The government of Singapore has launched an audit of the 2022 Formula 1 (F1) Singapore Grand Prix and is reviewing the terms of its multi-year race-hosting deal with the motor racing series, following the arrest of the country’s former transport minister.
Subramaniam Iswaran, Singapore’s former transport minister, was arrested in January and charged with 27 counts of criminality, mostly related to corruption.
Despite pleading not guilty on all counts, Iswaran resigned from the government over the case, in which two charges of corruption, one of obstructing justice, and 24 of receiving valuables as a public servant, have been leveled against him.
It is alleged that Iswaran had received these valuables from Ong Beng Seng, the influential race promotor whose Singapore GP company first brought F1 racing to the city, casting doubts over the legitimacy of F1 in the country and Seng’s relationship with the government.
Grace Fu, minister in charge of trade relations at the Singapore government, was unable to comment on the audit of the 2022 race, nor the investigation into the terms of the race deal.
At the time of Iswaran’s arrest, the Singapore government stated that it had no reason to believe the country’s contracts and agreements with F1 were “structured to the disadvantage of the government,” however, it is now examining the current grand prix contract and auditing the proceedings of the 2022 edition of the race to ensure compliance.
How well do you really know your competitors?
Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.
Your download email will arrive shortly
Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample
We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below formBy GlobalData
Since the first race contract was signed in 2007, and the subsequent first running of the race in 2008, the Singapore GP has been a constant fixture in the sport and its contract has been renewed three times, with the current contract term agreed upon in 2022 not set to expire until 2028.
Despite the furore, a spokesperson for the country’s Ministry of Trade and Industry stated that plans were proceeding unabated to stage the 2024 edition of the race, which is scheduled to take place from September 20 to 22 at night on a circuit constructed along the city’s streets.
The race is a popular fixture on the F1 calendar, with its 2023 edition breaking a US audience record on broadcaster ESPN.
Coverage of the race, aired live on ESPN alongside the F1 Kids telecast on ESPNU, gained a combined average audience of 1.2 million viewers, which at the time was the race’s largest ever in the US, although that tally has been beaten since.