Formula One: Time needed for new F1 owners to settle down before Singapore deal completed, says S. Iswaran

Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team's German driver Nico Rosberg leads the start of the race, as Sahara Force India F1 Team's German driver Nico Hulkenberg crashes during the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix in Singapore on Sept 18, 2016.
Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team's German driver Nico Rosberg leads the start of the race, as Sahara Force India F1 Team's German driver Nico Hulkenberg crashes during the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix in Singapore on Sept 18, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - With Singapore Grand Prix's deal to host Formula One races due to expire after next year's night race, Minister for Trade and Industry S. Iswaran has said more time is needed for the business' new owners before an agreement can be struck with the Republic.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Abu Dhabi-Singapore joint forum on Monday (Sept 19), Mr Iswaran feels that there is no need to rush in the negotiations as Liberty Media's takeover of the sport from CVC Capital, first announced two weeks ago, had yet to be finalised.

He said: "It's an early stage in the new configuration of F1, so we have to give them (the new owners) to settle down and think it through in terms of what they would like to put forward.

"On our part, our process, as always, will be a deliberate one because we want to make sure that as we look ahead to any new agreement, we want to make sure that it is one anchored to clear mutual benefits. It will be a deliberate and circumspect process.

"I don't want to put a time frame to it, to be fair the transaction (sale of F1 to Liberty) is still ongoing, so I think you need to give them time to settle down and have the transaction completed.

"I am reluctant to put a time frame to it because all parties will want to have a good understanding of the overall situation."