Singapore GP Pte Ltd today announced that it has exercised its option to extend the city’s contract to host a round of the FIA Formula 1™ World Championship for a further five-year period until 2017.
Mr. Ong Beng Seng, the driving force behind Singapore GP Pte Ltd, said: “In 2012 – already – we are celebrating five years of night racing. What better way to celebrate than to keep Marina Bay and Formula One together for another five years? We believe Formula One has added a new dimension to our city – but we feel this spectacular night race has also brought a different dimension to Grand Prix racing.”
Back in 2008 when Singapore first announced it was intending to stage a Formula One race, Formula One Management CEO Mr. Bernie Ecclestone said, “We anticipate it will quickly establish itself as one of the most dramatic and atmospheric races on our calendar.”
How right Mr. Ecclestone was: the Formula One teams and drivers are unanimous in their praise for the 5.073-km Marina Bay Street Circuit, summed up by McLaren Mercedes star and 2009 World Champion Jenson Button: “It’s a unique and special race. It was the first of its kind and Singapore has quickly become one of the best races on the calendar – it’s a race that everybody wants to attend.”
Their enthusiasm is matched by support for the event, whether in the Lion City itself or around the world. Since the inaugural FORMULA 1 SINGTEL SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX in 2008, over 200,000 spectators have flocked to the spectacular Marina Bay Street Circuit each year to watch the world’s finest drivers in action.
The television audience for Singapore’s round of the World Championship in that four-year period has averaged almost 100 million.