News of F1 extension delights all but bay area businesses
Almost every one, from fans to hotels to Formula One drivers, welcomed the extension of the Singapore Grand Prix on Saturday with open arms - every one except several retailers in the Marina Bay area.
Their main beef: The disruption to business when the area goes into lockdown for the three-day extravaganza.
"The race brings a buzz to town, but not everybody is impressed. A lot of people try to stay away and it affects our business, and a lot of other people's businesses," said Indochine chief executive Michael Ma yesterday, a refrain echoed by Allan Chia, who operates a pushcart in Suntec City selling mobile phone accessories. "People avoid Suntec City altogether because of the road closures," said the 35-year-old.
But while there are no plans to move the race, Second Minister for Trade and Industry S. Iswaran, after announcing that the race will carry on until 2017, insisted organisers will work with critics and try to address their concerns.
'Brilliant. It's inevitable. Continuing the Singapore GP was always going to happen in my book.' - Former F1 driver David Coulthard is delighted that the Singapore Grand Prix remains on the world motor sports calendar
'The race brings a buzz to town, but... a lot of people try to stay away and it affects our business, and a lot of other people's businesses.' - Indochine chief executive Michael Ma
'It took Monaco over seven decades to get to that level of prestige. Singapore almost did it in their first race.' - Veteran F1 commentator Steve Slater says the Marina Bay circuit is the track that all the teams want to come to after Monaco