New deal for Singapore GP

  • Last Updated: September 22 2012, 13:04 BST

The Singapore Grand Prix is to remain on the Formula One calendar for another five years after organisers agreed a new five-year deal with the sport's supremo Bernie Ecclestone.

Singapore remains on the F1 calendar

Questions marks had been raised as to the future of the race coming into this weekend's event given it is the last on the initial five-year contract signed in 2008.

The release on Friday of a provisional calendar for next season had Singapore starred, highlighting the fact it was in doubt pending a fresh deal.

However, as the only night event on the F1 schedule, the grand prix has become one of the most popular on the calendar, and it would have been a major surprise if new terms had not been agreed.

Ecclestone said: "All of us, without many exceptions, like being here and this is what it made it difficult for me to negotiate with the minister."

The 81-year-old was referring to Minister S. Iswaran, a member of the prime minister's office, and the second minister for home affairs and trade and industry.

Asked if Singapore would remain the only night race for the next five years, Ecclestone added: "The trouble is they've started something that's so popular worldwide that I'm sure other people are going to want to do this.

"Whether or not we're going to be happy with that I don't know, but we're very happy with what we've got in Singapore - more than happy.

"I'm very proud they had the courage to do this in the first place."

Ecclestone, however, refused to confirm the cost of the new contract, adding: "I always believe these sort of questions shouldn't be asked.

"A gentleman should never speak about money and last night!"

Referring to the deal only being concluded this weekend, Iswaran said: "The negotiations took some time because all parties had very specific objectives and wanted to arrive at a mutually beneficial outcome.

"F1 has been good for Singapore...and good for F1, adding a new dimension to the sport with a unique night race".

It comes at a break-even cost, however, because although Iswaran claimed 150,000 visitors had come to Singapore over the last four GP weekends and spent 140-150,000million Singapore dollars (£70-75m), it costs £75million overall to stage the race.