F1 night race future uncertain

2012-07-11 15:14

The future of Formula 1's only night event, the Singapore Grand Prix (SGP), is still under negotiation with just one race to go before the current deal ends.

Race organisers said: "What is presently on offer from Formula 1 Administration is insufficient for us to commit to a full five-year extension.

"Negotiations have been going for almost a year. SGP has received a formal renewal notice from F1Administration to confirm their wish to continue running the night race for a further five years.

"Since then, SGP has been in talks to cement terms that offer commercial viability for the full five years. We remain hopeful at reaching an outcome that is mutually beneficial to all parties," organisers said.


Local media reports estimate that each race costs about R1.2-billionn to stage, with the government footing 60% of the cost.

The last race under the current deal will be staged on September 23, 2012.

Germany's Sebastian Vettel won the 2011 race on his way to becoming the youngest double world champion in Formula 1 history.

F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone said that Singapore will host the night race for another five years after both sides agreed on the terms.

Ecclestone said: "Everything that was in the way of the Singapore Grand Prix continuing for another five years has been cleared.

"It has always been my intention to see that this race in Singapore continues beyond our current deal," he said.

Singapore in 2008 hosted the first night race in F1 history and it soon became a hit with fans worldwide, with the brightly illuminated track running along landmarks in the financial and entertainment district.

Coupled with pop concerts and other events staged during the racing weekend, the grand prix has helped Singapore as it seeks to shed its image as a staid city with little excitement to offer visitors.