Singapore denies deal on GP renewal
SINGAPORE, July 11 – Singapore denied today that a deal had been agreed with Formula One to extend the country’s grand prix contract for five years after September’s race.
Commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone (picture) had earlier been quoted in the Today newspaper as saying the contract extension was all set and that the timing of the official announcement would be decided by the Singapore government.
Organisers Singapore GP (SGP) said in a statement that negotiations on the terms of a second five-year contract were continuing.
“What is presently on offer from Formula One Administration is insufficient for us to commit to a full five-year extension,” they said.
SGP said the talks had been going on for almost a year but the terms had to “offer commercial viability for the full five years.
“We remain hopeful at reaching an outcome that is mutually beneficial to all parties,” SGP added.
Ecclestone had told the Singapore-based newspaper that obstacles to a deal had been cleared.
“I’m happy that this is out of the way because Singapore has been good to F1 and the night race has also been equally good for Singapore,” he said.
The race was first held in 2008 on the Marina Bay street circuit and has become a social highlight of the Formula One calendar that rivals Monaco and Abu Dhabi as a draw for dealmakers and corporate heavy-hitters.
This year’s race is on Sept. 23. – Reuters