F1 targeting ‘long-term’ deal with Singapore amid wide hosting interest
Singapore is close to securing a prolonged hosting deal with Formula 1, according to the series' chief executive Chase Carey.
The future of the Singapore street race has been in doubt since Bernie Ecclestone, the ex-Formula 1 promoter, claimed last year that the state did not want to extend its hosting contract, which is due to expire after this weekend's race.
Chase Carey told Reuters that the series hasn’t “concluded a deal yet” but “positive discussions” had taken place with a “goal to try and reach a deal that works for both of us."
He said: “We’re proud of the race, we have a good relationship and our goal is to get to a place where we build on that partnership long-term.”
Commenting on the reports, Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry told Reuters: “We are in discussion with Formula 1 on the term renewal for F1 and are carefully considering serval issues. More details will be shared when ready.”
The Singapore Grand Prix has been a popular fixture since it was introduced in 2008.
However, the attendances for the event, for which the government is responsible for 60 per cent of the costs, has fallen in recent years, with the 2016 edition attracting an average of 73,000 spectators per day, down from 87,000 the previous year.
Singapore and China were marked as provisional stops on the 2018 Formula 1 calendar when it was released in June.
However, Sean Bratches, managing director, commercial operations, at Formula 1, has since claimed that a long-term deal has been reached for the Chinese round in Shanghai to remain on the schedule.
It appears that Formula 1 will have no shortage of potential replacements if any of the existing rounds drop off the calendar.
In a weekend interview with Motorsport.com, Bratches said that “about 40 countries, cities, municipalities, principalities” have approached him with an “interest in hosting an F1 race.”
There are presently 20 stops on the Formula 1 calendar, a number that is set to rise to 21 next year with the return of the French and German Grands Prix, and the loss of the Malaysian round.
The season is presently capped at 25 rounds under the Concorde Agreement between Formula 1 and the participating teams.
Bratches said that series is “identifying cities and locations that are accretive to our brand and our strategy of hosting races where you can activate large fan bases - particularly in city centres."
He added: "Right now we're jumping all over the globe with no thoughtful cadence. In an ideal world, and forget the order, you'd have kind of the first third of the races in Europe, the second third in the Americas, and the last tranche in Asia.
“What that does is allow you to create efficiencies in terms of travelling this circus.”