WS K88

WS K88
Erich's new place where different things will happen, but still the center of the universe and the navel of the world

Sep 25, 2011

Singapore F1 Grand Prix should stay on the race calendar

More than 200,000 fans have thronged the Marina Bay street circuit to view live the 2011 SingTel Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix tomorrow night.
Hotels have been operating at more than 90 per cent capacity over the last week.

Downtown Singapore was all dolled up in glittering lights, Shakira's bewitching hips and Linkin Park's muscular rock entertained thousands of locals and tourists. The rich and glitzy set have paid top dollar for nights out at super-exclusive parties and the main actors of the whole extravaganza, the Formula 1 pilots, were primed to put on a show under the stars which has been watched "live" by more than 100 million fans worldwide.
I am confident that Singapore's biggest annual event will remain on the calendar well beyond 2014.

The five-year contract between Singapore GP Pte Ltd and the Formula One Management ends with next year's Grand Prix with an an option for Singapore to stage the sport's only night race for two more years.
I do hope this option will be taken up after the analysts and number crunchers at the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) have figured out that races beyond 2014 will continue to boost the country.

According to the MTI, the economic impact of last year's race was S$150 million. Interest does not seem to be wavering, as the fourth edition of the Grand Prix this year is a sellout.

Mr Teo Hock Seng, chairman of Singapore GP, described the night race as a world-class show where the Formula 1 drivers stood at the top of the bill, supported by the various international recording artistes and concerts dotted around the 5.073km street circuit.

The entertainment package served up during Formula 1's race weekend in Singapore's is unprecedented and envied by so many around the world.

The challenge for the organisers is to continue to spice up the race with a supporting cast of big acts, and unveil unique entertainment each year to keep titillating fans.

Do so and Singapore's Grand Prix will easily remain a huge hit.

Reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and a whole host of other drivers enjoy the challenging Singapore night race.
The teams, officials and foreign journalists love the organisation and the atmosphere in the country.

Bernie Ecclestone is well-known as a shrewd and ultra-tough negotiator. He will know how successful this Grand Prix is, and will also know how much Formula 1 gains from such a spectacular stage. He said he would be happy if Singapore emulated the success of its night race with an unchanged format "for 20 years”. The F1 chief executive expressed his delight with the sold out event in the Asian city-state late on Friday at the opening of a Hublot watch boutique near the Marina Bay venue. According to the local Straits Times newspaper, Ecclestone wants the Singapore race to stay the same until 2030 "and then see what needs to be changed”.
The 79-year-old Briton said the race is a jewel in F1's crown and "keeps getting polished".

However he did not mention two criticisms of the event.
Lewis Hamilton slammed the re-profiled turn 10 chicane as "ridiculous" and "the worst corner I've ever driven in formula one”(sore loser!). And reigning world champion Jenson Button pointed to track drainage as a problem, explaining that long after the rain had stopped, there was "a lot of water coming up through the circuit".

David Sonencher an Englishman is the managing director of the Asian Festival of Speed, the company that organises the support races for the Formula 1 events in Malaysia, China and Singapore.
He said: "That picture of the cars hurtling along the Marina Bay streets against the city skyline, under the lights at night, you cannot put a price tag on that.
This race is fantastic. The organisation, the city atmosphere, everything about it. This race has been a game-changer.”

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