Ecclestone Says Singapore F1 Extended; Singapore Says No Deal Reached
Following almost a year of negotiations, F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone Monday insisted that "his Formula One Management company had agreed to terms with organisers" to stage the Singapore Grand Prix for another five years, according to Ian De Cotta of Singapore TODAY. Ecclestone said that "all obstacles preventing the deal from going through have been resolved" and that the timing of the official announcement of the contract renewal will be decided by the Singapore government. First held in '08, the rights to stage the Singapore Grand Prix "is believed to have cost" Singapore organizers $35M initially, and after yearly increases, peaked at about $42M last year. It costs another S$150M ($118M) to prepare for each race, and 60% -- or S$90M ($71M) -- of that amount is footed by the Singapore Government. A study to review the benefits of continuing the race was conducted by authorities after the '10 edition. It revealed that in the first three years, the night race "raked in a total of more than S$420M ($332M) in tourism receipts." It also "attracted an average of more than 110,000" int'l visitors. In terms of global reach, the race also attracted a total of 300 million TV viewers worldwide (Singapore TODAY, 7/11). REUTERS reported that Singapore "denied on Wednesday that a deal had been agreed" with F1 to extend the country's grand prix contract for five years after September's race. Organizers Singapore GP said in a statement that "negotiations on the terms" of a second five-year contract were continuing. SGP said, "What is presently on offer from Formula One Administration is insufficient for us to commit to a full five-year extension. We remain hopeful at reaching an outcome that is mutually beneficial to all parties" (REUTERS, 7/11).
LONDON NO JOKE: In London, Christian Sylt reported that Ecclestone has revealed that work on a London Grand Prix "is progressing." Ecclestone last month unveiled plans for a track that would "snake past some of the capital's most famous landmarks." Ecclestone confirmed "for the first time that he is indeed working on a race in the capital." Ecclestone said, "We are getting on with it. It is no joke, 100% completely no joke" (GUARDIAN, 7/11).