Singapore will not rush into F1 decision
Singapore will not be rushed into extending its contract with Formula 1, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said yesterday as negotiations for the night race to continue in the city-state are underway.
"Negotiations for the term renewal for F1 is ongoing and a decision has not been reached," a ministry spokesman told AFP in an emailed reply. "The process has to be a deliberate one to carefully consider the terms and benefits."
Race organiser Singapore GP said it could not comment because negotiations are underway.
In a 2018 event calendar released on Monday by motorsport's governing body FIA, there was an asterix next to the Shanghai and Singapore dates with a note that said "subject to commercial rights holder confirmation".
Singapore's Formula 1 future hangs in the balance as the city-state looks to renegotiate its contract to host the sport's only night race.
The then-Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone said last year that the promoter was trying to strike a "long-term" deal with Singapore, and played down comments that the Lion City was looking to drop the race.
Singapore's 23-turn, Marina Bay street circuit is seen as one of the most challenging on the calendar and has proved popular with fans.
But organisers said a slowing economic climate has seen daily attendance slump to 73,000 last year from 87,000 in 2015.
If negotiations fall through, it would mark the end of Formula 1 in South-east Asia.
Malaysia has announced that this year's Sepang race will be its last due to rising costs and low returns.
Meanwhile, France and Germany's Hockenheim, absent this year, return to the 21-race calendar for 2018.
The race at Le Castellet, inland from Marseille, will be on June 24, followed by Austria on July 1 and Silverstone on July 8.
F1 has not had three races on successive weekends before, due to logistical reasons. - WIRE SERVICES