Singapore Grand Prix secured until 2017
Singapore will stage a Formula One race until at least 2017, after signing a five-year extension to its original deal with Formula One Management.
The news was announced at this year's floodlit race and comes after months of negotiation over Singapore's annual race fee, which is believed to be up to US$50 million per season.
Singapore's government funds 60 per cent of the annual cost of the race, on the streets of the city-state's Marina Bay area, with the rest covered by a private entity, Singapore GP Pte Ltd., run by reclusive billionaire Ong Beng Seng.
The overall cost of the event, once lighting installations, track set-up and the race fee are factored in, is some US$122 million annually. It is understood that Singapore has found a way to reduce that amount, although it is unclear if that will mean a reduction in the fee payable to Formula One.
Speculation at last weekend's Grand Prix suggested a shortened street circuit may be devised for next year's race, which would cut infrastructure costs and also reduce the length of the race; Sunday's race was shortened after it hit the two hour mark.
Ong, who formulated the idea of a floodlit race with Formula One Management chief executive Bernie Ecclestone in 2008, said: “In 2012 – already – we are celebrating five years of night racing. What better way to celebrate than to keep Marina Bay and Formula One together for another five years?
"We believe Formula One has added a new dimension to our city – but we feel this spectacular night race has also brought a different dimension to Grand Prix racing.”blog comments powered by Disqus
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