Motor racing-Singapore secures F1 future until 2021

By Abhishek Takle

SINGAPORE, Sept 15 (Reuters) – The Singapore Grand Prix is set to stay on the Formula One calendar until 2021, the sport and race organisers confirmed on Friday, after agreeing a four-year-extension to the current deal.

Sunday’s race in the city-state would otherwise have been the last.

“I’m very glad that all the parties concerned have been able to agree on commercial terms for an extension as Formula One and, I believe, Singapore have been good for each other,” Singapore´s Minister for Trade and Industry S Iswaran told reporters at the Marina Bay street circuit.

“Over the past decade the Singapore race has introduced many innovative elements and become an iconic and highly anticipated event on the F1 calendar,” he said.

The sport’s first night race is marking its 10th anniversary this year and has established itself as one of the most popular and glamorous of Formula One’s events.

Cars drive around a floodlit street circuit through the heart of Singapore against a backdrop of glittering skyscrapers while spectators are entertained by headline music acts. Calvin Harris, Ariana Grande and Seal are on the bill this year.

Formula One Chief Executive Chase Carey, who replaced former supremo Bernie Ecclestone in January, described the race as a “signature” event.

“We are very pleased that it will continue to feature on the calendar for a further four years,” he added.

Singapore, along with China, had already been listed on Formula One’s 21-race calendar for next year but marked with an asterisk as subject to confirmation.

The contract extension removes that doubt and also secures Formula One’s future in the region.

Neighbouring Malaysia also hosts a Grand Prix but next month´s race at the Sepang circuit is set to be the last.

“We’ve come here now 10 times and I think it´s like a real classic race already,” Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel had told reporters on Thursday. “It belongs in the calendar.

“It looks cool from the outside to see the cars at night, it´s a cool race, it´s a big city, so it’s fun to drive.” ($1 = 1.3456 Singapore dollars) (Reporting by Abhishek Takle, editing by Alan Baldwin)

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