Singapore GP given the green light

F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has come to an agreement with organisers of Singapore GP to extend contract for five years.

    Singapore GP given the green light
    The dramatic Singapore skyline hosts the unique night race of the F1 season [AFP]

    Formula One has agreed terms with Singapore to extend the country's grand prix contract for five years after September's race, commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone was quoted as saying on Wednesday.

    The 81-year-old Briton told Singapore's Today newspaper that the timing of the official announcement of the renewal would be decided by the Singapore government.

    "Everything that was in the way of the Singapore Grand Prix continuing for another five years has been cleared," said
    Ecclestone.

    "I'm happy that this is out of the way because Singapore has been good to F1 and the night race has also been equally good for Singapore."

    "I'm happy that this is out of the way because Singapore has been good to F1 and the night race has also been equally good for Singapore"

    Bernie Ecclestone

    Singapore GP executive director Michael Roche had said over the weekend that money was the sticking point in the renewal talks. A government minister added on Monday that the terms had to be "economically viable".

    The race was first held in 2008 on the Marina Bay street circuit and has become a social highlight of the Formula One calendar that rivals Monaco and Abu Dhabi as a draw for dealmakers and corporate heavy-hitters.

    Formula One had also planned a flotation worth up to $3 billion in Singapore but that has been put on hold due to weak and volatile markets.

    Today said the rights fee for hosting the grand prix was believed to have cost Singapore organisers U.S. $35 million
    initially with yearly increases rising to $42 million last year.

    A feasibility study carried out after the 2010 race found that the grand prix had brought in $331.37 million in tourism receipts in the first three years.

    This year's race is on September 23.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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