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Singapore will remain on the Formula One calendar until 2017. Singapore Grand Prix officials, together with Bernie Ecclestone, confirmed the new agreement to the media in a press conference shortly after today’s final practice session.
“I am very pleased to inform you that Singapore will continue to host the F1 Grand Prix until 2017,” said Singapore’s second trade minister S. Iswaran.
“Our view is that F1 has been good for Singapore,” he continued. “It has helped to strengthen Singapore's standing as a global city with a vibrant lifestyle. Equally we also believe Singapore has been good for Formula One. We have added a new dimension to the sport with a unique night race against the backdrop of our distinctive skyline.
“The Grand Prix has attracted more than 150,000 international visitors over the last four years and each year, on average, has produced incremental tourism spent of about $140million (£70m) to $150 (£75m) Singapore dollars,” he continued. “For the extended term we expect the benefits to continue at about these levels.
“The cost of organising each race has been about $150m Singapore dollars with government co-funding about 60% of the qualifying or approved costs,” he added, confirming claims made by Pitpass on Thursday.
Negotiations were protracted as organisers sought to reduce the hosting fees, Ecclestone keen to point out that the sport “doesn’t race for free.” Iswaran believes that, combined with operational efficiencies, the event can continue to reduce costs and increase the benefit to the city.
“The negotiations have taken some time because all parties have very specific objectives and wanted to arrive at a mutually beneficial outcome,” explained Iswaran. “The Singapore Government in particular has taken a very deliberate and careful study of the costs and benefits of continuing with this race from the national perspective.
“We expect to achieve a further reduction in the net cost to the government through a combination of factors including the organisation of our infrastructure and some of the government facilities that are being used, greater efficiencies operationally in the way the race is being organised and conducted, and also in terms of the revised terms with race promoter and FOA.”
“I think all of us without any exceptions like being here,” Ecclestone added. “This is what made it difficult for me to negotiate with the minister!
“I can't understand why he was complaining about using his streets and wearing out his streets,” Ecclestone joked. “But we eventually got there and I'm very happy. We're all here for another five years.”
Singapore hosted the sport’s first night race in 2008 and has quickly become a popular event on the calendar.
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