SINGAPORE: A contract for Singapore to host the Formula 1 Grand Prix for another seven years has been signed, with the event set to return to the streets of Marina Bay from Sep 30 to Oct 2 after a two-year absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is the fourth contract renewal for Singapore, and the seven-year extension is the longest for the race to date, said the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and race organiser Singapore GP on Thursday (Jan 27).
"We have decided to continue hosting the F1 race for another seven years, after thoroughly evaluating the long term benefits that a term extension could bring to Singapore," said Transport Minister and Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations S Iswaran.
"The renewal will help sustain Singapore’s reputation as a global city with a vibrant lifestyle, attracting international visitors as travel rebounds, and generating business revenue and jobs for Singaporeans," he added.
"We will ensure that this year’s and future races, as large scale international sporting events, are COVID-safe, informed by the prevailing pandemic situation and public health assessment."
The Singapore Grand Prix night race was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 after it was scheduled as part of the Formula 1 race calendar.
Mr Colin Syn, deputy chairman of Singapore GP, had said last year that the 2021 race cancellation was made “in light of the prevailing restrictions for live events in Singapore”, while taking into consideration the health and safety of fans, contractors, volunteers and staff members.
In November last year, Mr Iswaran said during a press conference that discussions were ongoing on a contract for a new term of the race in Singapore.
“I think we all recognise that events, such as the Formula 1, generate significant economic benefits and global branding value for Singapore. They invigorate Singapore's events calendar, they build our international demand and also support job creation of businesses," he said then.
The last edition of the Singapore Grand Prix, which was held in September 2019, saw Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel take the chequered flag ahead of teammate Charles Leclerc.
SUSTAINABILITY AUDIT TO BE UNDERTAKEN
Starting this year, STB and Singapore GP will work together to reduce the carbon footprint of the Singapore race and foster the transition to more sustainable business models.
"Initiatives include switching to renewable energy sources, increasing recycling efforts and switching to sustainable materials," they said in a news release.
"Formula 1 is also exploring maximising logistics and travel efficiency through process and volume optimisation and by using the least carbon intensive transport available. A full sustainability audit will be undertaken, which will guide the development of other green initiatives that will be implemented for the rest of the new term."
Formula 1 is aiming to be a net zero sport by 2030.
CEO of STB Keith Tan said: "STB welcomes the opportunity to work with our partners to introduce new ideas and concepts to enhance the race experience and to make the entire event one of the most environmentally sustainable street circuits in the F1 calendar."