail his powers and which requires a national referendum to override that veto with a two-thirds majority.

The only other instances in the Constitution which require an equivalent two-thirds majority of the electorate relate to a surrender of Singapore's sovereignty or relinquishment of control over our Armed Forces or Police Force.

Once this clause is entrenched, it would be "virtually impossible" to amend the law, the Commission noted in its report.

The Government said it will revise the entrenchment framework to give weight to the CPA's views.

Under the revision, the framework will be divided into two tiers: Tier 1 relates to the institution of elected presidency and Tier 2 to the president's custodial powers.

For Tier 1, if a majority of the CPA supports a presidential veto, it can be overridden by a majority vote in a national referendum. If not supported by a majority of the CPA, it can be overridden with a two-thirds majority in Parliament.

For Tier 2, if a majority of the CPA supports a presidential veto, it can be overridden with either a national referendum or a three-quarters super majority in Parliament. If not supported by a majority of the CPA, it can be overridden with a two-thirds majority in Parliament.

This will strike a balance between "preserving the adaptability of the Constitution to changing circumstances, and providing adequate stability through sufficient rigidity in entrenched areas", said the Government.

But even as it moves to make these changes, the Government will continue to suspend this provision.

Mr Shanmugam said: "Now, if you have a Constitution, specific provisions, I think there's a good reason for making it difficult to amend but you should not make it impossible. We've looked at it, we think we need to redraft the entrenchment provisions in a way that would be difficult to amend but not impossible."

The Government's response was less about lowering standards and more about managing expectations on setting reasonable standards for candidates.

- Dr Mustafa Izzuddin of Iseas-Yusof Ishak Institute

Girl, 6, drowns in hotel pool while dad looks at phone

ON HOLIDAY: Neisha Sandra Karamoy drowned in a pool at the Grand Mercure Singapore Roxy Hotel at East Coast Road.

He was looking at his mobile phone while his six-year-old daughter, a non-swimmer, played in a swimming pool nearby.

Mr Zacharias Alexander Karamoy later looked up and saw, to his horror, his little girl motionless at the bottom of the deeper end.

The Indonesian national immediately jumped into the pool to rescue his child. But it was too late.

Neisha Sandra Karamoy, who had not been wearing a flotation device, suffered brain death and died in KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH) two days later.

The incident happened at the Grand Mercure Singapore Roxy Hotel at East Coast Road.

Following an inquiry, State Coroner Marvin Bay found that her death was a tragic misadventure yesterday.

Because drowning can occur swiftly and silently, he stressed that adults should not make use of mobile devices while supervising children.


Coroner Bay also said that young children should use personal flotation devices when they enter bodies of water.

He added: "Nevertheless, it is important to remember these buoyancy aids, however helpful they may appear, are only aids and cannot drown-proof a child.

"They certainly do not replace close adult supervision in water of all depths."

Mr Karamoy, his wife, Madam Ni Ketut Sawitri, and their two children, Neisha and her seven-year-old brother, had arrived in Singapore for a holiday on April 3.

At around 10am the next day, Mr Karamoy decided to take the children to the pool while Madam Ni attended a course at the SIA training centre.

Coroner Bay said: "Mr Karamoy sat at the side of the pool while the siblings played in the pool.

"Mr Karamoy was browsing his mobile phone, and from time to time, he would check on them."

At the poolside, Neisha made a new friend, a five-year-old Singaporean girl, identified in court papers only as "Miss A".

The two girls were playing in the shallow part of the pool, which was 80cm deep, when Neisha wanted to go to the deeper side. That part of the pool was 1.2m deep while Neisha was only 1.15m tall.

When they reached there, Miss A panicked after she realised she could not touch the bottom.

Coroner Bay said: "She started to wave her hands vigorously and tried to get attention. (Neisha) was in front of her and was also seen struggling."

An unknown woman managed to rescue Miss A and took her back to the shallow side where the steps to the pool were.

The little girl's mother, who was nearby, rushed forward to console her daughter before the pair returned to their hotel room.

At around 10.30am, Mr Karamoy looked up from his mobile phone and noticed that only his son was at the shallow end.

He then spotted his daughter motionless at the bottom of the pool and immediately jumped into the water to pull her out.

Hotel staff performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on Neisha and an ambulance arrived at around 10.45am to take her to KKH.

A CT scan later revealed she had suffered severe brain damage.

Brainstem testing also showed that she had suffered brain death.

After a family conference with her doctor, Mr Karamoy made the painful decision to withdraw his daughter's life support at around 1.30pm on April 6.

Coroner Bay said: "Mr Zacharias Karamoy was candid in stating that he did not pay enough attention to (Neisha) while she was playing in the pool.

"Children should be accompanied by a supervising adult, who must know how to swim and ideally provide 'touch supervision' - that is to say, to be close enough to reach the child at all times."

Mr Zacharias Karamoy was candid in stating that he did not pay enough attention to (his daughter) while she was playing in the pool.

- State Coroner Marvin Bay