F1 Supremo Bernie Ecclestone has welcomed Singapore to the Grand Prix calendar in 2008, confirming that the event will be held at night, the first night race in the history of the Formula One world Championship.
Speaking via a videolink, the Englishman said: "I am pleased to welcome Singapore to the Formula One family. We look forward to this exotic addition to the championship.
"This will be the first fully lit street race in Formula One's history," he continued. "As a night race we anticipate it will soon establish itself as one of the most dramatic and atmospheric races on the calendar. I know the drivers, teams and fans are looking forward to coming to Singapore next year."
Ecclestone has officially concluded a five-year deal for the race with local entrepreneur Mr Ong Beng Seng, with additional backing from the Singapore Tourism Board. It is understood that the government is funding up to 60 percent of the cost of the event, which is aimed at spicing up Singapore's image.
Trade and Industry Minister S. Iswaran clarified that the night race will only go ahead, once everyone is satisfied that safety can be assured.
"Safety is of paramount importance to all of us," he said. "Therefore we will proceed with a night race only if the safety and operational requirements of all parties are fully met. If not we will revert to a day race format."
Previously, a number of drivers have demanded a full investigation into the safety aspects of a night race.