Singapore agrees new five-year F1 race deal

2013 F1 calendar

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. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 11th July 2012, 8:47

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

    • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 11th July 2012, 11:52

      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.

      • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 11th July 2012, 12:17

        @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.

  2. Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 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.

  3. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 11th July 2012, 8:52

    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.

  4. adaptalis (@adaptalis) said on 11th July 2012, 9:03

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

  5. alexf1man (@alexf1man) said on 11th July 2012, 9:12

    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.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 11th July 2012, 9:23

      @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.

      • davidnotcoulthard said on 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.

      • sumedh said on 11th July 2012, 11:22

        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

      • vjanik said on 11th July 2012, 11:51

        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.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 11th July 2012, 12:05

        @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.

      • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 12th July 2012, 6:40

        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

    • Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 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.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 11th July 2012, 9:38

        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.

      • vjanik said on 11th July 2012, 13:10

        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.

        • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 12th July 2012, 6:32

          @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.

    • adaptalis (@adaptalis) said on 11th July 2012, 10:23

      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.

      • alexf1man (@alexf1man) said on 11th July 2012, 10:39

        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. Zubair (@zubair380) said on 11th July 2012, 9:49

    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

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 11th July 2012, 9:58

      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.

    • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 11th July 2012, 10:13

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

    • vjanik said on 11th July 2012, 13:25

      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.

      • Slr (@slr) said on 11th July 2012, 14:10

        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. Njack (@njack) said on 11th July 2012, 10:33

    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

  8. Slr (@slr) said on 11th July 2012, 10:40

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

  9. Neel Jani (@neelv27) said on 11th July 2012, 11:36

    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. Mallesh Magdum (@malleshmagdum) said on 11th July 2012, 11:56

    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. Mallesh Magdum (@malleshmagdum) said on 11th July 2012, 11:58

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

  12. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 11th July 2012, 12:32

    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.”

    https://twitter.com/alanbaldwinf1/statuses/223015681317273601

  13. Pamphlet (@pamphlet) said on 11th July 2012, 13:07

    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.

    • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 11th July 2012, 14:05

      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. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 11th July 2012, 13:07

    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. davidwhite (@davidwhite) said on 11th July 2012, 13:31

    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.

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