Singapore wants to drop F1 race: Ecclestone
SINGAPORE: The Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix may not continue beyond 2017, after Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone claimed that Singapore does not want to host the race any longer.
In an interview with German magazine Auto Motor Und Sport published on Sunday (Nov 20), Ecclestone said Singapore may not extend the deal, because it had achieved what it wanted with the Grand Prix.
"Look at what we have done for Singapore. Yes, the Grand Prix has cost Singapore a lot of money, but we’ve also given them a lot of money," the F1 chief executive was quoted as saying.
“Singapore was suddenly more than just an airport to fly to or from somewhere. Now they believe they have reached their goal and they do not want a Grand Prix anymore.”
When contacted by Channel NewsAsia, a Singapore GP spokesperson said: "We don't comment on ongoing commercial negotiations."
In September, Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S Iswaran told reporters that no decision has been taken on extending the hosting agreement, although talks are underway.
Ecclestone’s comments come just months after the 2016 edition of the Singapore race saw the poorest ticket sales since it was launched in 2008.
The 2016 race saw a 15 per cent drop in attendance, with an average of 73,000 spectators per day, and a cumulative 219,000 spectators at the Marina Bay Street Circuit over the three-day race weekend.
At the time, Mr Iswaran attributed the ticketing performance to global economic uncertainty.