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Mat Coch writes:
The Singapore Grand Prix is unlike any other. First of all it's the sports only night race, Abu Dhabi's begins at dusk, but it also generates the sort of excitement few others can rival. Indeed, perhaps it's because Singapore is F1's only night race.
For the teams and associated hangers on (media included) it's a difficult, tiring, exhausting weekend. Timed to maximise television exposure in Europe most travelling from the continent simply stay on European time. Mechanics enter the paddock at 2pm and work through until dawn.
It's the same for most everyone else involved in the sport; more often than not knock off time comes well after midnight.
For those of us lucky enough to be Australian based it means extra exhaustion. Intentionally jet lagging oneself during the eight hour flight from Sydney before pushing yourself to carry on when the body wants nothing more than somewhere soft to lay down.
But walking around the circuit late at night, surrounded by swarms of fans in brilliantly warm conditions is unlike anything else you can do in Formula One. The city comes alive, from petrol station advertisements at the airport to the bubbling enthusiasm from the locals. It reminds me of the Australian Grand Prix when it was in Adelaide when the entire city would stop to embrace motor sport for just a few days.
At this stage this is the last Singapore Grand Prix. There is no contract for next year, though that seems destined to change. Since hosting its first race in 2008 the event has cemented itself as one of the sport's crown jewels. It can stand alongside the likes of Monaco as the pinnacle of the sport in terms of opulence, attraction and drama.
Knowing that, no doubt the organisers will be looking to negotiate a better deal for future events, given it pays more than $50m a year for the right to host the race.
But despite that, and despite the fact it's such a recent addition to the calendar it's difficult to imagine the sport without Singapore. It's a speculator sight and one which shows the sport off at its very best at convenient times for both Europe and Asia. Formula One needs Singapore, but I'm not so sure Singapore needs Formula One. Still, it would be a shame not to have it on the calendar, and 240,000 of my closest mates would agree.
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