Jenson Button, Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber, Singapore, 2011

Singapore agrees new five-year F1 race deal

2013 F1 calendarPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Jenson Button, Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber, Singapore, 2011The Singapore Grand Prix is set to remain on the F1 calendar after Bernie Ecclestone and the race promoters agreed terms for a contract extension.

Ecclestone told the Singaporean newspaper Today the government will announce the deal shortly.

The F1 boss said: “Everything that was in the way of the Singapore Grand Prix continuing for another five years has 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.”

The Singapore Grand Prix was added to the F1 calendar in 2008. The new deal will see the street race remain on the calendar for a further five years beyond the end of this season.

Update: Singapore have denied a deal has been reached.

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70 comments on “Singapore agrees new five-year F1 race deal”

  1. Right. Now maybe they can do something about the circuit.

    1. What do you find particularly bad about it? I’ve found it to be a decent enough, exciting circuit to watch, although that may be down to the night-time setting.

      It’s also got that interesting high-curbed double/tripple-chicane which is always fun to watch drivers mess up on.

      1. @optimaximal it’s too fiddly at places, and it goes for too long. It’s an incredibly long and slow lap, and a bit repetitive too.

        They should shorten it a bit. It’s a street track afterall, and it is decent, but is decent good enough? not sure.

        1. The drivers enjoy it, which is more than can be said of Monabore. I don’t see any reason why they should change it.

          1. Drivers love Monaco, mate.

          2. Drivers enjoy both Monaco and Singapore. The only differences however, are:

            1. The Singapore circuit is about twice as wide as Monaco.
            2. At Singapore, you can overtake a car that’s 3 seconds slower than you.

  2. Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey)
    11th July 2012, 8:49

    I am more than happy about this news.

    Singapore is, in my opinion, the best addition to the calender in recent times. It’s a tricky circuit, it challenges the drivers and it is absolutely spectacular to watch as night racing is flippin’ cool. Great to hear that we’ll have more of it to look forward to.

    1. Agreed. Even though I’d be happier about an official announcement of a new deal with Spa or a race at San Luis, I think that F1 needs one night race and that Singapore is generally a good place to go to.

      1. What is this obsession with racing at San Luis? It’s not going to happen. If a race in Argentina is going to happen at all – and I seriously doubt it will – it will happen at Mar del Plata.

        1. @girts @prisoner-monkeys and that’s not going to happen either, as they’ve been saying that the “costs to build a track in Mar del Plata are too high” (you don’t say…!)

          I think they should try to get a deal at Termas de Rio Hondo, which is being upgraded to accomodate MotoGP next season. But that’s not going to happen either, so it’s a ridiculous dream right now.

        2. Nick.UK (@)
          11th July 2012, 17:35

          San Luis is a terrific circuit. The mountain surroundings are more picture-esque than New Jersey will ever be!! It just doesnt have the facilities or required access (for fans or teams) that would be necessary for an F1 race.

      2. That San Luis circuit looks great!

    2. @magnificent-geoffrey Agreed. It’s a pain in the backside of a circuit and it real punishes the drivers, which is what I want to see as a fan. Now, if Kobayashi can just keep out of the wall after the monstrous chicance ;)

      1. @magnificent-geoffery, if we are talking tracks we’d love but don’t have a chance my vote is for Mt.Panorama.

    3. +1 better than some of the other crap tracks that have been added

  3. Between this and the talk that Spa has renewed for three more years, I’m hoping we’ll get a calendar for 2013 soon.

    I don’t know why I’m so excited about the calendar, to be hoenst. I just am.

    1. @prisoner-monkeys, a lot of financial uncertainty in Europe now, best be patient.

  4. Looks like my marshalling contract has (hopefully) extended too. Biased here, but great news!

    1. Thanks for your service.

  5. I think either the lap or the race distance needs to be shortened, because they’ll be lucky to finish all 61 laps within 2 hours.

    1. @alexf1man Definitely the lap – the race distance is fine but the lap is way too long.

      There’s one point on the lap where they could swing left instead of right (turn eight I think) and drastically shorten the length of a circuit.

      It would mean cutting out the fiddly turn ten chicane (no great loss) and Andersen bridge (scenic, but useless for racing and below the FIA’s minimum circuit width requirement anyway).

      The resulting shorter lap would keep the field more compact, increase traffic and help produce better racing.

      1. davidnotcoulthard
        11th July 2012, 9:40

        Well, there’a the driver-lapping rule. Lapped drivers won’t be too much of an effect, although there will still probably be some/a bit of the effects anyway.

      2. That sounds good. I don’t want the circuit to become any faster. That is one thing that makes Singapore unique. It is bumpy, it is long, it is in a humid place. Good to see the F1 drivers get a taste of what normal people face while commuting to work everyday. :D

      3. Agreed. Plus the spectators will see the cars more often. And it should also reduce costs for the organizers.

        The Bahrain GP experiment with a longer version of their track showed that a shorter track with fewer corners is better for racing.

        1. Bristol Motor Speedway it is then?

          1. Exactly, follow that logic to its end and you get a oval.

      4. @keithcollantine – The only problem with that is that the circuit would be too short. I think the minimum allowable lap length is 3.5km, and while the Singapore lap is long in terms of time, it’s actually only about 5.07km long. This might be a better solution – or, if they want to get really ambitious, this, though I have no idea how they could reasonably make an artificial fly-over in the middle of the city and keep it safe.

      5. I personally like the circuit the way it is. I say shorten the race distance. It has proven – in my view – to be a circuit where a driver can make a difference. Look at the list of winners – Alonso, Vettel, Hamilton. The 3 drivers touted to be the best in today’s grid. Also, the corners there are very free for interpretation – there are loads of multi-line corners, and it’s always fascinating for me to see the different lines the drivers take.

        I think it’s underrated as a drivers’ circuit, in that not many people realise that drivers can make up quite a chunk here

        1. Don’t look to closely at Alonso though.

    2. Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey)
      11th July 2012, 9:25

      But don’t you think that’s one of the best things about the Singapore Grand Prix? The race always lasts close to a full two hours and so the drivers are being stretched to the limit with endurance.

      It’s the complete opposite to Monza, a track which is 60% straights and where races finish in about an hour and fifteen minutes. Singapore challenges the drivers as it is a narrow street circuit, it gives us longer races with more action and the length of the race increases the opportunity for drivers to throw it away with driver error when they get fatigued (Kimi 2008).

      The fact that it’s a long race is one of the better things about it, in my opinion.

      1. I like that it’s a test of endurance, too. But some parts of the lap are completely pointless – like the section under the grandstand. It turned what could be a nice fast straight into a series of endless, unnecessary chicanes purely for the novelty of going under a grandstand.

        1. That’s how the entire circuit feels to me. I don’t mind that it’s a test of endurance, and I do like the bumps, but that aside I find the whole thing very bland, and seem to be one of the few who do.

          1. @matt90, I’m with you.

      2. if you decrease the lap length the race will still be close to two hours long and remain a physical challenge because the number of laps would increase. The total race distance will stay the same.

        1. @vjanik depends if the speed of the lap rises. ie if they cover only half the distance, but finish the lap at less then half the old laptime, then that’s a net gain.

    3. The Bay Grandstand area between Turns 16 to 19 can be shortened by running straight through T16 to T20 at the expense of losing about 20k seating capacity. Economically unwise, but will cut the lap times by that bit.

      Another possibility is to run straight on at War Memorial (Turn 7), bypassing T8 and only have a single less tight left hander in place of Turn 9 before continuing down towards Singapore Sling (Turn 10).

      Do personally feel that the duration of the lap is a tad bit too long.

      1. We’ll have to see how this year’s race goes with the 2012 Pirelli tyres before making any changes to the layout – but like Monaco I think that if the layout isn’t changed then it needs a few laps knocked off.

  6. Great news, Singapore is very unique and would be sorely missdd if it were to be replaced.
    All I want now is a race somewhere in Africa which starts late night and goes through dawn and finishes in sunlight. That would look stunning

    1. There isn’t really anywhere in Africa that could reasonably host a race, though. South Africa is probably the one country that could host the race, but that would still be questionable given the social issues confronting the country.

      Egypt is probably another possibility, though the country would need to stabilise first. A lot of governments organise races to boost their international profile, so maybe Mohamed Morsi could try and pitch a race as Egypt rejoining the international community after the country stabilises. Kind of like what Bahrain tried to do this year, with the difference being that the country is actually as stable as they make it out to be.

      1. Drop Valencia!
        12th July 2012, 8:19

        Botswana could…

    2. Would anyone show up at those hours though? :-P

    3. Abu Dhabi and Singapore are held at those times in order to accommodate the European time zone (where most of the fans are). So even if we would consider holding a race in Africa (which i think would be moraly questionable), having it at dawn makes no sense – for the locals as well as for Europeans.

      In general, i dont really get the idea of having races on all continents just for the sake of it. Plus, building an F1 track and holding a race worth millions (if not billions) of dollars in countries where 99% of the population wont be able to afford a ticket is questionable to me. The privileged few who get all the revenues from oil and other natural resources of Africa should be spending that money on other things like infrastructure, healthcare and education. And since this is a long shot in the near future, F1 shouldn’t be supporting such governments, while exploiting their victims at the same time. This applies to the whole of sub-saharan africa. As for the north, they have other problems to worry about than an F1 race.

      1. A night race in Africa would be on for Europe at around a similar time to the U.S. and Canadian Grand Prixs, it would be the Far East and Australasia which it would be inconvenient for as it would be Monday morning for them.

  7. Dull track with no notable corners, making it poor to identify where the cars are quickly when FOM switches to them, unlike Spa/Suzuka etc. Way too many 90 degree bends. One of Tilkes worst creations, even taking into account the restrictions placed on him by the location. Sections 1-3, 10-12, 15-17 and 18-21 are just facepalm design moments. 18-21 doesn’t even need to be there according to gmaps

    1. They need visuals like Bahrain did earlier in the year so we know which corner it is…

  8. I’m happy about this, Singapore offers a unique challenge to the drivers and teams.

  9. That is good news. Marina Bay is a very good track in terms of maintaining focus and physical strengths. It is one of the highlights of the season and in such a short time, it matches the excitement of Monaco with it’s breath taking backdrop which looks even more stunning when illuminated.

    I, especially love the Friday practices when it is dusk. I love it!

  10. This means 6 more awesome Grands Prix with great racing and even greater crashes :) Love the crashes at SG. Always brings out the SC! Makes for a fun race….If Maldonado continues his style of driving, dont be surprised to see a bunch of drivers fuming at the end of this year’s race :p

  11. exactly @magnificent-geoffrey a long race is what I like. A race must be at least 1hr45min long.

  12. Looks like a bit of a snag here – Singapore say the deal isn’t done yet:

    “Singapore denies it has agreed a five-year contract extension with Bernie, despite Mr E saying otherwise. Talks are still ongoing.”

    1. Why on earth would Bernie announce it if it hasn’t been signed? Why on earth would Singapore deny it if it has?

      1. Looks like another promoter trying to play it tough with Bernie. Lets see what comes next then!

        1. @bascb, @prisoner-monkeys, just Bernies usual ploy, if negotiations fail Bernie will blame Singapore.

          1. very much likely @hohum

    2. Well that’s one way to get a contract rolling, pretend it’s complete and let the circuit take lots of negative press if they dare refuse the absolutely extortionate contract that Bernie puts forward

      1. Unlike other circuits, Singapore isn’t a pushover. They seem to think that F1 needs them more than they need F1… and they would be right.

        1. Singapore is the new Monaco and they know it.

          1. Well it is a Monaco of Asia. Much greater monetary wise too.

  13. Singapore deserves to stay. One of the hardest tracks on the calendar, if not the hardest, and the drivers love it. For once, they shouldn’t cater to the fans. It’s enjoyable enough to viewers to sit through. Can’t say the same about Monaco.

    1. It always amazes me that drivers can be on the limit for two hours around Singapore. Sepang is hard enough with the humidity, but this is a street circuit! And not any street circuit, either. The sling and the constant heavy braking/acceleration zones must require a lot of stamina and strength. Just thinking about it is tiring.

      Monaco is also exciting in its own different way. And the drivers seem to love going there too, even if it’s not specifically for the racing. I think Mark Webber said it’s almost like a huge rally stage, and you need to drive perfectly without making a single mistake in order to win or grab pole. They’re both tracks that I believe make F1 interesting and add to the diversity.

  14. Good, in principal, if it is actually a deal. I like the circuit. It’s a beautiful lap to watch the drivers get right, owing to the impending nature of walls surrounding it.

  15. Went to the Singapore GP last year and loved it so very happy about this news. Unlike any other GP i’ve been too. If anyone gets the chance to get i’d highly recommend it. The racing isn’t that spectacular on TV but to watch the cars at the circuit under the lighting, with the noise reverbarating off the buildings, is truly magical.

  16. Good. I adore this track. It’s one of my favourites. It’s bumpy, it makes a load of sparks, it’s tricky, it’s got close walls and it’s different from most tracks. I wouldn’t want the lap shortened as I love all of it. I’d want a shorter race though. I don’t care if it doesn’t promote overtaking; it’s something different and we need a variety of tracks. I get so excited just watching the onboards from this track just like I do with Monaco and Hungary.

    1. I’d want a shorter race though.

      I wouldn’t. The fact that Singapore is a two hour race adds to the challenge for the drivers.

    2. I’d want a shorter race though

      No. I like to see drivers pushed for all of two hours. It makes Singapore unique as it is the longest race (in terms of time) on the calendar.

  17. SO now that street races are “fashionable” , can I dream of having one in the big avenues of Lima, Peru? There are plenty of 90º corners, like Singapore. I’m sure that with a couple of F1F people we can create a design much nicer than the Singapore GP!!!

  18. I like Singapore. The long race makes it a unique challenge, as does the fact it’s under lights the whole time. Hopefully they’ll do something about the track — it’s too slow and cumbersome — but it’s not bad and the drivers are at least punished for many mistakes with a trip into the wall.

  19. I never really liked Singapore – a modern sort of artificial way of a street circuit, no charm and no overtaking unless KERS and DRS. This circuit is only a little more interesting than Bahrain and a parr with Valencia. Before KERS and DRS Singapore had properties which made it possible for Briatore and Alonso to cheat and win by convincing Piquet Jr to make an accident in a specific corner right after Alonso had pitted way to early for a normal Singapore strategy. I found it very suspicious, but FIA didn’t see the obvious before Piquet told the story. All in all the tracks strange processional character is only acceptable because of KERS and DRS, which in my opinion are artificial add-ons to the sport. The best moment from Singapore was when someone ripped the fuel-hose and Kimi’s car got engulfed in flames. The Ice-man hesitated a short moment, before the fire cleared away and he continued out of the pits. I would have loved it even more, had he just carried on unimpressed, disregarding the fire;-)

  20. There’s only one thing worse than a street circuit, and that’s a street circuit under artificial lighting.

    1. @manatcna, I think I might be with you there, but not sure.

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